We investigate the conditions under which particle multiplicities in high energy collisions axe Boltzmann distributed, as is the case for hadron production in e+e-, pp, pp̄ and heavy ion collisions. We show that the apparent temperature governing this distribution does not necessarily imply equilibrium (thermal or chemical) in the usual sense. We discuss an explicit example using tree level amplitudes for N photon production in which a Boltzmann-like distribution is obtained without any equilibration. We argue that the failure of statistical techniques based on free particle ensembles may provide a signal for collective phenomena (such as large shifts in masses and widths of resonances) related to the QCD phase transition.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)