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Investigating different baryon and antibaryon polarizations in relativistic heavy-ion

Zhang-Zhu Han1, 2 and Jun Xu1
Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
(Dated: July 25, 2017)
We have investigated the different spin polarizations of baryons and antibaryons observed in rel-
ativistic heavy-ion collisions, based on an extended multiphase transport model with the partonic
evolution described by a 3-flavor Nambu-Jona-Lasinio (NJL) transport model. Incorporating the
spin-orbit coupling induced by the vector potentials from the NJL interaction and from the electro-
magnetic field, we observe different spin polarizations for various quarks species as a result of their
different baryon and electric charges. Consequently, antiquarks (quarks) have a positive (negative)
arXiv:1707.07262v1 [nucl-th] 23 Jul 2017

spin polarizations on average, and this presumedly leads to a stronger polarization for antibaryons
than for baryons at midrapidities once the coupling to the vorticity field is further incorporated.

PACS numbers: 25.75.-q, 24.10.Lx, 24.70.+s, 13.88.+e, 12.38.Mh

Understanding the properties of the quark-gluon the present study, we investigate the different spin po-
plasma (QGP) is one of the main purposes of relativistic larizations of baryons and antibaryons from the vector
heavy-ion collision experiments. In noncentral heavy-ion potentials within the framework of a multiphase trans-
collisions, QGP is expected to be polarized perpendicu- port (AMPT) model [17], with the partonic phase de-
lar to the reaction plane [13] due to the large angular scribed by a 3-flavor Nambu-Jona-Lasinio (NJL) trans-
momentum as well as the strong magnetic field. Theo- port model [18, 19]. In order to explore the vector po-
retical studies predict that the strong vorticity and mag- tential effect, we kept the dominating contribution of the
netic field lead to a series of chiral effects (see Ref. [4] vector spin-orbit coupling from the NJL Hamiltonian as
for a review) as well as the spin polarization of hyperons well as that from the magnetic field. We found that
and vector mesons [58], which are experimentally mea- various quarks and antiquarks are polarized differently
surable through their weak decays. On the experimental according to their different baryon and electric charges,
side, continuous efforts have been made on measuring the and a larger antiquark spin polarization on average is
spin polarization of these particles [9, 10]. In the collision observed compared to that of quarks, presumedly lead-
systems at higher energies with nearly zero baryon chem- ing to a larger spin polarization of antibaryons than that
ical potential, shorter duration of the magnetic field, and of baryons at midrapidities. The analysis was based on

smaller angular velocitiy, the spin polarizations of and about 140,000 events of Au+Au collisions at sN N = 39
are found to be negligibly small [9]. Very recently, the GeV, a system with considerable numbers of antiquarks
finite spin polarizations of and at lower collision en- and finite baryon chemical potential as well as the suit-
ergies have been observed experimentally [11], with the able duration of the electromagnetic field within calcula-
spin polarization slightly larger than that of . Consider- tion efforts.
able efforts have been devoted to understanding the po-
larization of [1216] but few of them try to address the
different spin polarizations of baryons and antibaryons.
The studies in Refs. [1216] attribute the hyperon po- We first briefly review the main structure of the AMPT
larization to the coupling to the vorticity field of QGP, model [17] and how we extend it [18, 19]. The ini-
and the spin polarization of quarks and antiquarks are tial phase-space information of partons is from melting
affected in a similar way. On the other hand, the vector hadrons produced by the Heavy-Ion Jet INteraction Gen-
potentials, including those from the baryon-antibaryon erator (HIJING) model. The evolution of the partonic
vector interactions and the electromagnetic field, are ex- phase, including that of u, d, and s quarks as well as
pected to be responsible for the different polarizations their antiquarks, is described by a 3-flavor NJL trans-
for baryons and antibaryons at lower collision energies. port model with the spin-orbit coupling induced by the
Due to the finite baryon chemical potential, quarks and vector potentials to be detailed in the following. When
antiquarks are affected by different spin-orbit couplings the chiral symmetry is approximately broken, i.e., the
in the baryon-rich matter. In addition, the maximum quark mass in the central region of the system is half
value of the magnetic field is smaller while its life time of that in vacuum, the partonic phase ends and the sys-
is longer in heavy-ion collisions at lower energies. In tem begins to hadronize. In the present work we neglect
the hadronic evolution and study the spin polarization of
various quark species as well as that of baryons and an-
tibaryons from a spin-dependent dynamical coalescence
corresponding author: approach.

We employ the NJL Lagrangian as are mu = md = 3.6 MeV, ms = 87 MeV, G2 = 3.6,

K5 = 8.9 taken from Refs. [20, 24].
GX In order to obtain the single-particle Hamiltonian of
LNJL = (i/ M ) + [( )2 + (i5 )2 ] quark flavor i, we start from the Euler-Lagrange equation
2 =0
GV X [ (i A ) Mi ]i = 0. (8)
[( )2 + ( 5 )2 ]
2 =0
~ contains the time and space
In the above, A = (A0 , A)
K{detf [(1 + 5 )] + detf [(1 5 )]}, (1) components of the vector potential expressed respectively
where = (u , d , s )T is the quark field with u,d,s for
u, d, and s quarks, respectively, M = diag(mu , md , ms ) A0 = Bi gV 0 + Qi e, (9)
is the current quark mass matrix, are the p Gell-Mann ~ = Bi gV ~ + Qi eA
A ~ m, (10)
matrices in SU(3) flavor space with 0 = 2/3I, and G
and GV are, respectively, the scalar and vector coupling
constant. It was shown in Ref. [20] that GV = 1.1G gives with gV = 32 GV , 0 = h 0 i and ~ h~ i being
a better description of the vector meson mass spectrum. respectively the time and space components of the vector
However, the strength of the vector coupling constant density, Bi = 1 for quarks and 1 for antiquarks, and Qi
being the charge number of quark species i. and A ~ m are
is still quite uncertain, and it affects the critical point of
chiral phase transition in the phase diagram [2124]. The the scalar and vector potential of the real electromagnetic
K term, with detf denoting the determinant in the flavor field
space, is the Kobayashi-Maskawa-t Hooft interaction [25] e2 X 1
which breaks the axial UA (1) symmetry. e(t, ~r) = Zn , (11)
4 n ~n
Rn ~vn R
We neglect the pseudoscalar and pseudovector inter-
actions (terms with 5 in Eq. (1)) in the present study. 2 X
~ m (t, ~r) = e
eA Zn
, (12)
Considering only the flavor singlet vector interaction in 4 n ~n
Rn ~vn R
the second interaction term and taking the mean-field
approximation [21, 26], the Lagrangian becomes
where Zn is the charge number of the nth particle, ~vn is
2 the velocity of the nth particle at the retarded time tn =
L = (i GV h i) M + .... (2) ~n =
t |~r ~rn | when the particle emits radiation, and R
~r ~rn is the relative position of the field point ~r with
with M = diag(Mu , Md , Ms ) and the quark effective respect to the particle position ~rn . In the present study
masses given by we consider the contribution of all spectator protons to
the electromagnetic field, since the contribution from the
Mu = mu 2Ghuui + 2Khddihssi, (3) partonic phase was shown to be less important [28].
+ 2Khssihuui,
Md = md 2Ghddi (4) By separating the time and space derivatives, i.e.,

Ms = ms 2Ghssi + 2Khuuihddi, (5) = 0 t + k k with k the label of cartesian co-
ordinates, Eq. (8) can be expressed as
The rest part in Eq. (2) denotes constant terms such
as hi2 . The quark condensate in Eqs. (3), (4), and it i = [ 0 k (ik + Ak ) + 0 Mi + A0 ]i . (13)
(5) and the vector density in Eq. (2) can be expressed
respectively as The Hamiltonian operator is thus

d3 p H = 0 k (pk + Ak ) + 0 Mi + A0 , (14)
hqi qi i = 2Mi Nc (1 fi fi ) (i = u, d, s),
(2)3 Ei
(6) with pk = ik . By calculating the eigenvalue of H and
abandoning a negative solution, we obtain the single-
X Z d3 p particle Hamiltonian as
h i = 2Nc p (fi fi ), (7)
(2)3 Ei
H = (~ p A) ~ + A0 .
~ 2 + M 2 ~ ( A) (15)
p i
where Nc = 3 is the color degeneracy, Ei = Mi2 + p2
is the single-quark energy, and fi and fi are respectively ~ is generally much smaller
Since the spin term ~ ( A)
the phase-space distribution functions of quarks and an- than (~ ~ +M , the above Hamiltonian can be further
p A)2 2
tiquarks of flavor i, which are calculated from the test- expressed as
particle method [27] in the dynamical simulation. Be-
cause the NJL model is not renormalizable, a cut-off ~
~ 2 + A0 q~ ( A)
= 750 MeV is introduced in the momentum integra- H Mi2 + (~
p A) . (16)
tion in Eqs. (6) and (7). The values of other parameters 2 Mi2 + (~ ~ 2
p A)

The first and the second terms are the same as those used
in previous studies [18, 19], while the last term represents 10
t = 1.01 fm/c t = 1.34 fm/c t = 1.74 fm/c t = 2.25 fm/c t = 2.93 fm/c

the spin-orbit coupling for partons, with the strength de- 0 q

(fm )

pending on the baryon and electric charge of the parton 13.0


as well as its mass. -10


Starting from the single-particle Hamiltonian with the 0 ( eA ) (m )

m y
2 -0.4


spin-orbit coupling, the spin-dependent equations of mo- -0.05

10 0

tion (EOMs) can be derived consistently from the spin- 0.05

x (fm)
dependent Boltzmann-Vlasov equation as [29] 0 ( g
) (m )




~r = p~ H, (17) -0.09
-3 -0.07
0 s (u)(fm )

p = H,

~ (18) -0.03

~ = i[~, H].

(19) 0.005
0 s (u)(fm ) 0.06

The EOMs of ~r and p~ are exactly the canonical equa- -10


-5 0 5 0 -5 0 5 0 -5 0 5
tions. ~ are the Pauli matrics in the picture of quantum z (fm)

mechanics, while in the simulation a unit vector in the

4 solid angle is assigned to each particle representing
the spin expectation direction, and its time evolution is FIG. 1: (Color online) Contours of the quark number density
the same as that in the Heisenburg picture of quantum (first row), y component of the real magnetic field (eA ~ m )y
mechanics. The detailed EOMs are (second row) and the effective magnetic field (gV ~)y (third
row), and y component of the u quark spin density sy (u)
drk p 1 pk ~ (fourth row) as well as the u quark spin density sy (u) (fifth
= k + [~ ( A)], (20) row) in the reaction plane at different stages in midcentral
dt Ei 2 Ei 3
(20 50%) Au + Au collisions at s = 39 GeV, with RV =
dpk Mi Mi pj Aj A0 Ak GV /G = 1.1.
= +
dt Ei rk Ei rk rk t
Ak 1 ~ M i M i
rj [~ ( A)] culated from [28, 3033]
rj 2 Ei 3 rk

1 pj Aj ~n
+ [~ ( A)] ~ ~ ~r) = e ~vn R
2 Ei 3 rk B(t, Zn (1 vn2 ). (23)
4 n ~ n )3
(Rn ~vn R
~ A ~
+ ( ), (21) On the other hand, using A ~ m has the advantage of reduc-
2Ei rk
ing the possibility of divergence at Rn ~vn R~ n 0, due
d~ ~ ( A) ~
= , (22) to the lower power of it in the denominator of Eq. (12).
dt Ei Compared with the real magnetic field, the distribution
of the effective magnetic field from the curl of the net
with k, j = x, y, z obeying the p
contraction rule, i denoting quark flux is more diffusive, while in the central region
the quark species, and Ei = Mi2 + p 2 with ~p = p~ it is positive (negative) at x z > 0 (x z < 0), as shown
~ It can be seen that particles with different spins are
A. in the third row of Fig. 1. The real and the effective
affected by their different mean-field potentials, and their magnetic field lead to local spin polarizations of vari-
spins are processed around the total magnetic field A, ~ ous quark species according to their electric and baryon
including the contribution of the effective magnetic field charges. Due to the ~ ( A) ~ term in the single-
gV ~ and the real magnetic field eA ~ m. particle Hamlitonian, the spin ~ tends to follow the di-
Figure 1 displays the distributions of various densities rection of A ~ in order to minimize the energy. u
and fields at different times in the reaction plane (x-o- (u) quarks have the positive (negative) baryon number
z plane), with x the direction for the impact parameter and +2/3 (2/3) charge number, and are most strongly
and z the beam direction. The first row gives the general affected by the spin-orbit coupling due to the additive ef-
picture how quarks are evolved with time, and the den- fects from the real and the effective magnetic field. This
sity evolution of antiquarks is similar to that of quarks can be observed fromP the distribution of their spin den-
but with a smaller magnitude. As shown in the second sities defined as ~s = i=u(u) ~i at each local cell, with
row, although the central magnetic field decreases dra- its y component for u and u quarks respectively shown
matically with time, the areas where the magnetic field is in the fourth and the fifth row of Fig. 1. Particularly,
strong move with the spectators towards z directions. the midrapidity region of u (u) quarks is expected to be
We found that the real magnetic field calculated from polarized in the +y (y) direction, while the polariza-
eB~ = eA ~ m gives almost the same value as that cal- tion is inverse at large rapidities. For d and s quarks as

well as their antiparticles, the polarization is expected to

be smaller due to the cancelation effect of the real and 1.5
the effective magnetic field. The polarization of s and s R =1.1

quarks are expected to be much smaller due to the larger 1.0

mass term in the denominator of the spin-orbit coupling
in Eq. (16). 0.5 q B
d q
The polarizations of and , i.e., the relative differ-

P (%)
ence of the spin-down (N ) and spin-up (N ) particle s s
number with respect to the reaction plane, q
-0.5 q B

P = , (24) -1.0
N + N
-1.5 u
are measured experimentally by analyzing their weak de- 0.0 2.5 s(s) ( ) ( ) q(q) B(B) B(B)
cays [9]. Since the spin expectation direction ~ of each t (fm/c)
R =0 R =1.1 R =0 R =0 R =1.1 R =0

particle is known in our dynamical simulation, it has a

probability of (1 + y )/2 ((1 y )/2) to be a spin-up
(spin-down) particle, with its spin projection on y (y) FIG. 2: (Color online) Time evolution of the spin polariza-
direction antiparallel (parallel) to the angular momentum s, s) as well
tions (P ) of various quark species (u, u, d, d,
or the magnetic field. The left part of Fig. 2 displays how as the average polarizations of quarks (q) and antiquarks (q),
the spin polarizations for various quark species at midra- and the spin polarization of and as well as the aver-
pidities are developed during thepartonic evolution in age polarizations of baryons (B) and antibaryons (B) from
quark coalescence at midrapidities (|y|
< 0.6) in midcentral
midcentral Au+Au collisions at s = 39 GeV. Gener-
(20 50%) Au + Au collisions at s = 39 GeV from the
ally, the polarization is built quickly in the early stage extended AMPT model, with RV = GV /G = 1.1 and 0.
of the partonic evolution but slowly at the later stage.
u quarks have the strongest polarization while those for
d and s quarks are much weaker. The opposite spin po-
larization for d and s quarks compared to u quarks is determined by that of its constituent s (s) quark [5, 6].
due to the overwhelming effect of the real magnetic field Technically, this can be done by selecting combinations
over the effective magnetic field. For each flavor, quarks of an s (s) quark with a fixed spin and a pair of u and d
quarks with opposite spins. This naturally re-
(u and d)
and antiquarks have the opposite spin polarization. If we
average over all flavors, quarks have a net negative polar- sults in a positive spin polarization for and a negative
ization while antiquarks have a net positive polarization. spin polarization for , differently from the larger po-
The value of GV slightly affects the polarization while larization than observed experimentally [11]. However,
the difference is within the statistical error, showing that since the quark (antiquark) spin is negative (positive) on
the polarization is dominated by the real magnetic field. average, if we do such spin-dependent quark coalescence
How the proton spin is determined by its inside struc- regardless of the quark flavor, i.e., a spin-up (spin-down)
ture is a famous unsolved problem called proton spin baryon is formed by two spin-up (spin-down) quarks and
crisis (see, e.g., Ref. [34] for a review). The European one spin-down (spin-up) quark, we naturally get positive
Muon Collaboration have been investigating this prob- polarization for antibaryons and negative polarization for
lem since 1980s [35]. The proton spin may come from baryons at midrapdities, as shown in the right part of
not only the spin of quarks but also their orbital angu- Fig. 2.
lar momentum [36]. Recently it was realized that gluons Figure 3 further displays the rapidity distribution of
may contribute significantly to the proton spin [37]. The average spin polarizations of quarks and antiquarks as
situation is even more uncertain for arbitrary baryons. well as those of baryons and antibaryons. It is found that
Despite the uncertain relation between the quark and antibaryons (baryons) have a positive (negative) spin po-
baryon spin, we estimate the productions of baryons and larization at midrapidities but a negative (positive) spin
antibaryons at different spin states by extending the dy- polarization at large rapidities, consistent with the differ-
namical coalescence model [3840] to include spin degree ent spin polarizations of quarks or antiquarks at smaller
of freedom [41, 42]. In the dynamical coalescence model, and larger z seen from Fig. 1. It would be of great interest
the probability of three quarks (antiquarks) to form a to confirm the larger spin polarizations for baryons than
baryon (an antibaryon) is expressed by a Wigner function for antibaryons at large rapidities on the experimental
with Gaussian form in both coordinate and momentum side.
space, and the width of the Gaussian function is fitted To summarize, based on an extended multiphase trans-
by the charge radius of the baryon (antibaryon). With port model with the partonic evolution described by
the s-wave coordinate wave function and the antisym- a 3-flavor Nambu-Jona-Lasinio (NJL) transport model,
metric color wave function for or , the direct product we have investigated the different spin polarizations of
of its flavor and spin wave function must be symmetric, quarks and antiquarks. The spin-orbit couplings induced
and this leads to the situation that the () spin is by the vector potentials, which originate from the NJL

tures, and based on a spin-dependent dynamical coales-

1.0 cence model a positive spin polarization is observed for
Au+Au@39GeV antibaryons but negative for baryons at midrapidities.
In the future study, we will incorporate the coupling
to the vorticity of QGP [1216] into the NJL transport
model, and this is expected to enhance the spin polar-
P (%)

ization of both quarks and antiquarks simultaneously. It

will also be interesting to investigate the collision energy
dependence of the spin polarization based on the present
framework. In addition, the different spin polarizations
-0.5 of baryons and antibaryons may also be attributed to
q B their different spin-orbit couplings in the baryon-rich
q (a) B (b) hadronic phase. These questions needs further investi-
-1.0 gations.
-4 -2 0 2 4 -4 -2 0 2 4

y We acknowledge helpful discussions and communica-

tions with Xu-Guang Huang, Che Ming Ko, Feng Li,
FIG. 3: (Color online) Rapidity distributions of the average Lie-Wen Chen, and Kai-Jia Sun, and thank Chen Zhong
spin polarizations of quarks and antiquarks as well as those of for maintaining the high-quality performance of the com-
baryons and antibaryons from quark coalescence in midcentral puter facility. This work was supported by the Major

(20 50%) Au + Au collisions at s = 39 GeV from the State Basic Research Development Program (973 Pro-
extended AMPT model with RV = GV /G = 1.1. gram) of China under Contract Nos. 2015CB856904 and
2014CB845401, the National Natural Science Founda-
tion of China under Grant Nos. 11475243 and 11421505,
vector interaction and the electromagnetic field, are dif- the 100-talent plan of Shanghai Institute of Applied
ferent for various quark species, as a result of their differ- Physics under Grant Nos. Y290061011 and Y526011011
ent baryon and electric charges. An positive spin polar- from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Shanghai
ization is observed for antiquarks but negative for quarks Key Laboratory of Particle Physics and Cosmology un-
on average at midrapidities. The spin polarizations of der Grant No. 15DZ2272100, and the Shanghai Pujiang
baryons and antibaryons depend on their internal struc- Program under Grant No. 13PJ1410600.

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