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Physical Review C


We report the measurement of cumulants (Cn,n=1,...,4) of the net-charge distributions measured within pseudorapidity (|η|<0.35) in Au+Au collisions at √sNN=7.7-200GeV with the PHENIX experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. The ratios of cumulants (e.g., C₁/C₂, C₃/C₁) of the net-charge distributions, which can be related to volume independent susceptibility ratios, are studied as a function of centrality and energy. These quantities are important to understand the quantum-chromodynamics phase diagram and possible existence of a critical end point. The measured values are very well described by expectation from negative binomial distributions. We do not observe any nonmonotonic behavior in the ratios of the cumulants as a function of collision energy. The measured values of C₁/C₂ and C₃/C₁ can be directly compared to lattice quantum-chromodynamics calculations and thus allow extraction of both the chemical freeze-out temperature and the baryon chemical potential at each center-of-mass energy. The extracted baryon chemical potentials are in excellent agreement with a thermal-statistical analysis model.



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