Prehydrodynamic evolution and its signatures in final-state heavy-ion observables

ExTrEMe Collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate the effects of prehydrodynamic evolution on final-state observables in heavy-ion collisions using state-of-the art event simulations coupled to different prehydrodynamic scenarios, which include the recently developed effective kinetic transport theory evolution model KøMPøST. Differential flow observables are found to be mostly insensitive to the details of prehydrodynamic evolution. The main effect we observe is in the pT spectra, particularly the mean transverse momentum. However, at least part of this effect is a consequence of the underlying conformal invariance assumption currently present in such approaches, which is known to be violated in the temperature regime probed in heavy-ion collisions. This assumption of early time conformal invariance leads to an artificially large out-of-equilibrium bulk pressure when switching from (conformal) prehydrodynamic evolution to hydrodynamics (using the nonconformal QCD equation of state), which in turn increases the transverse momentum. Our study indicates that a consistent treatment of prehydrodynamic evolution in heavy-ion collisions requires the use of nonconformal models of early time dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number054906
JournalPhysical Review C
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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