Physical Review C 81,4 (2010)
We present the results of an elliptic flow, v(2), analysis of Cu + Cu collisions recorded with the solenoidal tracker detector (STAR) at the BNL Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at root s(NN) = 62.4 and 200 GeV. Elliptic flow as a function of transverse momentum, v(2)(p(T)), is reported for different collision centralities for charged hadrons h(+/-) and strangeness-ontaining hadrons K-S(0), Lambda, Xi, and phi in the midrapidity region vertical bar eta vertical bar < 1.0. Significant reduction in systematic uncertainty of the measurement due to nonflow effects has been achieved by correlating particles at midrapidity, vertical bar eta vertical bar < 1.0, with those at forward rapidity, 2.5 < vertical bar eta vertical bar < 4.0. We also present azimuthal correlations in p + p collisions at root s = 200 GeV to help in estimating nonflow effects. To study the system-size dependence of elliptic flow, we present a detailed comparison with previously published results from Au + Au collisions at root s(NN) = 200 GeV. We observe that v(2)(p(T)) of strange hadrons has similar scaling properties as were first observed in Au + Au collisions, that is, (i) at low transverse momenta, p(T) < 2 GeV/c, v(2) scales with transverse kinetic energy, m(T) - m, and (ii) at intermediate p(T), 2 < p(T) < 4 GeV/c, it scales with the number of constituent quarks, n(q.) We have found that ideal hydrodynamic calculations fail to reproduce the centrality dependence of v(2)(p(T)) for K-S(0) and Lambda. Eccentricity scaled v(2) values, v(2)/epsilon, are larger in more central collisions, suggesting stronger collective flow develops in more central collisions. The comparison with Au + Au collisions, which go further in density, shows that v(2)/epsilon depends on the system size, that is, the number of participants N-part. This indicates that the ideal hydrodynamic limit is not reached in Cu + Cu collisions, presumably because the assumption of thermalization is not attained.
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