Frithjof Karsch (University of Bielefeld)
Conserved charge fluctuations in strong interaction matter
Fluctuations of conserved charges, i.e. baryon number, strangeness and electric charge, are sensitive probes for the transition from the confined hadronic to the deconfined partonic phase of strong interaction matter. Rapid changes of, e.g. quadratic fluctuations of net baryon number, net strangeness as well as correlations between these conserved charges, signal the change of degrees of freedom that carry the corresponding quantum numbers. The magnitude of these charge correlations and fluctuations provides information not only on the mass of the carriers of these quantum numbers (hadrons or quarks). They also provide information on the abundance of hadronic degrees of freedom with different quantum numbers, and allow to determine the thermal conditions at the time of hadronization (freeze-out) in heavy ion collisions.