Beam-Energy Dependence of the Directed Flow of Protons, Antiprotons, and Pions in Au+Au Collisions
Rapidity-odd directed flow (v1) measurements for charged pions, protons, and antiprotons near midrapidity (y=0) are reported in √sNN=7.7, 11.5, 19.6, 27, 39, 62.4, and 200 GeV Au+Au collisions as recorded by the STAR detector at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. At intermediate impact parameters, the proton and net-proton slope parameter dv1/dy|y=0 shows a minimum between 11.5 and 19.6 GeV. In addition, the net-proton dv1/dy|y=0 changes sign twice between 7.7 and 39 GeV. The proton and net-proton results qualitatively resemble predictions of a hydrodynamic model with a first-order phase transition from hadronic matter to deconfined matter, and differ from hadronic transport calculations.