Over the past decade a striking regularity has been established in heavy-ion collisions: From the lowest beam energies to the highest, the yields of various hadronic species are consistent with the assumption of chemical equilibrium [1,2,3,4,5]. Analyses of the experimentally obtained hadronic yield ratios at a variety of collision energies have shown that the data can be well reproduced within the conceptually simple statistical model that describes an ideal hadron resonance gas in statistical equilibrium. F…
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