The missing mass squared dependence of the average charged particle multiplicity in the reaction K+p --> KoX++ from 5-16 GeV/c
The average charged particle multiplicity, <nch(MX2)>, in the reaction K+p-->KoX++ is studied as a function of the mass squared, MX2, of the recoil system X and also as a function of the Ko transverse momentum, pT, at incident momenta of 5.0, 8.2 and 16.0 GeV/c. The complete data samples yield distributions which are not independent of c.m. energy squared, s, They exhibit a linear dependence on log (MX2X/Mo2)[Mo2=1 GeV2] with a change in slope occurring for MX2~s/2, and do not agree with the corresponding distributions of <nch> as a function of s for K+ p inelastic scattering. Sub-samples of the data for which Ko production via beam fragmentation, central production and target fragmentation are expected to be the dominant mechanisms show that, within error, the distribution of <nch(MX2)> versus MX2 is independent of incident momentum for each sub-sample separately. In particular in the beam fragmentation region the <nch(MX2)> versus MX2 distribution agrees rather well with that of <nch> versus s for inelastic K+p interactions. The latter result agrees with recent results on the reactions pp --> pX and π-p --> pX in the NAL energy range. Evidence is presented for the presence of different production mechanisms in these separate regions.