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- Kollisionen schwerer Ionen (8)
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- equation of state (3)
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#### Institute

- Pion and thermal photon spectra as a possible signal for a phase transition (2005)
- We calculate thermal photon and neutral pion spectra in ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions in the framework of three-fluid hydrodynamics. Both spectra are quite sensitive to the equation of state used. In particular, within our model, recent data for S + Au at 200 AGeV can only be understood if a scenario with a phase transition (possibly to a quark-gluon plasma) is assumed. Results for Au+Au at 11 AGeV and Pb + Pb at 160 AGeV are also presented.

- High energy cosmic ray air showers and small-x QCD (2005)
- We discuss that hadron-induced atmospheric air showers from ultra-high energy cosmic rays are sensitive to QCD interactions at very small momentum fractions x where nonlinear effects should become important. The leading partons from the projectile acquire large random transverse momenta as they pass through the strong field of the target nucleus, which breaks up their coherence. This leads to a steeper x_F-distribution of leading hadrons as compared to low energy collisions, which in turn reduces the position of the shower maximum Xmax. We argue that high-energy hadronic interaction models should account for this effect, caused by the approach to the black-body limit, which may shift fits of the composition of the cosmic ray spectrum near the GZK cutoff towards lighter elements. We further show that present data on Xmax(E) exclude that the rapid ~ 1/x^0.3 growth of the saturation boundary (which is compatible with RHIC and HERA data) persists up to GZK cutoff energies. Measurements of pA collisions at LHC could further test the small-x regime and advance our understanding of high density QCD significantly.

- Density perturbations in heavy- ion collisions below the critical point (2004)
- Universality arguments suggest that the chiral phase transition for two massless quark flavors is second-order at baryon-chemical potential µB = 0 [1], which then becomes a crossover for small quark masses.

- Review of QGP signatures - ideas versus observables (2004)
- We investigate hadron production and transverse hadron spectra in nucleus-nucleus collisions from 2 A·GeV to 21.3 A·TeV within two independent transport approaches (UrQMD and HSD) based on quark, diquark, string and hadronic degrees of freedom. The enhancement of pion production in central Au+Au (Pb+Pb) collisions relative to scaled pp collisions (the ’kink’) is described well by both approaches without involving a phase transition. However, the maximum in the K+ p+ ratio at 20 to 30 A·GeV (the ’horn’) is missed by ~ 40%. Also, at energies above ~5 A·GeV, the measured K± mT-spectra have a larger inverse slope than expected from the models. Thus the pressure generated by hadronic interactions in the transport models at high energies is too low. This finding suggests that the additional pressure - as expected from lattice QCD at finite quark chemical potential and temperature - might be generated by strong interactions in the early pre-hadronic/partonic phase of central heavy-ion collisions. Finally, we discuss the emergence of density perturbations in a first-order phase transition and why they might affect relative hadron multiplicities, collective flow, and hadron mean-free paths at decoupling. A minimum in the collective flow v2 excitation function was discovered experimentally at 40 A·GeV - such a behavior has been predicted long ago as signature for a first order phase transition.

- Hydrodynamics near a chiral critical point (2003)
- We introduce a model for the real-time evolution of a relativistic fluid of quarks coupled to non-equilibrium dynamics of the long wavelength (classical) modes of the chiral condensate. We solve the equations of motion numerically in 3+1 spacetime dimensions. Starting the evolution at high temperature in the symmetric phase, we study dynamical trajectories that either cross the line of first-order phase transitions or evolve through its critical endpoint. For those cases, we predict the behavior of the azimuthal momentum asymmetry for highenergy heavy-ion collisions at nonzero impact parameter.

- Hydrodynamic models for heavy ion collisions, and beyond (2001)
- A generic property of a first-order phase transition in equilibrium, and in the limit of large entropy per unit of conserved charge, is the smallness of the isentropic speed of sound in the mixed phase . A specific prediction is that this should lead to a non-isotropic momentum distribution of nucleons in the reaction plane (for energies < 40A GeV in our model calculation). On the other hand, we show that from present effective theories for low-energy QCD one does not expect the thermal transition rate between various states of the effective potential to be much larger than the expansion rate, questioning the applicability of the idealized Maxwell/Gibbs construction. Experimental data could soon provide essential information on the dynamics of the phase transition.

- Nuclear broadening effects on hard prompt photons at relativistic energies (2001)
- We calculate prompt photon production in high-energy nuclear collisions. We focus on the broadening of the intrinsic transverse momenta of the partons in the initial state from nuclear e ects, and their influence on the prompt photon pt distribution. Comparing to WA98 data from Pb+Pb collisions at s = 17.4A GeV we find evidence for the presence of nuclear broadening at high pt in this hard process. Below pt < 2.7 GeV the photon distribution is due to small momentum transfer processes. At RHIC energy, s = 200A GeV, the e ect of intrinsic transverse momentum on the spectrum of prompt photons is less prominent. The region pt = 3 4 GeV would be the most promising for studying the nuclear broadening effects at that energy. Below pt = 2 3 GeV the contribution from large momentum transfers flattens out, and we expect that region to be dominated by soft contributions.

- Nuclear broadening effects on hard prompt photons at CERN-SPS and BNL-RHIC energies (2001)
- We calculate prompt photon production in high-energy nuclear collisions. We focus on the broadening of the intrinsic transverse momenta of the partons in the initial state from nuclear effects, and their influence on the prompt photon pt distribution. Comparing to WA98 data from Pb+Pb collisions at s = 17.4A GeV we find evidence for the presence of nuclear broadening at high pt in this hard process. Below pt < 2.7 GeV the photon distribution is due to small momentum transfer processes. At RHIC energy, s = 200A GeV, the e ect of intrinsic transverse momentum on the spectrum of prompt photons is less prominent. The region pt = 3 4 GeV would be the most promising for studying the nuclear broadening e ects at that energy. Below pt = 2 3 GeV the contribution from large momentum transfers flattens out, and we expect that region to be dominated by soft contributions.

- Pion interferometry at RHIC: probing a thermalized quark-gluon-plasma? (2001)
- We calculate the Gaussian radius parameters of the pion-emitting source in high energy heavy ion collisions, assuming a first order phase transition from a thermalized Quark-Gluon-Plasma (QGP) to a gas of hadrons. Such a model leads to a very long-lived dissipative hadronic rescattering phase which dominates the properties of the two-pion correlation functions. The radii are found to depend only weakly on the thermalization time tau i, the critical temperature T c (and thus the latent heat), and the specific entropy of the QGP. The dissipative hadronic stage enforces large variations of the pion emission times around the mean. Therefore, the model calculations suggest a rapid increase of R out/R side as a function of K T if a thermalized QGP were formed.

- The directed flow maximum near c(s) = 0 (2000)
- We investigate the excitation function of quark-gluon plasma formation and of directed in-plane flow of nucleons in the energy range of the BNLAGS and for the Ekin Lab = 40A GeV Pb+Pb collisions performed recently at the CERN-SPS. We employ the three-fluid model with dynamical unification of kinetically equilibrated fluid elements. Within our model with first-order phase transition at high density, droplets of QGP coexisting with hadronic matter are produced already at BNL-AGS energies, Ekin Lab C 10A GeV. A substantial decrease of the isentropic velocity of sound, however, requires higher energies, Ekin Lab C 40A GeV. We show the e ect on the flow of nucleons in the reaction plane. According to our model calculations, kinematic requirements and EoS effects work hand-in-hand at Ekin Lab = 40A GeV to allow the observation of the dropping velocity of sound via an increase of the directed flow around midrapidity as compared to top BNL-AGS energy.