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- Modelling ultra-relativistic heavy ion collisions with the quark Molecular Dynamics qMD (2005)
- This thesis presents a model for the dynamical description of deconfined quark matter created in ultra-relativistic heavy ion collisions, treating quarks and antiquarks as classical point particles subject to a colour-dependent, Cornell-type potential interaction. The model provides a dynamical handle for hadronization via the recombination of quarks and antiquarks in colour neutral clusters. Gluons are not included explicitly in the model,but are described in an effective manner by the means of the potential interaction. The model includes four different quark flavours (up, down, strange and charm) and uses current masses for the quarks. The dynamical evolution of a system of colour charges subject to the Hamiltonian equations of motion of the model yields the formation of colour neutral clusters of quarks and antiquarks, which are subject only to a small remaining interaction, the strong interquark potential notwithstanding. These clusters can be mapped onto hadrons and hadronic resonances. Thus, the model allows a dynamical description of quarks degrees of freedom in heavy ion collisions, including a recombination scheme for hadronization. The thermal properties of the model turn pout to be very satisfying. The model shows a transition from a confining phase to a deconfined phase with rising temperature, going hand in hand with a softest point in the equation of state and a rise of energy density and pressure to the Stefan-Boltzmann limit of a gas of quarks and antiquarks. Moreover, the potential interaction is screened in the deconfined phase. For the dynamical description of ultra-relativistic heavy ion collision, the qMD model is coupled to UrQMD as a generator for its initial conditions. In this way, a fully dynamical description of the expansion and hadronization of the fireball created in such collisions can be achieved. Non-equilibrium aspects of the expansion dynamics and hadronization by recombination of quarks and antiquarks are discussed in detail, and a comparison with experimental data of collisions at the CERN-SPS is presented. The big advantage of the qMD model is the possibility to study cluster formation, including exotic clusters, and fluctuations in a dynamical manner. As an example, event-by-event fluctuations in electric charge are studied. Such fluctuations have been proposed as a clear criterion to distinguish a deconfined system from a hadrons gas. However, experimental data show hadron gas fluctuation measures even at RHIC, where deconfinement is taken for granted. We will see how the dynamics of quark recombination washes out the quark-gluon plasma signal in the fluctuation criterion. Moreover, we will discuss briefly the problem of entropy at recombination. In a second application, the formation of exotic hadronic clusters, larger than usual mesons and baryons, is studied. Such clusters could provide new measures for the thermalization and homogenization of a deconfined gas of colour charges. Moreover, number estimates for exotic clusters from recombination are considerably lower than corresponding predictions from thermal models, providing a clear difference between statistical hadronization and hadronization via quark recombination. A detailed analysis is provided for pentaquark candidates such as the Theta-Plus. It turns out that the distribution of exotic states over strangeness, isospin, and spin could provide a sensitive measure for thermalization and decorrelation in the deconfined quark phase, if it could be measured.