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- Nanolesions induced by heavy ions in human tissues: experimental and theoretical studies (2012)
- The biological effects of energetic heavy ions are attracting increasing interest for their applications in cancer therapy and protection against space radiation. The cascade of events leading to cell death or late effects starts from stochastic energy deposition on the nanometer scale and the corresponding lesions in biological molecules, primarily DNA. We have developed experimental techniques to visualize DNA nanolesions induced by heavy ions. Nanolesions appear in cells as “streaks” which can be visualized by using different DNA repair markers. We have studied the kinetics of repair of these “streaks” also with respect to the chromatin conformation. Initial steps in the modeling of the energy deposition patterns at the micrometer and nanometer scale were made with MCHIT and TRAX models, respectively.

- Coulomb effects on electromagnetic pair production in ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions (1999)
- We calculate the asymptotic high-energy amplitude for electrons scattering at one ion, as well as at two colliding ions, by means of perturbation theory. We show that the interaction with one ion eikonalizes and that the interaction with two ions causally decouples. We are able to put previous results on perturbative grounds and propose further applications for the obtained rules for interactions on the light cone. We discuss the implications of the eikonal amplitude on the pair production probability in ultrarelativistic peripheral heavy-ion collisions. In this context the Weizsäcker-Williams method is shown to be exact in the ultrarelativistic limit, irrespective of the produced particles’ mass. A new equivalent single-photon distribution is derived, which correctly accounts for Coulomb distortions. The impact on single-photon induced processes is discussed.

- Structure of the vacuum in nuclear matter: a nonperturbative approach (1997)
- We compute the vacuum polarization correction to the binding energy of nuclear matter in the Walecka model using a nonperturbative approach. We first study such a contribution as arising from a ground-state structure with baryon-antibaryon condensates. This yields the same results as obtained through the relativistic Hartree approximation of summing tadpole diagrams for the baryon propagator. Such a vacuum is then generalized to include quantum effects from meson fields through scalar-meson condensates which amounts to summing over a class of multiloop diagrams. The method is applied to study properties of nuclear matter and leads to a softer equation of state giving a lower value of the incompressibility than would be reached without quantum effects. The density-dependent effective sigma mass is also calculated including such vacuum polarization effects.

- Hybrid approaches to heavy ion collisions and future perspectives (2011)
- We present the current status of hybrid approaches to describe heavy ion collisions and their future challenges and perspectives. First we present a hybrid model combining a Boltzmann transport model of hadronic degrees of freedom in the initial and final state with an optional hydrodynamic evolution during the dense and hot phase. Second, we present a recent extension of the hydrodynamical model to include fluctuations near the phase transition by coupling a chiral field to the hydrodynamic evolution.

- Particle ratios from AGS to RHIC in an interacting hadronic model (2004)
- Abstract: The measured particle ratios in central heavy-ion collisions at RHIC-BNL are investigated within a chemical and thermal equilibrium chiral SU(3) Ã É approach. The commonly adopted non-interacting gas calculations yield temperatures close to or above the critical temperature for the chiral phase transition, but without taking into account any interactions. In contrast, the chiral SU(3) model predicts temperature and density dependent effective hadron masses and effective chemical potentials in the medium and a transition to a chirally restored phase at high temperatures or chemical potentials. Three different parametrizations of the model, which show different types of phase transition behaviour, are investigated. We show that if a chiral phase transition occured in those collisions, freezing of the relative hadron abundances in the symmetric phase is excluded by the data. Therefore, either very rapid chemical equilibration must occur in the broken phase, or the measured hadron ratios are the outcome of the dynamical symmetry breaking. Furthermore, the extracted chemical freeze-out parameters differ considerably from those obtained in simple non-interacting gas calculations. In particular, the three models yield up to 35 MeV lower temperatures than the free gas approximation. The inmedium masses turn out to differ up to 150 MeV from their vacuum values.