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- Global observables and secondary interactions in central Au+Au reactions at sqrt[s]=200A GeV (2000)
- The ultrarelativistic quantum molecular dynamics model (UrQMD) is used to study global observables in central reactions of Au+Au at sqrt[s]=200A GeV at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). Strong stopping governed by massive particle production is predicted if secondary interactions are taken into account. The underlying string dynamics and the early hadronic decoupling implies only small transverse expansion rates. However, rescattering with mesons is found to act as a source of pressure leading to additional flow of baryons and kaons, while cooling down pions.

- Current status of quark gluon plasma signals (2001)
- Compelling evidence for the creation of a new form of matter has been claimed to be found in Pb+Pb collisions at SPS. We discuss the uniqueness of often proposed experimental signatures for quark matter formation in relativistic heavy ion collisions. It is demonstrated that so far none of the proposed signals like J/psi meson production/suppression, strangeness enhancement, dileptons, and directed flow unambigiously show that a phase of deconfined matter has been formed in SPS Pb+Pb collisions. We emphasize the need for systematic future measurements to search for simultaneous irregularities in the excitation functions of several observables in order to come close to pinning the properties of hot, dense QCD matter from data.

- Equation of state of resonance-rich matter in the central cell in heavy-ion collisions at sqrt s =200 A GeV (2000)
- The equilibration of hot and dense nuclear matter produced in the central cell of central Au+Au collisions at RHIC (sqrt s = 200 A GeV) energies is studied within a microscopic transport model. The pressure in the cell becomes isotropic at t approx 5 fm/c after beginning of the collision. Within the next 15 fm/c the expansion of matter in the cell proceeds almost isentropically with the entropy per baryon ratio S/A approx 150, and the equation of state in the (P,epsilon) plane has a very simple form, P=0.15 epsilon. Comparison with the statistical model of an ideal hadron gas indicates that the time t approx 20 fm/c may be too short to reach the fully equilibrated state. Particularly, the creation of long-lived resonance-rich matter in the cell decelerates the relaxation to chemical equilibrium. This resonance-abundant state can be detected experimentally after the thermal freeze-out of particles.

- Local equilibrium in heavy ion collisions. Microscopic model versus statistical model analysis (1999)
- The assumption of local equilibrium in relativistic heavy ion collisions at energies from 10.7 AGeV (AGS) up to 160 AGeV (SPS) is checked in the microscopic transport model. Dynamical calculations performed for a central cell in the reaction are compared to the predictions of the thermal statistical model. We find that kinetic, thermal and chemical equilibration of the expanding hadronic matter are nearly approached late in central collisions at AGS energy for t >= 10 fm/c in a central cell. At these times the equation of state may be approximated by a simple dependence P ~= (0.12-0.15) epsilon. Increasing deviations of the yields and the energy spectra of hadrons from statistical model values are observed for increasing energy, 40 AGeV and 160 AGeV. These violations of local equilibrium indicate that a fully equilibrated state is not reached, not even in the central cell of heavy ion collisions at energies above 10 AGeV. The origin of these findings is traced to the multiparticle decays of strings and many-body decays of resonances.

- Probing the equation of state with pions (2005)
- The influence of the isospin-independent, isospin- and momentum-dependent equation of state (EoS), as well as the Coulomb interaction on the pion production in intermediate energy heavy ion collisions (HICs) is studied for both isospin-symmetric and neutron-rich systems. The Coulomb interaction plays an important role in the reaction dynamics, and strongly influences the rapidity and transverse momentum distributions of charged pions. It even leads to the pi- pi+ ratio deviating slightly from unity for isospin-symmetric systems. The Coulomb interaction between mesons and baryons is also crucial for reproducing the proper pion flow since it changes the behavior of the directed and the elliptic flow components of pions visibly. The EoS can be better investigated in neutron-rich system if multiple probes are measured simultaneously. For example, the rapidity and the transverse momentum distributions of the charged pions, the pi- pi+ ratio, the various pion flow components, as well as the difference of pi+-pi- flows. A new sensitive observable is proposed to probe the symmetry potential energy at high densities, namely the transverse momentum distribution of the elliptic flow difference [Delta v_2^pi+ - pi-(p_t rm c.m.].

- Probing the density dependence of the symmetry potential at low and high densities (2005)
- We investigate the sensitivity of several observables to the density dependence of the symmetry potential within the microscopic transport model UrQMD (ultrarelativistic quantum molecular dynamics model). The same systems are used to probe the symmetry potential at both low and high densities. The influence of the symmetry potentials on the yields of pi-, pi+, the pi-/pi+ ratio, the n/p ratio of free nucleons and the t/3He ratio are studied for neutron-rich heavy ion collisions (208Pb+208Pb, 132Sn+124Sn, 96Zr+96Zr) at E_b=0.4A GeV. We find that these multiple probes provides comprehensive information on the density dependence of the symmetry potential.

- 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.

- Enhanced strange particle yields : signal of a phase of massless particles? (2000)
- The yields of strange particles are calculated with the UrQMD model for p,Pb(158 AGeV)Pb collisions and compared to experimental data. The yields are enhanced in central collisions if compared to proton induced or peripheral Pb+Pb collisions. The enhancement is due to secondary interactions. Nevertheless, only a reduction of the quark masses or equivalently an increase of the string tension provides an adequate description of the large observed enhancement factors (WA97 and NA49). Furthermore, the yields of unstable strange resonances as the Lambda star(1520) resonance or the phi meson are considerably affected by hadronic rescattering of the decay products.

- Transition to resonance-rich matter in heavy ion collisions at RHIC energies (2000)
- The equilibration of hot and dense nuclear matter produced in the central region in central Au+Au collisions at square root s = 200A GeV is studied within the microscopic transport model UrQMD. The pressure here becomes isotropic at t approx 5 fm/c. Within the next 15 fm/c the expansion of the matter proceeds almost isentropically with the entropy per baryon ratio S/A approx 150. During this period the equation of state in the (P, epsilon)-plane has a very simple form, P = 0.15 epsilon. Comparison with the statistical model (SM) of an ideal hadron gas reveals that the time of approx 20 fm/c may be too short to attain the fully equilibrated state. Particularly, the fractions of resonances are overpopulated in contrast to the SM values. The creation of such a long-lived resonance-rich state slows down the relaxation to chemical equilibrium and can be detected experimentally.

- Enhanced antiproton production in Pb(160 AGeV)+Pb reactions: evidence for quark gluon matter? (2000)
- The centrality dependence of the antiproton per participant ratio is studied in Pb(160 AGeV)+Pb reactions. Antiproton production in collisions of heavy nuclei at the CERN/SPS seems considerably enhanced as compared to conventional hadronic physics, given by the antiproton production rates in pp and antiproton annihilation in p p reactions. This enhancement is consistent with the observation of strong in-medium effects in other hadronic observables and may be an indication of partial restoration of chiral symmetry.