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#### Keywords

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#### Institute

- 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.

- Charmed signatures for phase transitions in heavy-ion collisions (2007)
- The interplay of charmonium production and suppression in In+In and Pb+Pb reactions at 158 AGeV and in Au+Au reactions at sqrt(s)=200 GeV is investigated with the HSD transport approach within the hadronic comover model' and the QGP melting scenario'. The results for the J/Psi suppression and the Psi' to J/Psi ratio are compared to the recent data of the NA50, NA60, and PHENIX Collaborations. We find that, at 158 AGeV, the comover absorption model performs better than the scenario of abrupt threshold melting. However, neither interaction with hadrons alone nor simple color screening satisfactory describes the data at sqrt(s)=200 GeV. A deconfined phase is clearly reached at RHIC, but a theory having the relevant degrees of freedom in this regime (strongly interacting quarks/gluons) is needed to study its transport properties.

- Dynamical equilibration in strongly-interacting parton-hadron matter (2011)
- We study the kinetic and chemical equilibration in 'infinite' parton-hadron matter within the Parton-Hadron-String Dynamics transport approach, which is based on a dynamical quasiparticle model for partons matched to reproduce lattice-QCD results – including the partonic equation of state – in thermodynamic equilibrium. The 'infinite' matter is simulated within a cubic box with periodic boundary conditions initialized at different baryon density (or chemical potential) and energy density. The transition from initially pure partonic matter to hadronic degrees of freedom (or vice versa) occurs dynamically by interactions. Different thermody-namical distributions of the strongly-interacting quark-gluon plasma (sQGP) are addressed and discussed.

- Strongly interacting parton-hadron matter in- and out-off equilibrium (2014)
- We study the equilibrium properties of strongly-interacting infinite parton-hadron matter, characterized by the transport coefficients such as shear and bulk viscosity and electric conductivity, and the non-equilibrium dynamics of heavy-ion collisions within the Parton-Hadron-String Dynamics (PHSD) transport approach, which incorporates explicit partonic degrees of freedom in terms of strongly interacting quasiparticles (quarks and gluons) in line with an equation of state from lattice QCD as well as the dynamical hadronization and hadronic collision dynamics in the final reaction phase. We discuss in particular the possible origin for the strong elliptic flow v2 of direct photons observed at RHIC energies.