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REVTEX, 27 pages incl. 10 figures and 3 tables; Phys. Rev. C (in press) Journal-ref: Phys.Rev. C62 (2000) 064906. We study the local equilibrium in the central V = 125 fm3 cell in heavy-ion collisions at energies from 10.7 A GeV (AGS) to 160 A GeV (SPS) calculated in the microscopic transport model. In the present paper the hadron yields and energy spectra in the cell are compared with those of infinite nuclear matter, as calculated within the same model. The agreement between the spectra in the two systems is established for times t >= 10 fm/c in the central cell. The cell results do not deviate noticeably from the infinite matter calculations with rising incident energy, in contrast to the apparent discrepancy with predictions of the statistical model (SM) of an ideal hadron gas. The entropy of this state is found to be very close to the maximum entropy, while hadron abundances and energy spectra differ significantly from those of the SM.

We analyze the hadronic freeze-out in ultra-relativistic heavy ion collisions at RHIC in a transport approach which combines hydrodynamics for the early, dense, deconfined stage of the reaction with a microscopic non-equilibrium model for the later hadronic stage at which the hydrodynamic equilibrium assumptions are not valid. With this ansatz we are able to self-consistently calculate the freeze-out of the system and determine space-time hypersurfaces for individual hadron species. The space-time domains of the freeze-out for several hadron species are found to be actually four-dimensional, and di er drastically for the individual hadrons species. Freeze-out radii distributions are similar in width for most hadron species, even though the is found to be emitted rather close to the phase boundary and shows the smallest freeze- out radii and times among all baryon species. The total lifetime of the system does not change by more than 10% when going from SPS to RHIC energies.

We discuss a model for the space-time evolution of ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions which employs relativistic hydrodynamics within one region of the forward light-cone, and microscopic transport theory (i.e. UrQMD) in the complement. Our initial condition consists of a quark-gluon plasma which expands hydrodynamically and hadronizes. After hadronization the solution eventually changes from expansion in local equilibrium to free streaming, as determined selfconsistently by the interaction rates between the hadrons and the local expansion rate. We show that in such a scenario the inverse slopes of the mT -spectra of multiple strange baryons ( Xi,Omega) are practically una ected by the purely hadronic stage of the reaction, while the flow of p's and Lambda's increases. Moreover, we find that the rather soft transverse expansion at RHIC energies (due to a first-order phase transition) is not washed out by strong rescattering in the hadronic stage. The earlier kinetic freeze-out as compared to SPS-energies results in similar inverse slopes (of the mT -spectra of the hadrons in the final state) at RHIC and SPS energies.

We investigate hadron production as well as transverse hadron spectra from proton-proton, proton-nucleus and nucleus-nucleus collisions from 2 A·GeV to 21.3 A·TeV within two independent transport approaches (HSD and UrQMD) that are based on quark, diquark, string and hadronic degrees of freedom. The comparison to experimental data on transverse mass spectra from pp, pA and C+C (or Si+Si) reactions shows the reliability of the transport models for light systems. For central Au+Au (Pb+Pb) collisions at bombarding energies above ~5 A·GeV, furthermore, the measured K± transverse mass spectra have a larger inverse slope parameter than expected from the default calculations. We investigate various scenarios to explore their potential effects on the K± spectra. In particular the initial state Cronin effect is found to play a substantial role at top SPS and RHIC energies. However, the maximum in the K+/..+ ratio at 20 to 30 A·GeV is missed by 40% and the approximately constant slope of the K± spectra at SPS energies is not reproduced either. Our systematic analysis suggests that the additional pressure - as expected from lattice QCD calculations at finite quark chemical potential µq and temperature T- should be generated by strong interactions in the early pre-hadronic/partonic phase of central Au+Au (Pb+Pb) collisions.

We calculate the kaon HBT radius parameters for high energy heavy ion collisions, assuming a first order phase transition from a thermalized Quark-Gluon-Plasma to a gas of hadrons. At high transverse momenta K_T ~ 1 GeV/c direct emission from the phase boundary becomes important, the emission duration signal, i.e., the R_out/R_side ratio, and its sensitivity to T_c (and thus to the latent heat of the phase transition) are enlarged. Moreover, the QGP+hadronic rescattering transport model calculations do not yield unusual large radii (R_i<9fm). Finite momentum resolution effects have a strong impact on the extracted HBT parameters (R_i and lambda) as well as on the ratio R_out/R_side.

We make predictions for the kaon interferometry measurements in Au+Au collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). A first order phase transition from a thermalized Quark-Gluon-Plasma (QGP) to a gas of hadrons is assumed for the transport calculations. The fraction of kaons that are directly emitted from the phase boundary is considerably enhanced at large transverse momenta K T ~ 1 GeV/c. In this kinematic region, the sensitivity of the R out/R side ratio to the QGP-properties is enlarged. Here, the results of the 1-dimensional correlation analysis are presented. The extracted interferometry radii, depending on K-Theta, are not unusually large and are strongly affected by momentum resolution effects.

We present calculations of two-pion and two-kaon correlation functions in relativistic heavy ion collisions from a relativistic transport model that includes explicitly a first-order phase transition from a thermalized quark-gluon plasma to a hadron gas. We compare the obtained correlation radii with recent data from RHIC. The predicted R_side radii agree with data while the R_out and R_long radii are overestimated. We also address the impact of in-medium modifications, for example, a broadening of the rho-meson, on the correlation radii. In particular, the longitudinal correlation radius R_long is reduced, improving the comparison to data.

We compute bremsstrahlung arising from the acceleration of individual charged baryons and mesons during the time evolution of high-energy Au+Au collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider using a microscopic transport model. We elucidate the connection between bremsstrahlung and charge stop- ping by colliding artificial pure proton on pure neutron nuclei. From the inten- sity of low energy bremsstrahlung, the time scale and the degree of stopping could be accurately extracted without measuring any hadronic observables. PACS: 25.75.-q, 13.85.Qk