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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.

The hypothesis of local equilibrium (LE) in relativistic heavy ion collisions at energies from AGS to RHIC is checked in the microscopic transport model. We find that kinetic, thermal, and chemical equilibration of the expanding hadronic matter is nearly reached in central collisions at AGS energy for t >_ 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 bombarding energies. The origin of these deviations is traced to the irreversible multiparticle decays of strings and many-body (N >_ 3) decays of resonances. The violations of LE indicate that the matter in the cell reaches a steady state instead of idealized equilibrium. The entropy density in the cell is only about 6% smaller than that of the equilibrium state.

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.

Abstract: Local thermal and chemical equilibration is studied for central AqA collisions at 10.7 160 AGeV in the Ultrarelativis- . tic Quantum Molecular Dynamics model UrQMD . The UrQMD model exhibits strong deviations from local equilibrium at the high density hadron string phase formed during the early stage of the collision. Equilibration of the hadron resonance matter is established in the central cell of volume Vs125 fm3 at later stages, tG10 fmrc, of the resulting quasi-isentropic expansion. The thermodynamical functions in the cell and their time evolution are presented. Deviations of the UrQMD quasi-equilibrium state from the statistical mechanics equilibrium are found. They increase with energy per baryon and lead to a strong enhancement of the pion number density as compared to statistical mechanics estimates at SPS energies. PACS: 25.75.-q; 24.10.Lx; 24.10.Pa; 64.30.qt

Quantum Molecular Dynamics (QMD) calculations of central collisions between heavy nuclei are used to study fragment production and the creation of collective flow. It is shown that the final phase space distributions are compatible with the expectations from a thermally equilibrated source, which in addition exhibits a collective transverse expansion. However, the microscopic analyses of the transient states in the intermediate reaction stages show that the event shapes are more complex and that equilibrium is reached only in very special cases but not in event samples which cover a wide range of impact parameters as it is the case in experiments. The basic features of a new molecular dynamics model (UQMD) for heavy ion collisions from the Fermi energy regime up to the highest presently available energies are outlined.

In this paper, the concepts of microscopic transport theory are introduced and the features and shortcomings of the most commonly used ansatzes are discussed. In particular, the Ultrarelativistic Quantum Molecular Dynamics (UrQMD) transport model is described in great detail. Based on the same principles as QMD and RQMD, it incorporates a vastly extended collision term with full baryon-antibaryon symmetry, 55 baryon and 32 meson species. Isospin is explicitly treated for all hadrons. The range of applicability stretches from E lab < 100$ MeV/nucleon up to E lab> 200$ GeV/nucleon, allowing for a consistent calculation of excitation functions from the intermediate energy domain up to ultrarelativistic energies. The main physics topics under discussion are stopping, particle production and collective flow.

Local kinetic and chemical equilibration is studied for Au+Au collisions at 10.7 AGeV in the microscopic Ultrarelativistic Quantum Molecular Dynamics model (UrQMD). The UrQMD model exhibits dramatic deviations from equilibrium during the high density phase of the collision. Thermal and chemical equilibration of the hadronic matter seems to be established in the later stages during a quasiisentropic expansion, observed in the central reaction cell with volume 125 fm3. For t > 10 fm/c the hadron energy spectra in the cell are nicely reproduced by Boltzmann distributions with a common rapidly dropping temperature. Hadron yields change drastically and at the late expansion stage follow closely those of an ideal gas statistical model. The equation of state seems to be simple at late times: P = 0.12 Epsilon. The time evolution of other thermodynamical variables in the cell is also presented.

Equilibrium properties of infinite relativistic hadron matter are investigated using the Ultrarelativistic Quantum Molecular Dynamics (UrQMD) model. The simulations are performed in a box with periodic boundary conditions. Equilibration times depend critically on energy and baryon densities. Energy spectra of various hadronic species are shown to be isotropic and consistent with a single temperature in equilibrium. The variation of energy density versus temperature shows a Hagedorn-like behavior with a limiting temperature of 130 +/- 10 MeV. Comparison of abundances of different particle species to ideal hadron gas model predictions show good agreement only if detailed balance is implemented for all channels. At low energy densities, high mass resonances are not relevant; however, their importance raises with increasing energy density. The relevance of these different conceptual frameworks for any interpretation of experimental data is questioned.

Thermodynamical variables and their time evolution are studied for central relativistic heavy ion collisions from 10.7 to 160 AGeV in the microscopic Ultrarelativistic Quantum Molecular Dynamics model (UrQMD). The UrQMD model exhibits drastic deviations from equilibrium during the early high density phase of the collision. Local thermal and chemical equilibration of the hadronic matter seems to be established only at later stages of the quasi-isentropic expansion in the central reaction cell with volume 125 fm 3. Baryon energy spectra in this cell are reproduced by Boltzmann distributions at all collision energies for t > 10 fm/c with a unique rapidly dropping temperature. At these times the equation of state has a simple form: P = (0.12 - 0.15) Epsilon. At SPS energies the strong deviation from chemical equilibrium is found for mesons, especially for pions, even at the late stage of the reaction. The final enhancement of pions is supported by experimental data.

Ratios of hadronic abundances are analyzed for pp and nucleus-nucleus collisions at sqrt(s)=20 GeV using the microscopic transport model UrQMD. Secondary interactions significantly change the primordial hadronic cocktail of the system. A comparison to data shows a strong dependence on rapidity. Without assuming thermal and chemical equilibrium, predicted hadron yields and ratios agree with many of the data, the few observed discrepancies are discussed.