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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.

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.

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.

Relativistic hadron-hadron collisions in the ultra-relativistic quantum molecular dynamics model
(1999)

Hadron-hadron collisions at high energies are investigated in the Ultra- relativistic-Quantum-Molecular-Dynamics approach. This microscopic trans- port model describes the phenomenology of hadronic interactions at low and intermediate energies ( s < 5 GeV) in terms of interactions between known hadrons and their resonances. At higher energies, s > 5 GeV, the excitation of color strings and their subsequent fragmentation into hadrons dominates the multiple production of particles in the UrQMD model. The model shows a fair overall agreement with a large body of experimental h-h data over a wide range of h-h center-of-mass energies. Hadronic reaction data with higher precision would be useful to support the use of the UrQMD model for relativistic heavy ion collisions.

Homogeneous nucleation of quark gluon plasma, finite size effects and longlived metastable objects
(1998)

The general formalism of homogeneous nucleation theory is applied to study the hadronization pattern of the ultra-relativistic quark-gluon plasma (QGP) undergoing a first order phase transition. A coalescence model is proposed to describe the evolution dynamics of hadronic clusters produced in the nucle- ation process. The size distribution of the nucleated clusters is important for the description of the plasma conversion. The model is most sensitive to the initial conditions of the QGP thermalization, time evolution of the energy den- sity, and the interfacial energy of the plasma hadronic matter interface. The rapidly expanding QGP is first supercooled by about T = T Tc = 4 6%. Then it reheats again up to the critical temperature Tc. Finally it breaks up into hadronic clusters and small droplets of plasma. This fast dynamics occurs within the first 5 10 fm/c. The finite size e ects and fluctuations near the critical temperature are studied. It is shown that a drop of longitudinally expanding QGP of the transverse radius below 4.5 fm can display a long-lived metastability. However, both in the rapid and in the delayed hadronization scenario, the bulk pion yield is emitted by sources as large as 3 4.5 fm. This may be detected experimentally both by a HBT interferometry signal and by the analysis of the rapidity distributions of particles in narrow pT -intervals at small |pT | on an event-by-event basis. PACS numbers: 12.38.Mh, 24.10.Pa, 25.75.-q, 64.60.Qb

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 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.

Noneequilibrium models (three-fluid hydrodynamics and UrQMD) use to discuss the uniqueness of often proposed experimental signatures for quark matter formation in relativistic heavy ion collisions. It is demonstrated that these two models - although they do treat the most interesting early phase of the collisions quite differently(thermalizing QGP vs. coherent color fields with virtual particles) - both yields a reasonable agreement with a large variety of the available heavy ion data.

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.

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.