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In this work we present a study of the influence of nucleus initializations on the event-by-event elliptic flow coefficient, v2. In most Monte-Carlo models, the initial positions of the nucleons in a nucleus are completely uncorrelated, which can lead to very high density regions. In a simple, yet more realistic model where overlapping of the nucleons is avoided, fluctuations in the initial conditions are reduced. However, v2 distributions are not very sensitive to the initialization choice.

The influence of high and low energy hadronic models on lateral distribution functions of cosmic ray air showers for Auger energies is explored. A large variety of presently used high and low energy hadron interaction models are analysed and the resulting lateral distribution functions are compared. We show that the slope depends on both the high and low energy hadronic model used. The models are confronted with available hadron-nucleus data from accelerator experiments.

A novel mechanism of H0 and strangelet production in hadronic interactions within the Gribov-Regge approach is presented. In contrast to traditional distillation approaches, here the production of multiple (strange) quark bags does not require large baryon densities or a QGP. The production cross section increases with center of mass energy. Rapidity and transverse momentum distributions of the H 0 are predicted for pp collisions at E_lab = 160 AGeV (SPS) and \sqrt s = 200 AGeV (RHIC). The predicted total H 0 multiplicities are of order of the Omega-baryon yield and can be accessed by the NA49 and the STAR experiments.

The SENECA model, a new hybrid approach to air shower simulations, is presented. It combines the use of efficient cascade equations in the energy range where a shower can be treated as one-dimensional, with a traditional Monte Carlo method which traces individual particles. This allows one to reproduce natural fluctuations of individual showers as well as the lateral spread of low energy particles. The model is quite efficient in computation time. As an application of the new approach, the influence of the low energy hadronic models on shower properties for AUGER energies is studied. We conclude that these models have a significant impact on the tails of lateral distribution functions, and deserve therefore more attention.

We discuss that hadron-induced atmospheric air showers from ultra-high energy cosmic rays are sensitive to QCD interactions at very small momentum fractions x where nonlinear effects should become important. The leading partons from the projectile acquire large random transverse momenta as they pass through the strong field of the target nucleus, which breaks up their coherence. This leads to a steeper x_F-distribution of leading hadrons as compared to low energy collisions, which in turn reduces the position of the shower maximum Xmax. We argue that high-energy hadronic interaction models should account for this effect, caused by the approach to the black-body limit, which may shift fits of the composition of the cosmic ray spectrum near the GZK cutoff towards lighter elements. We further show that present data on Xmax(E) exclude that the rapid ~ 1/x^0.3 growth of the saturation boundary (which is compatible with RHIC and HERA data) persists up to GZK cutoff energies. Measurements of pA collisions at LHC could further test the small-x regime and advance our understanding of high density QCD significantly.

We developed a Monte Carlo event generator for production of nucleon configurations in complex nuclei consistently including effects of nucleon–nucleon (NN) correlations. Our approach is based on the Metropolis search for configurations satisfying essential constraints imposed by short- and long-range NN correlations, guided by the findings of realistic calculations of one- and two-body densities for medium-heavy nuclei. The produced event generator can be used for Monte Carlo (MC) studies of pA and AA collisions. We perform several tests of consistency of the code and comparison with previous models, in the case of high energy proton–nucleus scattering on an event-by-event basis, using nucleus configurations produced by our code and Glauber multiple scattering theory both for the uncorrelated and the correlated configurations; fluctuations of the average number of collisions are shown to be affected considerably by the introduction of NN correlations in the target nucleus. We also use the generator to estimate maximal possible gluon nuclear shadowing in a simple geometric model.

Gravitational radiation from ultra high energy cosmic rays in models with large extra dimensions
(2006)

The effects of classical gravitational radiation in models with large extra dimensions are investigated for ultra high energy cosmic rays (CRs). The cross sections are implemented into a simulation package (SENECA) for high energy hadron induced CR air showers. We predict that gravitational radiation from quasi-elastic scattering could be observed at incident CR energies above 10^9 GeV for a setting with more than two extra dimensions. It is further shown that this gravitational energy loss can alter the energy reconstruction for CR energies E_CR > 5 10^9 GeV.