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The relaxation of hot nuclear matter to an equilibrated state in the central zone of heavy-ion collisions at energies from AGS to RHIC is studied within the microscopic UrQMD model. It is found that the system reaches the (quasi)equilibrium stage for the period of 10-15 fm/c. Within this time the matter in the cell expands nearly isentropically with the entropy to baryon ratio S/A = 150 - 170. Thermodynamic characteristics of the system at AGS and at SPS energies at the endpoints of this stage are very close to the parameters of chemical and thermal freeze-out extracted from the thermal fit to experimental data. Predictions are made for the full RHIC energy square root s = 200$ AGeV. The formation of a resonance-rich state at RHIC energies is discussed.

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.

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

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.

We analyze the reaction dynamics of central Pb+Pb collisions at 160 GeV/nucleon. First we estimate the energy density pile-up at mid-rapidity and calculate its excitation function: The energy density is decomposed into hadronic and partonic contributions. A detailed analysis of the collision dynamics in the framework of a microscopic transport model shows the importance of partonic degrees of freedom and rescattering of leading (di)quarks in the early phase of the reaction for E >= 30 GeV/nucleon. The energy density reaches up to 4 GeV/fm 3, 95% of which are contained in partonic degrees of freedom. It is shown that cells of hadronic matter, after the early reaction phase, can be viewed as nearly chemically equilibrated. This matter never exceeds energy densities of 0.4 GeV/fm 3, i.e. a density above which the notion of separated hadrons loses its meaning. The final reaction stage is analyzed in terms of hadron ratios, freeze-out distributions and a source analysis for final state pions.

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.

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.