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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.

The behavior of hadronic matter at high baryon densities is studied within Ultrarelativistic Quantum Molecular Dynamics (URQMD). Baryonic stopping is observed for Au+Au collisions from SIS up to SPS energies. The excitation function of flow shows strong sensitivities to the underlying equation of state (EOS), allowing for systematic studies of the EOS. Dilepton spectra are calculated with and without shifting the rho pole. Except for S+Au collisions our calculations reproduce the CERES data.

The behavior of hadronic matter at high baryon densities is studied within Ultrarelativistic Quantum Molecular Dynamics (URQMD). Baryonic stopping is observed for Au+Au collisions from SIS up to SPS energies. The excitation function of flow shows strong sensitivities to the underlying equation of state (EOS), allowing for systematic studies of the EOS. Effects of a density dependent pole of the rho-meson propagator on dilepton spectra are studied for different systems and centralities at CERN energies.

We study the thermodynamic properties of infinite nuclear matter with the Ultrarelativistic Quantum Molecular Dynamics (URQMD), a semiclassical transport model, running in a box with periodic boundary conditions. It appears that the energy density rises faster than T4 at high temperatures of T approx. 200 - 300 MeV. This indicates an increase in the number of degrees of freedom. Moreover, We have calculated direct photon production in Pb+Pb collisions at 160 GeV/u within this model. The direct photon slope from the microscopic calculation equals that from a hydrodynamical calculation without a phase transition in the equation of state of the photon source.

The microscopic phasespace approach URQMD is used to investigate the stopping power and particle production in heavy systems at SPS and RHIC energies. We find no gap in the baryon rapidity distribution even at RHIC. For CERN energies URQMD shows a pile up of baryons and a supression of multi-nucleon clusters at midrapidity.

Dilepton spectra for p+p and p+d reactions at 4.9GeV are calculated. We consider electromagnetic bremsstrahlung also in inelastic reactions. N* and Delta* decay present the major contributions to the pho and omega meson yields.Pion annihilation yields only 1.5% of all pho's in p+d. The pho mass spectrum is strongly distorted due to phase space effects, populating dominantly dilepton masses below 770MeV.

We study dilepton production from a quark-gluon plasma of given energy density at finite quark chemical potential μ and find that the dilepton production rate is a strongly decreasing function of μ. Therefore, the signal to background ratio of dileptons from a plasma created in a heavy-ion collision may decrease significantly.