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A new chiral SU(3) Lagrangian is proposed to describe the properties of kaons and antikaons in the nuclear medium, the ground state of dense matter and the kaon-nuclear interactions consistently. The saturation properties of nuclear matter are reproduced as well as the results of the Dirac-Brückner theory. After taking into account the coupling between the omega meson and the kaon, we obtain similar results for the e ective kaon and antikaon energies as calculated in the one-boson-exchange model while in our model the parameters of the kaon-nuclear interactions are constrained by the SU(3) chiral symmetry. PACS number(s): 14.40.Aq, 12.39.Fe, 21.30.Fe

A new chiral SU(3) Lagrangian is proposed to describe the properties of kaons and anti-kaons in the nuclear medium. The saturation properties of nuclear matter are reproduced as well as the results of the Dirac-Brückner theory. After introducing the coupling between the omega meson and the kaon, our results for e ective kaon and anti-kaon energy are quite similar as calculated in the one-boson-exchange model.

Nonequilibrium models (three-fluid hydrodynamics, UrQMD, and quark molecular dynamics) are used to discuss the uniqueness of often proposed experimental signatures for quark matter formation in relativistic heavy ion collisions from the SPS via RHIC to LHC. It is demonstrated that these models - although they do treat the most interesting early phase of the collisions quite differently (thermalizing QGP vs. coherent color fields with virtual particles) -- all yield a reasonable agreement with a large variety of the available heavy ion data. Hadron/hyperon yields, including J/Psi meson production/suppression, strange matter formation, dileptons, and directed flow (bounce-off and squeeze-out) are investigated. Observations of interesting phenomena in dense matter are reported. However, we emphasize the need for systematic future measurements to search for simultaneous irregularities in the excitation functions of several observables in order to come close to pinning the properties of hot, dense QCD matter from data. The role of future experiments with the STAR and ALICE detectors is pointed out.

Abstract: The medium modification of kaon and antikaon masses, compatible with low energy KN scattering data, are studied in a chiral SU(3) model. The mutual interactions with baryons in hot hadronic matter and the e ects from the baryonic Dirac sea on the K( ¯K ) masses are examined. The in-medium masses from the chiral SU(3) e ective model are compared to those from chiral perturbation theory. Furthermore, the influence of these in-medium e ects on kaon rapidity distributions and transverse energy spectra as well as the K, ¯K flow pattern in heavy-ion collision experiments at 1.5 to 2 A·GeV are investigated within the HSD transport approach. Detailed predictions on the transverse momentum and rapidity dependence of directed flow v1 and the elliptic flow v2 are provided for Ni+Ni at 1.93 A·GeV within the various models, that can be used to determine the in-medium K± properties from the experimental side in the near future.

We evaluate the in-medium D and -meson masses in hot hadronic matter induced by interactions with the light hadron sector described in a chiral SU(3) model. The e ective Lagrangian approach is generalized to SU(4) to include charmed mesons. We find that the D-mass drops substantially at finite temperatures and densities, which open the channels of the decay of the charmonium states ( 2, c, J/ ) to D pairs in the thermal medium. The e ects of vacuum polarisations from the baryon sector on the medium modification of the D-meson mass relative to those obtained in the mean field approximation are investigated. The results of the present work are compared to calculations based on the QCD sum-rule approach, the quark-meson coupling model, chiral perturbation theory, as well as to studies of quarkonium dissociation using heavy quark potential from lattice QCD.

Nuclei can be described satisfactorily in a nonlinear chiral SU(3)-framework, even with standard potentials of the linearmodel. The condensate value of the strange scalar meson is found to be important for the properties of nuclei even without adding hyperons. By neglecting terms which couple the strange to the nonstrange condensate one can reduce the model to a Walecka model structure embedded in SU(3). We discuss inherent problems with chiral SU(3) models regarding hyperon optical potentials.

A generalized Lagrangian for the description of hadronic matter based on the linear SU(3)L × SU(3)R -model is proposed. Besides the baryon octet, the spin-0 and spin-1 nonets, a gluon condensate associated with broken scale invariance is incorporated. The observed values for the vacuum masses of the baryons and mesons are reproduced. In mean-field approximation, vector and scalar interactions yield a saturating nuclear equation of state. We discuss the di culties and possibilities to construct a chiral invariant baryon-meson interaction that leads to a realistic equation of state. It is found that a coupling of the strange condensate to nucleons is needed to describe the hyperon potentials correctly. The effective baryon masses and the appearance of an abnormal phase of nearly massless nucleons at high densities are examined. A nonlinear realization of chiral symmetry is considered, to retain a Yukawa-type baryon-meson interaction and to establish a connection to the Walecka-model.

The measured particle ratios in central heavy-ion collisions at RHIC-BNL are investigated within a chemical and thermal equilibrium chiral SU(3) theta - omega approach. The commonly adopted noninteracting gas calculations yield temperatures close to or above the critical temperature for the chiral phase transition, but without taking into account any interactions. Contrary, the chiral SU(3) model predicts temperature and density dependent e ective hadron masses and e ective chemical potentials in the medium and a transition to a chirally restored phase at high temperatures or chemical potentials. Three di erent parametrizations of the model, which show di erent types of phase transition behaviour, are investigated. We show that if a chiral phase transition occured in those collisions, freezing of the relative hadron abundances in the symmetric phase is excluded by the data. Therefore, either very rapid chemical equilibration must occur in the broken phase, or the measured hadron ratios are the outcome of the dynamical symmetry breaking. Furthermore, the extracted chemical freeze-out parameters di er considerably from those obtained in simple noninteracting gas calculations. In particular, the three models yield up to 35 MeV lower temperatures than the free gas approximation. The in-medium masses turn out di er up to 150 MeV from their vacuum values.