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Several observables of unbound nucleons which are to some extent sensitive to the medium modifications of nucleon-nucleon elastic cross sections in neutron-rich intermediate energy heavy ion collisions are investigated. The splitting effect of neutron and proton effective masses on cross sections is discussed. It is found that the transverse flow as a function of rapidity, the Q_zz as a function of momentum, and the ratio of halfwidths of the transverse to that of longitudinal rapidity distribution R_t/l are very sensitive to the medium modifications of the cross sections. The transverse momentum distribution of correlation functions of two-nucleons does not yield information on the in-medium cross section.

The influence of the isospin-independent, isospin- and momentum-dependent equation of state (EoS), as well as the Coulomb interaction on the pion production in intermediate energy heavy ion collisions (HICs) is studied for both isospin-symmetric and neutron-rich systems. The Coulomb interaction plays an important role in the reaction dynamics, and strongly influences the rapidity and transverse momentum distributions of charged pions. It even leads to the pi- pi+ ratio deviating slightly from unity for isospin-symmetric systems. The Coulomb interaction between mesons and baryons is also crucial for reproducing the proper pion flow since it changes the behavior of the directed and the elliptic flow components of pions visibly. The EoS can be better investigated in neutron-rich system if multiple probes are measured simultaneously. For example, the rapidity and the transverse momentum distributions of the charged pions, the pi- pi+ ratio, the various pion flow components, as well as the difference of pi+-pi- flows. A new sensitive observable is proposed to probe the symmetry potential energy at high densities, namely the transverse momentum distribution of the elliptic flow difference [Delta v_2^pi+ - pi-(p_t rm c.m.].

Probing the density dependence of the symmetry potential in intermediate energy heavy ion collisions
(2005)

Based on the ultrarelativistic quantum molecular dynamics (UrQMD) model, the effects of the density-dependent symmetry potential for baryons and of the Coulomb potential for produced mesons are investigated for neutron-rich heavy ion collisions at intermediate energies. The calculated results of the Delta-/Delta++ and pi -/pi + production ratios show a clear beam-energy dependence on the density-dependent symmetry potential, which is stronger for the pi -/pi + ratio close to the pion production threshold. The Coulomb potential of the mesons changes the transverse momentum distribution of the pi -/pi + ratio significantly, though it alters only slightly the pi- and pi+ total yields. The pi- yields, especially at midrapidity or at low transverse momenta and the p-/pi+ ratios at low transverse momenta, are shown to be sensitive probes of the density-dependent symmetry potential in dense nuclear matter. The effect of the density-dependent symmetry potential on the production of both, K0 and K+ mesons, is also investigated.

We investigate the sensitivity of several observables to the density dependence of the symmetry potential within the microscopic transport model UrQMD (ultrarelativistic quantum molecular dynamics model). The same systems are used to probe the symmetry potential at both low and high densities. The influence of the symmetry potentials on the yields of pi-, pi+, the pi-/pi+ ratio, the n/p ratio of free nucleons and the t/3He ratio are studied for neutron-rich heavy ion collisions (208Pb+208Pb, 132Sn+124Sn, 96Zr+96Zr) at E_b=0.4A GeV. We find that these multiple probes provides comprehensive information on the density dependence of the symmetry potential.

To be published in J. Phys. G - Proceedings of SQM 2004 : We review the results from the various hydrodynamical and transport models on the collective flow observables from AGS to RHIC energies. A critical discussion of the present status of the CERN experiments on hadron collective flow is given. We emphasize the importance of the flow excitation function from 1 to 50 A.GeV: here the hydrodynamic model has predicted the collapse of the v2-flow ~ 10 A.GeV; at 40 A.GeV it has been recently observed by the NA49 collaboration. Since hadronic rescattering models predict much larger flow than observed at this energy we interpret this observation as evidence for a first order phase transition at high baryon density r b. Moreover, the connection of the elliptic flow v2 to jet suppression is examined. It is proven experimentally that the collective flow is not faked by minijet fragmentation. Additionally, detailed transport studies show that the away-side jet suppression can only partially (< 50%) be due to hadronic rescattering. Furthermore, the change in sign of v1, v2 closer to beam rapidity is related to the occurence of a high density first order phase transition in the RHIC data at 62.5, 130 and 200 A.GeV.

We investigate the effects of strong color fields and of the associated enhanced intrinsic transverse momenta on the phi-meson production in ultrarelativistic heavy ion collisions at RHIC. The observed consequences include a change of the spectral slopes, varying particle ratios, and also modified mean transverse momenta. In particular, the composition of the production processes of phi-mesons, that is, direct production vs. coalescence-like production, depends strongly on the strength of the color fields and intrinsic transverse momenta and thus represents a sensitive probe for their measurement.

We investigate hadron production and transverse hadron spectra in nucleus-nucleus collisions from 2 A·GeV to 21.3 A·TeV within two independent transport approaches (UrQMD and HSD) based on quark, diquark, string and hadronic degrees of freedom. The enhancement of pion production in central Au+Au (Pb+Pb) collisions relative to scaled pp collisions (the ’kink’) is described well by both approaches without involving a phase transition. However, the maximum in the K+ p+ ratio at 20 to 30 A·GeV (the ’horn’) is missed by ~ 40%. Also, at energies above ~5 A·GeV, the measured K± mT-spectra have a larger inverse slope than expected from the models. Thus the pressure generated by hadronic interactions in the transport models at high energies is too low. This finding suggests that the additional pressure - as expected from lattice QCD at finite quark chemical potential and temperature - might be generated by strong interactions in the early pre-hadronic/partonic phase of central heavy-ion collisions. Finally, we discuss the emergence of density perturbations in a first-order phase transition and why they might affect relative hadron multiplicities, collective flow, and hadron mean-free paths at decoupling. A minimum in the collective flow v2 excitation function was discovered experimentally at 40 A·GeV - such a behavior has been predicted long ago as signature for a first order phase transition.

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.

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.

Invited talk at the 7th International Conference on Strangeness in Quark Matter, SQM 2003, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, USA, 12-17 Mar, 2003. 11 pages, 12 figures. Journal-ref: J.Phys. G30 (2004) S139-S150. We review recent developments in the field of microscopic transport model calculations for ultrarelativistic heavy ion collisions. In particular, we focus on the strangeness production, for example, the phi-meson and its role as a messenger of the early phase of the system evolution. Moreover, we discuss the important e ects of the (soft) field properties on the multiparticle system. We outline some current problems of the models as well as possible solutions to them