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Compelling evidence for the creation of a new form of matter has been claimed to be found in Pb+Pb collisions at SPS. We discuss the uniqueness of often proposed experimental signatures for quark matter formation in relativistic heavy ion collisions. It is demonstrated that so far none of the proposed signals like J/psi meson production/suppression, strangeness enhancement, dileptons, and directed flow unambigiously show that a phase of deconfined matter has been formed in SPS Pb+Pb collisions. 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 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.

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 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 yields of strange particles are calculated with the UrQMD model for p,Pb(158 AGeV)Pb collisions and compared to experimental data. The yields are enhanced in central collisions if compared to proton induced or peripheral Pb+Pb collisions. The enhancement is due to secondary interactions. Nevertheless, only a reduction of the quark masses or equivalently an increase of the string tension provides an adequate description of the large observed enhancement factors (WA97 and NA49). Furthermore, the yields of unstable strange resonances as the Lambda star(1520) resonance or the phi meson are considerably affected by hadronic rescattering of the decay products.

We calculate the antibaryon-to-baryon ratios, anti-p/p, anti-Lambda/Lambda, anti-Xi/Xi, and anti-Omega/Omega for Au+Au collisions at RHIC (sqrt{s}_{NN}=200 GeV). The effects of strong color fields associated with an enhanced strangeness and diquark production probability and with an effective decrease of formation times are investigated. Antibaryon-to-baryon ratios increase with the color field strength. The ratios also increase with the strangeness content |S|. The netbaryon number at midrapidity considerably increases with the color field strength while the netproton number remains roughly the same. This shows that the enhanced baryon transport involves a conversion into the hyperon sector (hyperonization) which can be observed in the (Lambda - anti-Lambda)/(p - anti-p) ratio.

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 as well as transverse hadron spectra from proton-proton, proton-nucleus and nucleus-nucleus collisions from 2 A·GeV to 21.3 A·TeV within two independent transport approaches (HSD and UrQMD) that are based on quark, diquark, string and hadronic degrees of freedom. The comparison to experimental data on transverse mass spectra from pp, pA and C+C (or Si+Si) reactions shows the reliability of the transport models for light systems. For central Au+Au (Pb+Pb) collisions at bombarding energies above ~5 A·GeV, furthermore, the measured K± transverse mass spectra have a larger inverse slope parameter than expected from the default calculations. We investigate various scenarios to explore their potential effects on the K± spectra. In particular the initial state Cronin effect is found to play a substantial role at top SPS and RHIC energies. However, the maximum in the K+/..+ ratio at 20 to 30 A·GeV is missed by 40% and the approximately constant slope of the K± spectra at SPS energies is not reproduced either. Our systematic analysis suggests that the additional pressure - as expected from lattice QCD calculations at finite quark chemical potential µq and temperature T- should be generated by strong interactions in the early pre-hadronic/partonic phase of central Au+Au (Pb+Pb) collisions.

The disappearance of flow
(1995)

We investigate the disappearance of collective flow in the reaction plane in heavy-ion collisions within a microscopic model (QMD). A systematic study of the impact parameter dependence is performed for the system Ca+Ca. The balance energy strongly increases with impact parameter. Momentum dependent interactions reduce the balance energies for intermediate impact parameters b ~ 4.5 fm. Dynamical negative flow is not visible in the laboratory frame but does exist in the contact frame for the heavy system Au+Au. For semi-peripheral collisions of Ca+Ca with b ~ 6.5 fm a new two-component flow is discussed. Azimuthal distributions exhibit strong collectiv flow signals, even at the balance energy.

We calculate the kaon HBT radius parameters for high energy heavy ion collisions, assuming a first order phase transition from a thermalized Quark-Gluon-Plasma to a gas of hadrons. At high transverse momenta K_T ~ 1 GeV/c direct emission from the phase boundary becomes important, the emission duration signal, i.e., the R_out/R_side ratio, and its sensitivity to T_c (and thus to the latent heat of the phase transition) are enlarged. Moreover, the QGP+hadronic rescattering transport model calculations do not yield unusual large radii (R_i<9fm). Finite momentum resolution effects have a strong impact on the extracted HBT parameters (R_i and lambda) as well as on the ratio R_out/R_side.

We make predictions for the kaon interferometry measurements in Au+Au collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). A first order phase transition from a thermalized Quark-Gluon-Plasma (QGP) to a gas of hadrons is assumed for the transport calculations. The fraction of kaons that are directly emitted from the phase boundary is considerably enhanced at large transverse momenta K T ~ 1 GeV/c. In this kinematic region, the sensitivity of the R out/R side ratio to the QGP-properties is enlarged. Here, the results of the 1-dimensional correlation analysis are presented. The extracted interferometry radii, depending on K-Theta, are not unusually large and are strongly affected by momentum resolution effects.

We present calculations of two-pion and two-kaon correlation functions in relativistic heavy ion collisions from a relativistic transport model that includes explicitly a first-order phase transition from a thermalized quark-gluon plasma to a hadron gas. We compare the obtained correlation radii with recent data from RHIC. The predicted R_side radii agree with data while the R_out and R_long radii are overestimated. We also address the impact of in-medium modifications, for example, a broadening of the rho-meson, on the correlation radii. In particular, the longitudinal correlation radius R_long is reduced, improving the comparison to data.

We calculate the Gaussian radius parameters of the pion-emitting source in high energy heavy ion collisions, assuming a first order phase transition from a thermalized Quark-Gluon-Plasma (QGP) to a gas of hadrons. Such a model leads to a very long-lived dissipative hadronic rescattering phase which dominates the properties of the two-pion correlation functions. The radii are found to depend only weakly on the thermalization time tau i, the critical temperature T c (and thus the latent heat), and the specific entropy of the QGP. The dissipative hadronic stage enforces large variations of the pion emission times around the mean. Therefore, the model calculations suggest a rapid increase of R out/R side as a function of K T if a thermalized QGP were formed.

Directed and elliptic flow
(1999)

We compare microscopic transport model calculations to recent data on the directed and elliptic flow of various hadrons in 2 - 10 A GeV Au+Au and Pb (158 A GeV) Pb collisions. For the Au+Au excitation function a transition from the squeeze-out to an in-plane enhanced emission is consistently described with mean field potentials corresponding to one incompressibility. For the Pb (158 A GeV) Pb system the elliptic flow prefers in-plane emission both for protons and pions, the directed flow of protons is opposite to that of the pions, which exhibit anti-flow. Strong directed transverse flow is present for protons and Lambdas in Au (6 A GeV) Au collisions as well. Both for the SPS and the AGS energies the agreement between data and calculations is remarkable.

The centrality dependence of (multi-)strange hadron abundances is studied for Pb(158 AGeV)Pb reactions and compared to p(158 GeV)Pb collisions. The microscopic transport model UrQMD is used for this analysis. The predicted Lambda/pi-, Xi-/pi- and Omega-/pi- ratios are enhanced due to rescattering in central Pb-Pb collisions as compared to peripheral Pb-Pb or p-Pb collisions. A reduction of the constituent quark masses to the current quark masses m_s \sim 230 MeV, m_q \sim 10 MeV, as motivated by chiral symmetry restoration, enhances the hyperon yields to the experimentally observed high values. Similar results are obtained by an ad hoc overall increase of the color electric field strength (effective string tension of kappa=3 GeV/fm). The enhancement depends strongly on the kinematical cuts. The maximum enhancement is predicted around midrapidity. For Lambda's, strangeness suppression is predicted at projectile/target rapidity. For Omega's, the predicted enhancement can be as large as one order of magnitude. Comparisons of Pb-Pb data to proton induced asymmetric (p-A) collisions are hampered due to the predicted strong asymmetry in the various rapidity distributions of the different (strange) particle species. In p-Pb collisions, strangeness is locally (in rapidity) not conserved. The present comparison to the data of the WA97 and NA49 collaborations clearly supports the suggestion that conventional (free) hadronic scenarios are unable to describe the observed high (anti-)hyperon yields in central collisions. The doubling of the strangeness to nonstrange suppression factor, gamma_s \approx 0.65, might be interpreted as a signal of a phase of nearly massless particles.

Invited talk at the International Workshop XXX on Gross Properties of Nuclei and Nuclear Excitations - Ultrarelativistic Heavy-Ion Collisions, Jan. 13-19, 2002, Hirschegg, Austria. Report-no: LBNL-49674. We discuss predictions for the pion and kaon interferometry measurements in relativistic heavy ion collisions at SPS and RHIC energies. In particular, we confront relativistic transport model calculations that include explicitly a first-order phase transition from a thermalized quark-gluon plasma to a hadron gas with recent data from the RHIC experiments. We critically examine the "HBT-puzzle" both from the theoretical as well as from the experimental point of view. Alternative scenarios are briefly explained.

Invited talk at the XXXIII International Symposium on Multiparticle Dynamics, Krakow, Poland, 5-11 Sept, 2003. 5 pages, 1 figure Journal-ref: Acta Phys.Polon. B35 (2004) 23-28. We review the recent developments on microscopic transport calculations for two-particle correlations at low relative momenta in ultrarelativistic heavy ion collisions at RHIC.

Abschließend sollen hier die wichtigsten, neuen Ergebnisse herausgestellt und ein Ausblick auf mögliche zukünftige Studien gegeben werden. In dieser Arbeit wurden vorwiegend Schwerionenkollisionen bei Einschußenergien zwischen ungefähr 40 MeV/Nukleon und 400 MeV/Nukleon mit dem Quantenmolekulardynamik-Modell untersucht. Ein Schwerpunkt war hierbei die Beschreibung der Umkehr des kollektiven, transversalen Seitwärtsflusses in der Reaktionsebene. Der negative Seitwärtsfluß, der bei niedrigen Energien der Größenordnung kleiner als 100 MeV/Nukleon durch die attraktiven Wechselwirkungen verursacht wird, verschwindet bei Steigerung der Einschußenergie bei der Balance-Energie E-bal. einsetzt. Oberhalb dieser dominieren die repulsiven Wechselwirkungen, so daß positiver transversaler Fluß einsetzt. Sowohl die negativen Flußwinkel als auch der Übergang hin zu positiven Flußwinkeln konnte fur eine große Anzahl verschiedener Energien und Stoßparameter mit unterschiedlichen Zustandsgleichungen für die Systeme 40-20-Ca + 40-20-Ca und 197-79 Au + 197-79 Au mit dem Quantenmolekulardynamik-Modell beschrieben werden. Ziel muß es bleiben, die verschiedenen, grundlegenden physikalischenWechselwirkungen eindeutig und unabhängig voneinander zu bestimmen. Ein erfolgversprechender Weg sind die hier vorgestellten Methoden und die Hinweise zur ad quaten Interpretation experimenteller Ergebnisse. Die Abhängigkeit der Balance-Energien von der Masse des betrachteten Systems ist sehr sensitiv auf den Nukleon-Nukleon Wirkungsquerschnitt im Medium. Hier wurde systematisch gezeigt, daß die Balance-Energien stark vom Stoßparameter abhängen. Die Zunahme der Balance-Energie mit dem Stoßparameter ist ungefähr linear. Für das System Ca+Ca kann sich die Balance-Energie beim Übergang von zentraleren zu mittleren Stoßparametern mehr als verdoppeln. Daher ist für die Interpretation der gemessenen Balance-Energien in bezug auf eine Modifikation des nukleo- nischen Wirkungsquerschnitts im Medium oder der Zustandsgleichung eine genaue Kenntnis des Stoßparameters von größter Wichtigkeit. Vorläufige experimentelle Analysen scheinen die vorhergesagte Stoßparameterabhängigkeit sehr gut zu bestätigen [Wes 95]. Weiterhin hat sich herauskristallisiert, daß bei der Berücksichtigung impulsabhängiger Wechselwirkungen die Balance-Energien bei größeren Stoßparametern signifikant kleiner sind als für den Fall der Nichtberücksichtung. Daher konnten experimentelle Bestimmungen der Balance- Energien bei größeren Stoßparametern signifikante Hinweise auf die tatsächliche Bedeutung der impulsabhängigen Wechselwirkungen in diesem Energiebereich geben. Es wurde gezeigt, daß für schwere Systeme wie Au+Au die langreichweitige internukleare Coulomb-Wechselwirkung vor dem Kontakt der Kerne im Energiebereich der Balance-Energien nicht vernachlässigt werden darf. Die hervorgerufene Repulsion bewirkt eine Drehung des Systems. Während in diesem gedrehten System dynamischer negativer Fluß beobachtbar ist, ist er es nicht im Laborsystem. Die im gedrehten Kontaktbezugssystem bestimmten Balance- Energien fur Au+Au sind erwartungsgemäß kleiner als für Ca+Ca und nehmen mit wachsendem Stoßparameter zu. Ein neuartiger Zwei-Komponenten-Fluß konnte in semiperipheren Kollisionen von Ca+Ca be- schrieben und analysiert werden. Dabei wird in einem Ereignis in verschiedenen Rapiditätsbereichen gleichzeitig positiver und negativer transversaler Fluß möglich. Die wenig komprimierte Spektatorenmaterie, die vermehrt aus schwereren Fragmenten besteht, zeigt negativen Fluß bei großen Rapiditäten, wohingegen dieKompressionszone in Form von einzelnen Nukleonen positiven transversalen Fluß zeigt. Aufgrund der großen Sensitivität gegenüber den Systemparametern und der Zustandsgleichung lohnt es sich, diesen Effekt experimentell zu untersuchen. Beim Studium azimuthaler Verteilungen wurde deutlich, daß auch in den Balance-Punkten noch kollektiver Fluß in Form von azimuthaler Asymmetrie vorliegt. Im Gegensatz zur bekannten hochenergetischen Bevorzugung der Emissionswinkel senkrecht zur Reaktionsebene für Teilchen aus der Wechselwirkungszone wurde hier die bei kleineren Energien preferentielle Emission in die Reaktionsebene aufgezeigt. Diese nimmt mit der Teilchenmasse und dem Stoßparameter zu. Das systematische Studium der Anregungsfunktion dieser azimuthalen Asymmetrie könnte durch die Übergangsenergien, die durch den Wechsel von der preferentiellen Emission in die Reaktionsebene zu der Bevorzugung der Winkel senkrecht zur Reaktionsebene definiert sind, wertvolle, ergänzende Information zu den Balance-Energien liefern.

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

Noneequilibrium models (three-fluid hydrodynamics and UrQMD) use to discuss the uniqueness of often proposed experimental signatures for quark matter formation in relativistic heavy ion collisions. It is demonstrated that these two models - although they do treat the most interesting early phase of the collisions quite differently(thermalizing QGP vs. coherent color fields with virtual particles) - both yields a reasonable agreement with a large variety of the available heavy ion data.

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.

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.

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.].

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.

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.

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.

Dilepton spectra are calculated within the microscopic transport model UrQMD and compared to data from the CERES experiment. The invariant mass spectra in the region between 300 MeV and 600 MeV depend strongly on the mass dependence of the rho meson decay width which is not sufficiently determined by the Vector Meson Dominance model. A consistent explanation of both the recent Pb+Au data and the proton induced data can be given without additional medium effects.

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.

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 equilibration of hot and dense nuclear matter produced in the central cell of central Au+Au collisions at RHIC (sqrt s = 200 A GeV) energies is studied within a microscopic transport model. The pressure in the cell becomes isotropic at t approx 5 fm/c after beginning of the collision. Within the next 15 fm/c the expansion of matter in the cell proceeds almost isentropically with the entropy per baryon ratio S/A approx 150, and the equation of state in the (P,epsilon) plane has a very simple form, P=0.15 epsilon. Comparison with the statistical model of an ideal hadron gas indicates that the time t approx 20 fm/c may be too short to reach the fully equilibrated state. Particularly, the creation of long-lived resonance-rich matter in the cell decelerates the relaxation to chemical equilibrium. This resonance-abundant state can be detected experimentally after the thermal freeze-out of particles.

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.

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.

The equilibration of hot and dense nuclear matter produced in the central region in central Au+Au collisions at square root s = 200A GeV is studied within the microscopic transport model UrQMD. The pressure here becomes isotropic at t approx 5 fm/c. Within the next 15 fm/c the expansion of the matter proceeds almost isentropically with the entropy per baryon ratio S/A approx 150. During this period the equation of state in the (P, epsilon)-plane has a very simple form, P = 0.15 epsilon. Comparison with the statistical model (SM) of an ideal hadron gas reveals that the time of approx 20 fm/c may be too short to attain the fully equilibrated state. Particularly, the fractions of resonances are overpopulated in contrast to the SM values. The creation of such a long-lived resonance-rich state slows down the relaxation to chemical equilibrium and can be detected experimentally.

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.

REVTEX, 27 pages incl. 10 figures and 3 tables; Phys. Rev. C (in press) Journal-ref: Phys.Rev. C62 (2000) 064906. We study the local equilibrium in the central V = 125 fm3 cell in heavy-ion collisions at energies from 10.7 A GeV (AGS) to 160 A GeV (SPS) calculated in the microscopic transport model. In the present paper the hadron yields and energy spectra in the cell are compared with those of infinite nuclear matter, as calculated within the same model. The agreement between the spectra in the two systems is established for times t >= 10 fm/c in the central cell. The cell results do not deviate noticeably from the infinite matter calculations with rising incident energy, in contrast to the apparent discrepancy with predictions of the statistical model (SM) of an ideal hadron gas. The entropy of this state is found to be very close to the maximum entropy, while hadron abundances and energy spectra differ significantly from those of the SM.

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

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.

Thermodynamical variables and their time evolution are studied for central relativistic heavy ion collisions from 10.7 to 160 AGeV in the microscopic Ultrarelativistic Quantum Molecular Dynamics model (UrQMD). The UrQMD model exhibits drastic deviations from equilibrium during the early high density phase of the collision. Local thermal and chemical equilibration of the hadronic matter seems to be established only at later stages of the quasi-isentropic expansion in the central reaction cell with volume 125 fm 3. Baryon energy spectra in this cell are reproduced by Boltzmann distributions at all collision energies for t > 10 fm/c with a unique rapidly dropping temperature. At these times the equation of state has a simple form: P = (0.12 - 0.15) Epsilon. At SPS energies the strong deviation from chemical equilibrium is found for mesons, especially for pions, even at the late stage of the reaction. The final enhancement of pions is supported by experimental data.

We investigate transverse hadron spectra from relativistic nucleus-nucleus collisions which reflect important aspects of the dynamics - such as the generation of pressure - in the hot and dense zone formed in the early phase of the reaction. Our analysis is performed within two independent transport approaches (HSD and UrQMD) that are based on quark, diquark, string and hadronic degrees of freedom. Both transport models show their reliability for elementary pp as well as light-ion (C+C, Si+Si) reactions. However, for central Au+Au (Pb+Pb) collisions at bombarding energies above ~ 5 A.GeV the measured K+- transverse mass spectra have a larger inverse slope parameter than expected from the calculation. Thus the pressure generated by hadronic interactions in the transport models above ~ 5 A.GeV is lower than observed in the experimental data. This finding shows that the additional pressure - as expected from lattice QCD calculations at finite quark chemical potential and temperature - is generated by strong partonic interactions in the early phase of central Au+Au (Pb+Pb) collisions.

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.

We investigate hadron production as well as transverse hadron spectra in nucleus-nucleus collisions from 2 A.GeV to 21.3 A.TeV within two independent transport approaches (UrQMD and HSD) that are based on quark, diquark, string and hadronic degrees of freedom. The comparison to experimental data demonstrates that both approaches agree quite well with each other and with the experimental data on hadron production. The enhancement of pion production in central Au+Au (Pb+Pb) collisions relative to scaled pp collisions (the 'kink') is well described by both approaches without involving any phase transition. However, the maximum in the K+/Pi+ ratio at 20 to 30 A.GeV (the 'horn') is missed by ~ 40%. A comparison to the transverse mass spectra from pp and C+C (or Si+Si) reactions shows the reliability of the transport models for light systems. For central Au+Au (Pb+Pb) collisions at bombarding energies above ~ 5 A.GeV, however, the measured K +/- m-theta-spectra have a larger inverse slope parameter than expected from the calculations. The approximately constant slope of K+/-spectra at SPS (the 'step') is not reproduced either. Thus the pressure generated by hadronic interactions in the transport models above ~ 5 A.GeV is lower than observed in the experimental data. This finding suggests that the additional pressure - as expected from lattice QCD calculations at finite quark chemical potential and temperature - might be generated by strong interactions in the early pre-hadronic/partonic phase of central Au+Au (Pb+Pb) collisions.

Report-no: UFTP-492/1999 Journal-ref: Phys.Rev. C61 (2000) 024909 We investigate flow in semi-peripheral nuclear collisions at AGS and SPS energies within macroscopic as well as microscopic transport models. The hot and dense zone assumes the shape of an ellipsoid which is tilted by an angle Theta with respect to the beam axis. If matter is close to the softest point of the equation of state, this ellipsoid expands predominantly orthogonal to the direction given by Theta. This antiflow component is responsible for the previously predicted reduction of the directed transverse momentum around the softest point of the equation of state.

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.

Enhanced antiproton production in Pb(160 AGeV)+Pb reactions: evidence for quark gluon matter?
(2000)

The centrality dependence of the antiproton per participant ratio is studied in Pb(160 AGeV)+Pb reactions. Antiproton production in collisions of heavy nuclei at the CERN/SPS seems considerably enhanced as compared to conventional hadronic physics, given by the antiproton production rates in pp and antiproton annihilation in p p reactions. This enhancement is consistent with the observation of strong in-medium effects in other hadronic observables and may be an indication of partial restoration of chiral symmetry.

The ultrarelativistic quantum molecular dynamics model (UrQMD) is used to study global observables in central reactions of Au+Au at sqrt[s]=200A GeV at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). Strong stopping governed by massive particle production is predicted if secondary interactions are taken into account. The underlying string dynamics and the early hadronic decoupling implies only small transverse expansion rates. However, rescattering with mesons is found to act as a source of pressure leading to additional flow of baryons and kaons, while cooling down pions.

Microscopic 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 reaction stages of highest density and during the expansion show that the system does not reach global equilibrium. Even if a considerable amount of equilibration is assumed, the connection of the measurable final state to the macroscopic parameters, e.g. the temperature, of the transient "equilibrium" state remains ambiguous.

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.

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.

Ratios of hadronic abundances are analyzed for pp and nucleus-nucleus collisions at sqrt(s)=20 GeV using the microscopic transport model UrQMD. Secondary interactions significantly change the primordial hadronic cocktail of the system. A comparison to data shows a strong dependence on rapidity. Without assuming thermal and chemical equilibrium, predicted hadron yields and ratios agree with many of the data, the few observed discrepancies are discussed.

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.