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- How can we explore the onset of deconfinement by experiment? (2007)
- There is little doubt that Quantumchromodynamics (QCD) is the theory which describes strong interaction physics. Lattice gauge simulations of QCD predict that in the m,T plane there is a line where a transition from confined hadronic matter to deconfined quarks takes place. The transition is either a cross over (at low m) or of first order (at high m). It is the goal of the present and future heavy ion experiment at RHIC and FAIR to study this phase transition at different locations in the m,T plane and to explore the properties of the deconfined phase. It is the purpose of this contribution to discuss some of the observables which are considered as useful for this purpose.

- Importance of momentum dependent interactions for the extraction of the nuclear equation of state from high-energy heavy ion collisions (1987)
- We demonstrate that momentum-dependent nuclear interactions (MDI) have a large effect on the dynamics and on the observables of high-energy heavy-ion collisions: A soft potential with MDI suppresses pion and kaon yields much more strongly than a local hard potential and results in transverse momenta intermediate between soft and hard local potentials. The collective-flow angles and the deuteron-to-proton ratios are rather insensitive to the MDI. Only simultaneous measurements of these observables can give clues on the nuclear equation of state at densities of interest for supernova collapse and neutron-star stability.

- Multifragmentation near the threshold (1991)
- We investigate the onset of multifragmentation employing an improved version of the N-body ‘‘quantum’’ molecular-dynamics approach. We study in detail the reaction 18O+197Au at 84 MeV/nucleon and find good agreement between the calculated results and the data for the double-differential proton cross section, the mass yield, the multiplicity, the kinetic energy of the fragments, and even for the kinematic correlations between intermediate mass fragments (IMF’s), which have been measured in this experiment for the first time. We observe a strong correlation between the impact parameter and both the size of the target remnant as well as the average proton multiplicity. Hence both observables can be used to determine the impact parameter experimentally. The IMF’s come from the most central collisions. The calculations confirm the experimental result that they are not emitted from an equilibrated system. Although the inclusive energy spectra look thermal, we cannot identify an impact parameter-independent isotropically emitting source. Even in central collisions global equilibrium is not observed. We find that multifragment emission at this bombarding energy is caused by a process very similar to that proposed in the macroscopic cold multifragmentation model. Thus it has a different origin than at beam energies around 1 GeV/nucleon, although the mass yield has an almost identical slope.

- Multifragmentation, fragment flow, and the nuclear equation of state (1989)
- The quantum molecular dynamic method is used to study multifragmentation and fragment flow and their dependence on in-medium cross sections, momentum dependent interactions, and the nuclear equation of state, for collisions of 197Au+197Au and 93Nb+93Nb in the bombarding energy regime from 100 to 800A MeV. Time and impact parameter dependence of the fragment formation and their implications for the conjectured liquid-vapor phase transition are investigated. We find that the inclusive fragment mass distribution is independent of the equation of state and exhibits a power-law behavior Y(A)∼A-τ with an exponent τ≊-2.3. True multifragmentation events are found in central collisions for energies Elab∼30–200 MeV/nucleon. The associated light fragment (d,t,α) to proton ratios increase with the multiplicity of charged particles and decrease with energy, in agreement with recent experiments. The calculated absolute charged particle multiplicities, the multiplicities of intermediate mass (A>4) fragments, and their respective rapidity distributions do compare well with recent 4π data, but are quite insensitive to the equation of state. On the other hand, these quantities depend sensitively on the nucleon-nucleon scattering cross section, and can be used to determine σ experimentally. The transverse momentum flow of the complex fragments increases with the stiffness of the equation of state. Reduced (in-medium) n-n scattering cross sections reduce the fragment flow. Momentum dependent interactions increase the fragment flow. It is shown that the measured fragment flow at 200A MeV can be reproduced in the model. We find that also the increase of the px/A values with the fragment mass is in agreement with experiments. The calculated fragment flow is too small as compared to the plastic ball data, if a soft equation of state with in-medium corrections (momentum dependent interactions plus reduced cross sections) is employed. An alternative, most intriguing resolution of the puzzle about the stiffness of the equation of state could be an increase of the scattering cross sections due to precritical scattering in the vicinity of a phase transition.

- Comparison of nuclear transport models with 800A-MeV La + La data (1989)
- Nuclear transport models including density- and momentum-dependent mean-field effects are compared to intranuclear-cascade models and tested on recent data on inclusive p-like cross sections for 800A-MeV La+La. We find a remarkable agreement between most model calculations but a systematic disagreement with the measured yield at 20°, possibly indicating a need for modification of nuclear transport properties at high densities.

- The role of quantum effects and nonequilibrium transport coefficients for relativistic heavy ion collisions (1992)
- Stopping power and thermalization in relativistic heavy ion collisions is investigated employing the quantum molecular dynamics approach. For heavy systems stopping of the incoming nuclei is predicted, independent of the energy. The influence of the quantum effects and their increasing importance at low energies, is demonstrated by inspection of the mean free path of the nucleons and the n-n collision number. Classical models, which neglect these effects, overestimate the stopping and the thermalization as well as the collective flow and squeeze out. The sensitivity of the transverse and longitudinal momentum transfer to the in-medium cross section and to the pressure is investigated.

- Subthreshold kaons would reveal density isomers (1994)
- If density isomers exist they can be detected by measuring the excitation function of subthreshold kaon production. When the system reaches the density where the density isomer has influence on the equation of state (which depends on the beam energy and on the optical potential), we observe a jump in the cross section of the kaons whereas other observables change little. Above threshold Λ¯’s or p¯’s may be used to continue the search. This is the result of microscopic Boltzman-Uehling-Uhlenbeck calculations.