- Evidence for nonhadronic degrees of freedom in the transverse mass spectra of kaons from relativistic nucleus-nucleus collisions? (2003)
- 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.
- Strangeness dynamics in relativistic nucleus-nucleus collision (2003)
- 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.
- Charmed signatures for phase transitions in heavy-ion collisions (2007)
- The interplay of charmonium production and suppression in In+In and Pb+Pb reactions at 158 AGeV and in Au+Au reactions at sqrt(s)=200 GeV is investigated with the HSD transport approach within the hadronic comover model' and the QGP melting scenario'. The results for the J/Psi suppression and the Psi' to J/Psi ratio are compared to the recent data of the NA50, NA60, and PHENIX Collaborations. We find that, at 158 AGeV, the comover absorption model performs better than the scenario of abrupt threshold melting. However, neither interaction with hadrons alone nor simple color screening satisfactory describes the data at sqrt(s)=200 GeV. A deconfined phase is clearly reached at RHIC, but a theory having the relevant degrees of freedom in this regime (strongly interacting quarks/gluons) is needed to study its transport properties.