Probing the softest region of the nuclear equation of state
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An attractive, energy-dependent mean-field potential for baryons is introduced in order to generate a soft region in the nuclear equation of state, as suggested by recent lattice QCD calculations of baryon-free matter at finite temperature. Based on a hadronic transport model, we find that although this equation of state has negligible effects on the inclusive hadronic spectra, it leads to a minimum in the energy dependence of the transverse collective flow and a delayed expansion of the compressed matter. In particular, the transverse flow changes its direction as the colliding system passes through the softest region in the equation of state. 1998 The American Physical Society.
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