Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Oct 1;93(14):142002. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.93.142002. Epub 2004 Sep 28.


Prethermalization of the equation of state and the kinetic temperature to their equilibrium values occurs on time scales dramatically shorter than the thermal equilibration time. This is a crucial ingredient for the understanding of collisions of heavy nuclei or other nonequilibrium phenomena in complex quantum and classical many body systems. We also compare the chemical equilibration time with other characteristic time scales.