University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Nuclear Physics Seminar

Tuesday, January 23rd 2018
2:30 pm:
Speaker: Chun Shen, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Subject: Going with the flow— the nuclear phase diagram at the highest temperatures and densities

Nuclear matter has a complex phase structure, with a deconfined Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP) expected to be present under conditions of extreme pressure and temperature. The hot QGP filled the universe about few microseconds after the Big Bang. This hot nuclear matter can be generated in the laboratory via the collision of heavy atomic nuclei at high energy. I will review recent theoretical progress in studying the transport properties the QGP at almost zero baryon density. The recent beam energy scan experiments at the Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider (RHIC) offer a unique opportunity to study the nuclear phase diagram in a hot and baryon-rich environment. I will focus on the development of a comprehensive framework that is able to connect the fundamental theory of strong interactions with the RHIC experimental observations. This dynamical framework paves the way for quantitative characterization of the QGP and for locating the critical point in the nuclear phase diagram. These studies will advance our understanding of strongly interacting many-body systems and build interconnections with other areas of physics, including string theory, cosmology, and cold atomic gases.

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