University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Wednesday, December 10th 2014
1:25 pm:
Nuclear Physics Seminar in 435 Physics
Speaker:  Michael Albright, University of Minnesota
Subject: What's up with freeze-out fluctuations?

Decades of theoretical work suggests the QCD phase diagram possesses a rich structure, including multiple phases of matter which are separated by phase transition lines. In recent years, physicists have grown increasingly confident that the phase diagram may also contain a critical point--a point of second-order phase transition which terminates a line of first-order phase transitions. Now, the search is on for the critical point. The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) has completed Phase I of its critical point search, called the Beam Energy Scan (BES), and researchers are preparing a follow-up search. It is believed that freeze-out fluctuations in conserved charges, like electric charge or baryon number, may contain signatures of the critical point, providing an avenue for experimental detection. In this talk, I will report on efforts to compute freeze-out fluctuations using model equations of state developed by our research group. I will also compare our results to simpler hadron gas models reported in the literature. I will show that it is difficult to reconcile predictions of the various models with lattice QCD calculations and data reported by the STAR collaboration. I will finish with some possible explanations for the discrepancies and describe how we plan to investigate them in the future.

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