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Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and Ultra-Dense Matter. Physics Goal: Extended Volumes of Hadronic Matter with Energy Densities Greater Than 10 Times of Atomic Nuclei. Hadrons: Strongly interacting particles.

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Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider


Ultra-Dense Matter


Physics Goal: Extended Volumes of Hadronic Matter with Energy Densities Greater Than 10 Times of Atomic Nuclei

Hadrons: Strongly interacting particles

Experiments agree: Matter has been made

exceeding this energy density which is strongly

interacting with itself, and to a good

approximation thermalized.

Theorists call this matter the

Quark Gluon Plasma


What is the Quark Gluon Plasma?

The Color Glass Condensate?

Why is it important?

What is the evidence for these forms of matter?

The Quark Gluon Plasma:

Squeeze ordinary strongly interacting particles to a

density much larger than the density of matter inside

a typical strongly interacting particle. The quarks

and gluons should become unconfined.


Pressure continuous

When energy density jumps: mixed phase

Energy jumps do not set up pressure gradients

In the mixed phase

Confinement? Mass Generation?


Why is the Study of High Density Matter Important?

How is matter made from quarks and gluons?

What is the high energy limit of strong interactions?

How does confinement and mass arise?

How do phase transitions influence cosmology?

How do neutron stars and gamma ray bursters work?


What is the Color Glass Condensate?

Fast moving hadron with energy E

Many gluon constituents with energy e

X = e/E


Color: Gluons are carry color charge

Glass: Gluons at small x arise from fast moving gluons.

They evolve in time very slowly because their source’s

Time scale is Lorentz time dilated. Gluons are disordered.

Condensate: Gluon density is as high as it can be:

The phase space density

is as large as possible

Negative potential energy and repulsive interactions of order

Because density is high, separation of gluons is small,

interactions become weak:

Phase space density becomes large.

Matter is universal for all hadrons!


Gold-Gold Scattering at RHIC

100 Gev/A in each beam

~ thousands of particles per collision


Fast particles made last because

of Lorentz time dilation

Like Hubble expansion!


Flow: Conversion of spatial gradients into momentum gradients

Flow is effective at early time before mixed phase

Requires very early time

T ~ .2-.3 Fm/c

Strongly interacting

Quark Gluon Plasma



Jet Quenching

Media can reduce number of jets seen

And can reduce back to back correlations


Requires very strong interactions!

Very high initial energy density!

20-50 Gev/Fm^3


Are particle distributed according to thermal distributions?


Measure temperature and density at late times.

A new range of parameter space to explore!


The Color Glass Condensate controls the

Initial conditions

Good semi-quantitative and qualitative agreement


Color Glass Condensate Provides a Theory of

Modification of Gluonic Nuclear Wavefunction

Dramatic effects seen

In dA collisions!

Agrees with semi quantitative computation.

Small effect in the central region at RHIC

(particles with low longitudinal momentum in the center of mass frame)


RHIC has made new forms of matter.

For some of the lifetime of this matter it is to a good

approximation in thermal equilibrium

Theorists call this thermalized matter the Quark Gluon Plasma

At early times, strong hints of a Color Glass Condensate

The Future:

Will characterize this matter in future experiments at RHIC

Experiments at higher energies and with electrons provide

potentially exciting ways to study this matter