The "perfectly" fluid Quark-Gluon Plasma: from RHIC to LHC
- Julia Velkowska, Vanderbilt
Wednesday, January 11, 4:10 PM - Nuclear Science Seminar
NSCL Lecture Hall
A central result from the RHIC experimental program is the discovery that the medium produced in relativistic heavy ion collisions from a range of collision energies behaves as a nearly-perfect fluid. This remarkable property is manifested in a collective behavior of the particles emitted from the collisions, known as "flow". In non-central collisions, the initial reaction zone is spatially asymmetric.
The ability of the system to convert the initial spatial anisotropy into a final-state momentum anisotropy is directly related to its ability to flow without dissipation. The flow strength is measured through a Fourier expansion of the hadron azimuthal distributions with respect to the reaction plane. The evolution of the flow with collision energy provides a challenging test for our understanding of the quark-gluon plasma properties. I will review recent results of harmonic flow measurements from RHIC and LHC spanning two orders of magnitude in collision energies and discuss the "perfect fluid" and its dynamical evolution.