Colloquium: Dr. Grazyna Odyniec
"Beam Energy Scan program at RHIC - An Experimental Approach to the QCD Phase Diagram"
Lawrence-Berkeley National Laboratory
Abstract : All matter, including strongly interacting matter described by Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), undergoes a phase transition as external conditions change. Although the phase diagram of QCD matter is not yet well established, it has been the subject of intense study on both theoretical and experimental ends. Finding the Critical Point (CP) of the QCD phase diagram and/or the boundary between Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP) and the hadronic phases would be a major break though in the field. The main question of interest is, of course, whether this critical point can be found experimentally. Lattice QCD calculations suggest that heavy-ion collision experiments at moderate colliding energies, achievable at, e.g., RHIC, could locate them. With this in mind, RHIC’s Beam Energy Scan (BES) Program was created. The first run took place in 2010, with the next one happening in a few months. The results of the first stage of the BES program will be presented and discussed, as well as plans for the future of the program.