Departmental Colloquium: Professor Stephanov
Abstract: A spectacular prediction of Quantum Chromodynamics is that matter at extremely high temperature and density must transform into a "colorful" plasma of quarks and gluons - the fundamental constituents ordinarily confined inside protons and neutrons. The world was filled with quark-gluon plasma briefly when the Universe was born. Today heavy-ion colliders copiously produce exploding droplets of such matter at the Brookhaven laboratory and at CERN.
Experimental evidence points at a remarkably perfect fluidity of this state of matter. Predicting the properties of such a perfect fluid is a grand challenge which modern Nuclear Theory meets using time-tested approaches, such as numerical calculations on a space-time lattice, as well as new analytical methods emerging from string theory. Theory suggests that, similar to known liquids, the chromodynamic liquid has a critical point, whose discovery is a goal of the ongoing experiments.
Refreshments will be served at 2:30pm