Departmental Colloquium: Dr. Paul Chesler  Add To Calendar

  • Date(s): Wednesday, 4/4 3:00 PM to Wednesday, 4/4 4:30 PM
  • Speaker: Dr. Paul Chesler
  • Host:
  • Campus Address: 238 SES Science and Engineering South
  • Email:
Title: Gravitational collapse and holographic thermalization
Abstract: A remarkable result from heavy ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and Large Hadron Collider is that, shortly after the collision event, the quark-gluon plasma produced behaves as a nearly ideal liquid. Understanding the dynamics responsible for such rapid 
thermalization is a challenge using traditional perturbative field theory. In recent years holography has emerged as a powerful tool to study non-equilibrium phenomena, mapping the dynamics of certain quantum field theories onto the dynamics of semi-classical gravity. Via holography, the production of quark-gluon plasma maps onto the process of gravitational collapse and black hole formation, with thermalization of the black hole's Hawking radiation encoding thermalization of the dual quark-gluon plasma. I will describe several processes which mimic heavy ion collisions, present results for thermalization times and mechanisms, and demonstrate that rapid thermalization is natural in strongly coupled field theories.