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Colloquia
Colloquium
Friday, April 16, 2010
4:00 PM
Physics Building, Room 204
Note special time.

Paul Chesler
[Host: Peter Arnold]
M.I.T.
"Applied string theory  from gravitational collapse to quarkgluon liquids"

ABSTRACT:
A remarkable result from heavy ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider is that shortly after a collision, the medium produced behaves as a nearly ideal liquid. The system is very dynamic and evolves from a state of two colliding nuclei to a liquid in a time roughly equivalent to the time it takes light to cross a proton. Understanding the mechanisms behind the rapid approach to a liquid state is a challenging task. In recent years string theory has emerged as a powerful tool to study nonequilibrium phenomena, mapping the (challenging) dynamics of quantum systems onto the dynamics of classical gravitational systems. The creation of a liquid in a quantum theory maps onto the classical process of gravitational collapse and black hole formation. I will describe how one can use techniques borrowed from numerical relativity in astrophysics to study processes which mimic the dynamics of heavy ion collisions.




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