Issues with the search for critical point in QCD with relativistic heavy ion collisions

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© 2020 American Physical Society. A systematic search for a critical point in the phase diagram of QCD matter is under way at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) and is planned at several future facilities. Its existence, if confirmed, and its location will greatly enhance our understanding of QCD. In this article, we emphasize several important issues that are often not fully recognized in theoretical interpretations of experimental results relevant to the critical point search. We discuss ways in which our understanding on these issues can be improved.





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Asakawa, M, M Kitazawa and B Müller (2020). Issues with the search for critical point in QCD with relativistic heavy ion collisions. Physical Review C, 101(3). p. 034913. 10.1103/PhysRevC.101.034913 Retrieved from

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Berndt Mueller

James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Physics

Prof. Mueller's work focuses on nuclear matter at extreme energy density. Quantum chromodynamics, the fundamental theory of nuclear forces, predicts that nuclear matter dissolves into quarks and gluons, the elementary constituents of protons and neutrons, when a critical density or temperature is exceeded. He and his collaborators are theoretically studying the properties of this "quark-gluon plasma", its formation, and its detection in high-energy nuclear collisions. His other research interests include symmetry violating processes in the very early universe and the chaotic dynamics of elementary particle fields. Prof. Mueller is the coauthor of textbooks on the Physics of the Quark-Gluon Plasma, on Symmetry Principles in Quantum Mechanics, on Weak Interactions, and on Neural Networks.

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