The spectrum of fluctuations and thermalization in the little bang

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Date/Time:Monday, 23 Jan 2012 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Location:Physics, Room 5
Phone:515-294-1080
Channel:Colloquium
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Raju Venugopalan
(Brookhaven National Laboratory)

We present an ab initio approach to understanding how highly coherent QCD matter in high energy nuclear wavefunctions decoheres rapidly in the little bang of a heavy ion collision to exhibit nearly ideal hydrodynamical flow. We discuss a scenario for how thermalization occurs and argue that it may involve transient creation of a Bose-Einstein Condensate. Our approach builds concrete analogies to concepts in early universe cosmology, non-linear dynamics and the physics of ultra-cold atoms.