Quark-Gluon Plasma: A new (old) type of liquid at ultra-high temperature and density

You are invited to a lecture by the Science Faculty Distinguished Visitor Professor Ulrich Heinz, Department of Physics, Ohio State University, USA.  The talk is entitled, "Quark-Gluon Plasma: A new (old) type of liquid at ultra-high temperature and density".

Professor Heinz, from the Department of Physics, Ohio State University, USA, is known for his work on the theoretical and phenomenological aspects of heavy-ion collisions at ultra-relativistic energies: in particular, the creation, identification and quantitative study of quark-gluon plasma.  He held appointments at Yale and Vanderbilt Universities and Brookhaven National Laboratory before taking a position at the University of Regensburg.  He worked at CERN as co-ordinator of heavy-ion theoretical activities at the lab.   Professor Heinz he was recently awarded the Humboldt Research Award for Senior Scientists by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Quantum Chromodynamics, the modern theory of the strong interaction, predicts that nuclear matter (the stuff of which atomic nuclei are made) dissolves at high temperature and density into a soup of quarks and gluons, known as a quark-gluon plasma. Sufficiently high energy densities for making quark-gluon plasma existed once in the Early Universe, during the first dozen microseconds after the Big Bang, and can nowadays be recreated in ultra-high-energy collisions between atomic nuclei at collider facilities such as the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) in the US and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Europe. In this talk, Professor Heinz will discuss some of the knowledge gained from heavy-ion collisions about the properties of this extreme state of matter, in particular the unexpected discovery of its almost perfect fluidity. At the end of the lecture the audience will be led to the question that presently defines the cutting edge of heavy-ion research: What is the smallest size for a droplet of quark-gluon matter to still exhibit hydrodynamic collective behavior?

Thu, 22 Nov 2018 - 13:00

James 4A Lecture Theatre, RW James Building, Upper Campus UCT