Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Physics Division

Physics Division Seminars

Physics Division Seminars bring us speakers on a variety of physics related subjects. Usually these are held in the Building 6008 large Conference Room, at 3:00 pm on the chosen day, but times and locations may vary. For more information, contact our seminar chairman,

Alfredo Galindo-Uribarri
Tel (Office): (865) 574-6124  (FAX): (865) 574-1268


Thu., June 30, 2011, at 3:00 p.m. (refreshments at 2:40 p.m.)

The Little Bang: Understanding the Quark Gluon Plasma

Christine Nattrass, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Building 6008 Conference Room

High energy collisions of heavy nuclei permit the study of nuclear matter at high temperatures and energy densities. At energy densities above about 1 GeV/fm3 QCD predicts a phase transition in nuclear matter to a plasma of quarks and gluons. This matter, called a Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP), should have different properties from normal nuclear matter due to its high temperature and density. Measurements at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) on Long Island and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva allow studies of nucleus-nucleus collisions over two orders of magnitude in center of mass energy. Recent results from RHIC and the LHC on the collective motion of particles, jet quenching, and suppression of heavy flavor in the QGP demonstrate that the QGP is a hot, dense liquid of quarks and gluons and help us understand the properties of this novel phase of nuclear matter.