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., January 12, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. (refreshments at 2:40 p.m.)

Measuring and Modeling Heavy Ion Collisions or How I learned to stop worrying and love high performance computing

Ron Soltz, LLNL
Building 6008 Conference Room - 133

Abstract: Heavy ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) routinely achieve temperatures in excess of 1.5 trillion degrees, sufficient to recreate a Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP) similar to the one that existed 1 micro-second after the big bang. After more than a decade of measurements and models of heavy ion collisions we have learned much about the general properties of the quark gluon plasma and its evolution in a heavy ion collision, but quantitative measurements of the physical parameters of the QGP and their uncertainties remain elusive. The current state of experimental measurements and models will be reviewed, with an emphasis on soft (low momentum) physics signatures. The role of Lattice QCD in calculating the equation of state will be discussed. Initial efforts to quantify the initial temperature and viscosity of the QGP created at RHIC will be presented, and future directions will be explored. Special attention will be given to the role that high performance computing has and will play in modeling heavy ion collisions.