Final Report for Project ``Theory of ultra-relativistic heavy-ion collisions''
Final Report for Project ``Theory of ultra-relativistic heavy-ion collisions'' In the course of this project the Ohio State University group led by the PI, Professor Ulrich Heinz, developed a comprehensive theoretical picture of the dynamical evolution of ultra-relativistic heavy-ion collisions and of the numerous experimental observables that can be used to diagnose the evolving and short-lived hot and dense fireball created in such collisions. Starting from a qualitative understanding of the main features based on earlier research during the last decade of the twentieth century on collisions at lower energies, the group exploited newly developed theoretical tools and the stream of new high-quality data from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory (which started operations in the summer of the year 2000) to arrive at an increasingly quantitative description of the experimentally observed phenomena. Work done at Ohio State University (OSU) was instrumental in the discovery during the years 2001-2003 that quark-gluon plasma (QGP) created in nuclear collisions at RHIC behaves like an almost perfect liquid with minimal viscosity. The tool of relativistic fluid dynamics for viscous liquids developed at OSU in the years 2005-2007 opened the possibility to quantitatively determine the value of the QGP viscosity empirically from experimental measurements of the collective flow patterns established more »
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