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"Locating the Quantum Chromodynamic Critical Point"

Jacquelyn Noronha-Hostler, Rutgers University
Thursday, June 7, 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
PAT C-421

​Strongly interacting matter undergoes a crossover phase transition at high temperatures T ∼ 10^12 K and zero net-baryon density. A fundamental question in the theory of strong interactions, Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), is whether a hot and dense system of quarks and gluons displays critical phenomena when doped with more quarks than antiquarks, where net-baryon number fluctuations diverge. Recent lattice QCD work indicates that such a critical point can only occur in the baryon dense regime of the theory, which defies a description from first principles calculations due to the Fermi sign problem. In this talk, the latest Lattice QCD efforts to find the QCD critical point will be discussed in the context of the interplay between strange and light flavors in the crossover section of the phase diagram. In the baryon dense regime where Lattice QCD results are not yet available I will show how the holographic correspondence can be used to map the fluctuations of baryon charge in the dense quark-gluon liquid onto a numerically tractable gravitational problem involving the charge fluctuations of holographic black holes. ​

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