Physics Department Colloquia
Quark gluon plasma exhibits remarkable properties. Its vanishingly small shear viscosity to entropy density ratio means that it ﬂows essentially without internal friction, making it one of the most “perfect” liquids known. It is also very opaque to transiting particles including heavy charm quarks, though the exact mechanism for this is not yet understood. Recent data suggest that even very small colliding systems may produce a droplet of plasma. The similarities to strongly coupled or correlated systems in ultra-cold atoms and condensed matter are striking, and have inspired novel theoretical descriptions growing out of string theory. It remains a mystery how this plasma emerges from cold, dense gluonic matter deep inside nuclei. I will discuss current knowledge about interactions of quarks and gluons within the plasma and how a future electron-ion collider can help address this question.