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The shape and flow of heavy-ion collisions

KMI Colloquium
2013-08-21 17:00
Bjoern Schenke
KMI Science Symposia (ES635)

The fluid dynamic description of the hot and dense matter created in heavy-ion collisions has been extremely successful in describing measured spectra and anisotropic flow of produced particles at low momentum. In recent years it has become clear that both viscous effects and a detailed understanding of the initial state and its fluctuations are essential to consistently describe the wide range of available experimental data and to extract properties of the produced strongly interacting system. I will review progress towards a comprehensive description of the bulk dynamics in heavy-ion collisions and present a new quantum-chromo-dynamics based initial state model that includes sub-nucleonic color-charge fluctuations and Yang-Mills dynamics of the produced gluon fields at early times. Coupled to viscous fluid dynamic evolution it reproduces experimental data on anisotropic flow coefficients and their event-by-event distributions from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Finally I will discuss the applicability of this framework to proton-lead collisions recently performed at the LHC.