Dr. David Morrison, Brookhaven Nat'l Lab.
"Exploring QCD with Nuclear Collisions at Extremely High Energy"
Abstract: Over the last seven years, experiments at the Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory have produced and studied collisions between nuclei ranging all the way up to gold at nucleon-nucleon center of mass energies as high as 200 GeV. At the core of these collisions one finds conditions of energy density and temperature that are the most extreme ever seen in the laboratory and which haven't been common in nature since moments after the Big Bang. These unique conditions have enabled the investigation of Quantum Chromodynamics in physical domains never before possible. These studies have also started to yield new insights into the properties of quarks and gluons and their collective behaviors, and they have suggested intriguing connections with areas of physics as diverse as condensed matter physics and string theory.