Quark-Gluon Plasma introduces the primordial matter, composed of two types of elementary particles, created at the time of the Big Bang. During the evolution of the universe, Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP) undergoes a transition to hadronic matter governed by quantum chromodynamics, the law of strong interactions. After an introduction to gauge theories, various aspects of quantum chromodynamic phase transitions are illustrated in a self-contained manner. The cosmological approach and renormalization group are discussed, as well as the cosmological and astrophysical implications of QGP, on the basis of Einstein's equations. Recent developments towards the formation of QGP in ultrarelativistic heavy ion collisions are also presented in detail. This text is suitable as an introduction for graduate students, as well as providing a valuable reference for researchers already working in this and related fields. It includes eight appendices and over a hundred exercises.
• Self-contained and accessible introduction to the physics of quark-gluon plasma • Suitable for use as a textbook; includes 120 exercises • Comprehensive coverage, including theoretical and experimental/observational aspects of QCD phase transitions
Preface; 1. What is quark-gluon plasma; Part I. Basic Concept of Quark-Gluon Plasma: 2. Introduction to QCD; 3. Physics of quark-hadron phase transition; 4. Field theory at finite temperature; 5. Lattice gauge approach to QCD phase transitions; 6. Chiral phase transition; 7. Hadronic states in hot environment; Part II. QGP in Astrophysics: 8. QGP in the early universe; 9. Compact stars; Part III. QGP in Relativistic Heavy Ion Collisions: 10. Introduction to relativisitic heavy ion collisions; 11. Relativistic hydrodynamics for heavy ion collisions; 12. Transport theory for pre-equilibrium process; 13. Formation and evolution of QGP; 14. Fundamentals of QGP diagnostics; 15. Results from CERN-SPS experiments; 16. First results from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC); 17. Detectors in relativistic heavy ion experiments; Appendices.