Thursday, March 21, 2013

1303.4774 (Thomas A. Trainor)

A critical review of RHIC experimental results    [PDF]

Thomas A. Trainor
The relativistic heavy ion collider (RHIC) was constructed to achieve an asymptotic state of nuclear matter in heavy ion collisions, a near-ideal gas of deconfined quarks and gluons denoted quark-gluon plasma or QGP. RHIC collisions are indeed very different from the hadronic processes observed at the Bevalac and AGS, but high-energy elementary-collision mechanisms are also non-hadronic. The two-component model (TCM) combines measured properties of elementary collisions with the Glauber eikonal model to provide an alternative asymptotic limit for A-A collisions. RHIC data have been interpreted to indicate formation of a {\em strongly-coupled} QGP or "perfect liquid". In this review I consider the experimental evidence that seems to support such conclusions and alternative evidence that may conflict with those conclusions and suggest different interpretations.
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