Heavy Quark Propagation in a Linearized Boltzmann Description

J. Scott Moreland, Duke University

Photo of J. Scott Moreland

Ultra-relativistic heavy ion collisions are used to probe exotic regions of the nuclear equation of state where color-neutral hadrons melt to form a hot fluid of deconfined quarks and gluons known as a quark-gluon plasma (QGP). Considerable progress has been made in describing the collective properties of the QGP fireball using relativistic hydrodynamic simulations. These models are highly successful for describing the particle spectra at low momenta where short mean-free paths drive local thermal equilibrium, but they are unable to describe the evolution of hard probes for which thermalization is a bad approximation. We report on progress toward a model for describing these hard probes using a linearized Boltzmann procedure to iteratively sample collision partners from a hydrodynamic medium, which then act as scattering targets for high-momentum projectiles. This allows for a realistic description of heavy quark space-time trajectories within event-by-event hydrodynamic simulations, thus providing a logical unification of otherwise incompatible domains of QGP physics.

Abstract Author(s): J. Scott Moreland, Steffen Bass