Associate 2001-02

John Kogut


Quantum Chromodynamics in Extreme Environments

Quantum Chromodynamics is the theory of quarks and gluons which underlies Nuclear and High Energy physics. Despite the apparent simplicity of its principles, Quantum Chromodynamics is difficult to analyze. In principle, it should account for a wide variety of physical phenomena from low energy nuclear physics to high energy scattering processes.

One of the least understood and most challenging areas where Quantum Chromodynamics should make predictions is its thermodynamics in hot and/or neutron-rich environments. An understanding of this regime is important in order to put the experimental heavy-ion collision program, such as at Brookhaven National Laboratory's new facility, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), on a solid basis. It is also important if we are to make quantitative predictions for the physics of neutron stars and the explosive evolution of supernovas.

During his Center appointment, Professor Kogut will write the first text on the subject, which will be published by Cambridge University Press. His past post-doctoral fellow, M. A. Stephanov, a junior faculty member of the University of Illinois at Chicago will be a second author. The book will describe the state of ongoing research, summarize the results, and outline problems. It will cover topics such as the thermodynamics of Quantum Chromodynamics, Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics, diquark condensation and color superconductivity, and the phase diagram of Quantum Chromodynamics. With the analysis of existing methods, their strengths and weaknesses, the book should aid theorists wishing to contribute to this field. The book will also help experimentalists understand the origin and background of theoretical predictions. With a reasonably self-sufficient introduction, the book should be of interest to a broad audience of scientists wishing to widen their knowledge horizon and explore possible cross-discipline connections.