Quantum statistical van der Waals equation and its QCD applications

  • The theory of strong interactions — Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) — is well-defined mathematically. However, direct applications of this theory to experiment are rather limited due to significant technical obstacles. Even some general features of QCD remain unclear to date. Hence, phenomenological input is important and needed for practical applications, e.g. for theoretical analysis of the heavy-ion collision experiments. In this thesis the role of hadronic interactions is studied in the hadron resonance gas (HRG) model — a popular model for the confined phase of QCD. The description of hadronic interactions is based on the famous van der Waals (VDW) equation and its quantum statistical generalization. While this is not the conventional choice for nuclear/hadronic physicspplications, the simplicity of the VDW approach makes it extremely useful. In particular, this framework allows to include the two most basic ingredients of hadron-hadron interaction: the short-range repulsion, modeled by excluded-volume (EV) corrections, and the intermediate range attraction. The first part of the thesis considers just the repulsive EV interactions between hadrons. A hitherto unknown, but surprisingly strong sensitivity of the long known thermal fits to heavy-ion hadron yield data to the choice of hadron eigenvolumes is uncovered. It challenges the robustness of the chemical freeze-out temperature and baryochemical potential determination from the thermal fits. However, at the same time, the extracted value of the entropy per baryon is found to be a robust observable which depends weakly on this systematic uncertainty of the HRG model. A Monte Carlo procedure to treat EV interactions in HRG is also introduced in this thesis. It allows to study simultaneous effects of EV and of exact charge conservation in HRG for the first time. Generalizations of the classical VDW equation are required for its applications in hadronic physics. he grand canonical ensemble (GCE) formulation of the classical VDW equation is presented. Remarkably, this important aspect of the VDW equation was not discovered before. The GCE formulation yields the analytic structure of the critical fluctuations, both in the vicinity of and far off the critical point. These critical fluctuations are presently actively being used as probes for the QCD critical point. Another extension is the hitherto undiscovered generalization of the VDW equation to include quantum Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac statistics. It is performed for both single-component and multi-component fluids. The Fermi-Dirac VDW equation is applied for the first time. It is used to describe nucleons and basic properties of nuclear matter. The quantum statistical generalization of the VDW equation developed in this work is quite general, and can be applied for any fluid. Thus, its applications are not restricted to QCD physics, but may also find themselves in chemistry and/or industry. The quantum statistical VDW equation is used to describe baryonic interactions in full HRG. The VDW parameters $a$ and $b$ are fixed to the nuclear ground state and the predictions of the model are confronted with lattice QCD calculations. The inclusion of baryonic interactions leads to a qualitatively different behavior of the fluctuations of conserved charges in the crossover region. In many cases it resembles the lattice data. These results suggest that hadrons do not melt quickly with increasing temperature, as one could conclude on the basis of the common simple ideal HRG model. Calculations at finite chemical potentials show that the nuclear liquid-gas transition manifests itself by non-trivial fluctuations of the net baryon number in heavy ion collisions. In the final part of the thesis the pure glue initial scenario for high-energy hadron and heavy-ion collisions is explored. This scenario is shown not to spoil the existing agreement of the hadronic and electromagnetic observables description in Pb+Pb collisions at energies available at the CERN Large Hadron Collider. Hydrodynamic calculations suggest that collisions of small-sized nuclei at lower collision energies available at the BNL Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider are promising in the search for the traces of the chemically non-equilibrium gluon-dominated phase transition.

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Author:Volodymyr Vovchenko
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Referee:Horst Stoecker, Carsten GreinerGND
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of Publication (online):2018/04/10
Date of first Publication:2017/06/06
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Date of final exam:2018/03/09
Release Date:2018/04/19
Tag:QCD; fluctuations; thermodynamics; van der Waals
Page Number:xx, 146
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 53 Physik / 530 Physik
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht