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Quantum Chromo-Dynamics at high energies

Michael Lublinsky

We have entered the fascinating era of the Large Hadron Collider: the initial proton and heavy
ion collisions are already underway. Heavy ion collisions provide the unique possibility of
creating and studying a new state of matter, known as quark gluon plasma, at energy densities
and temperatures similar to those of the early Universe at \(10^{-5}\) seconds after the Big Bang.
The microscopic theory describing the structure of protons and nuclei is the theory of strong
interactions, know as Quantum ChromoDynamics (QCD). Even though the fundamental theory
is known, it is extremely dicult to deduce from the QCD results of collision processes. This is
due to the high level of complexity of the theory involving mutual interactions between gluons,
the "photons" of strong interactions. When probed at very high energies, heavy nuclei, and
even protons, appear as very dense clouds of gluons. The main objective of this proposal is to
develop the theory of high energy collisions of dense gluonic objects, using rst principle QCD
calculation and apply it to experimental data on heavy ion collisions at the LHC.