After two years since the last edition, I was back in Paris to participate to the Twelfth Workshop on Non-perturbative Quantum Chromodynamics. The conference is organized by high-energy group at Brown University and held at Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris. Professor Chung-I Tan and Professor Berndt Mueller from Duke University are the organizers. As it also happened in the precedent edition, the workshop was really interesting and rich of ideas for research. The first talk was given by Kostantinos Orginos and was about nuclear physics emerging from lattice computations. This is a matter that I am involved into as a “final user” and so, very near my interests. It is noteworthy to point out how current technology permits to extract such results from lattice QCD making this a useful tool for the understanding of low-energy phenomenology. With Kostantinos, his wife Vassiliki Panoussi and sons, we have had a nice social dinner on Tuesday night and I have had an interesting discussion about the current situation of lattice computations. The next speaker was Philippe de Forcrand that is well-known for his works on finite temperature QCD on the lattice. He showed how the effective Yang-Mills theory at high temperature is surprisingly good with respect to lattice results also lowering temperatures at few times the critical temperature. Another interesting talk was the one by Peter Petreczy about the observables of QCD at finite temperature presenting also the most recent value for the critical temperature. As my readers may know, I computed this value in my recent paper on Physical Review C (see here) properly corrected by the mass gap of Yang-Mills theory. Norberto Scoccola and Daniel Gomez-Dumm showed similar results (see here).
On Tuesday it was the ultrarelativistic Heavy-ion collision session. This was particularly interesting and involved the talks of two friends of mine: Marco Ruggieri and Salvatore Plumari. In this area of research there is a really interesting and hot debated situation. On the other side, there is plenty of experimental results from RHIC and LHC. The session chair was Jean-Yves Ollitrault. He put the foundations to the current understanding of the quark-gluon plasma through a hydrodynamic approximation. What is observed in the experiments is the production of a flow of particles in a transverse direction named elliptic flow. This is a clear evidence of existence for the quark-gluon plasma. Marco and Salvatore work in the group of Vincenzo Greco at University of Catania in Italy. The idea they based their work on is to derive the hydrodynamic equations from a kinetic description as the one provided by the Boltzmann equation. This approach opens up the scene to the possibility to derive such an equation and the full description of the quark-gluon plasma starting directly from QCD and fixing the collisional integral of the kinetic equation. Of course, one should understand the applicability conditions but my take is that, being the running coupling going to zero due to asymptotic freedom, a quark-gluon plasma should have scarce multi-collision effects. On the other side, this is a charged plasma but lives for a very small time. This means that this approach can prove to be really successful. One of the open questions is if, going at higher energies, a state called “color glass condensate” should form and this is a matter of a hot debate in the community. This is creating some tension that is reminiscent of the story I recounted about Landau gauge propagators for pure Yang-Mills theory (see here). A color glass condensate gives an increasing lower bound on the viscosity to entropy ratio by a factor 2 with respect to , also computed from string theory, and appears less efficient with respect to observed elliptic flow at RHIC (see here). This kind of wars is often unproductive in physics and science at large as it slows down progress and good works could turn out unpublished. In situations like this, researchers should have eyes wide open and open minds granting all the contenders to be fairly listened waiting for experiments or careful lattice computations to say the last word. This should teach the history of Landau gauge propagators and also by looking back to history of physics. Otherwise we will stay on a silly forever war where we are only able to prove to the rest of mankind that nothing has been learned from the past.
On Wednesday the session was dedicated to AdS/CFT, Holography, and Scattering. There was the talk of Carl Bender that is currently working on PT quantum mechanics. He is the pioneer of strong perturbation for quantum systems and quantum field theory. I often cited his work that has been a source of inspiration. David Dudal also spoke and discussed a holographic model for the analysis of strong ion collisions and the effect of the huge magnetic field generated. He gets results reminiscent of the Nambu-Jona-Lasinio model. David is one of the proponents of the Refined Gribov-Zwanzinger model (see here). This is a real successful approach to the understanding of Landau gauge propagators and fits quite well with my results in the deep infrared behavior of a Yang-Mills theory as I also pointed out in my talk (see below).
On Thursday there was my talk in Paris. I will not comment about. On the morning, I heard the talk by Chung-I Tan, one of the organizers. He uses holographic techniques and the running coupling he obtains is similar to mine into an expansion in the inverse of the square root of the coupling. This is a nice result and it would be interesting to compare both of them numerically. One of the most interesting talks I heard was the one by Guy de Teramond. I have had reason to appreciate his work with Stanley Brodsky about holographic QCD and reduction to a Schrödinger-like equation to identify hadronic states (see here). With Guy I exchanged some interesting words and he was so kind to make compliments to my blog. A couple of talks were presented by cosmologists. The one by Patrick Peter about decoherence and cosmology struck me once again. I heard before about this matter and what makes me surprise is that the question of decoherence for a closed quantum system is stopped yet at the old Bohm pilot wave or a multiverse. This should not be considered serious ways anymore because there is a theorem due to Barry Simon and Elliott Lieb, two giants of mathematical physics, that states that the limit of a large number of particles, in a reasonable many-body quantum system, reaches a Thomas-Fermi limit (see here where you can download a pdf). It is known that the Thomas-Fermi limit is just a semiclassical limit and the behavior of the matter is essentially classical. This means that one has not to recur to exotic hypothesis to understand what went on in the primordial universe and its fluctuations. I have recounted all this matter here. The final talk was given by Herbert Fried and was about a new understanding of dark matter and the universe using a new view of quantum electrodynamics.
It was a great workshop and I have been very happy to be there also this year. I hope people at Brown University will repeat this again. Thanks a lot!
Marco Frasca (2011). Chiral symmetry in the low-energy limit of QCD at finite temperature Phys. Rev. C 84, 055208 (2011) arXiv: 1105.5274v4
D. Gomez Dumm, & N. N. Scoccola (2004). Characteristics of the chiral phase transition in nonlocal quark models Phys.Rev. C72 (2005) 014909 arXiv: hep-ph/0410262v2
Ollitrault, J. (1992). Anisotropy as a signature of transverse collective flow Physical Review D, 46 (1), 229-245 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.46.229
M. Ruggieri, F. Scardina, S. Plumari, & V. Greco (2013). Elliptic Flow from Nonequilibrium Color Glass Condensate Initial
Conditions arXiv arXiv: 1303.3178v1
David Dudal, John Gracey, Silvio Paolo Sorella, Nele Vandersickel, & Henri Verschelde (2008). A refinement of the Gribov-Zwanziger approach in the Landau gauge:
infrared propagators in harmony with the lattice results Phys.Rev.D78:065047,2008 arXiv: 0806.4348v2
Lieb, E., & Simon, B. (1973). Thomas-Fermi Theory Revisited Physical Review Letters, 31 (11), 681-683 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.31.681
Lieb, E., & Simon, B. (1977). The Thomas-Fermi theory of atoms, molecules and solids Advances in Mathematics, 23 (1), 22-116 DOI: 10.1016/0001-8708(77)90108-6
Marco Frasca (2006). Thermodynamic Limit and Decoherence: Rigorous Results Journal of Physics: Conference Series 67 (2007) 012026 arXiv: quant-ph/0611024v1