Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name



Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Sean Gavin


It is well accepted that heavy ion collisions can be described using hydrodynamic theory, implying these systems are large enough and long lived enough to reach local equilibrium. Recent measurements of correlations in pA and high multiplicity pp collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and Large Hadron Collider have shown that these systems also exhibit signs of thermalization, unexpected in the smaller, shorter lived systems. Studying this behavior can give insight into the thermalization process and help clarify the relationship between flow in large systems and hydrodynamics. In an effort to understand these measurements we use the Boltzmann equation, in conjunction with a dynamic description of Langevin noise, to study the approach nonequilibrium systems take toward thermalization. We use this equation and its solution to identify observables sensitive to the thermalization process. We also apply Langevin noise to the equations of second-order hydrodynamics in order to derive equations for dynamic two-particle transverse momentum correlations. We demonstrate the use of these equations by computing transport coefficients of the quark-gluon plasma.

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