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Date of Award
Physics and Astronomy
This dissertation builds a framework for the incorporation of the effects of a first-order deconfinement phase transition in relativistic heavy ion collisions. An observable denoted by the symbol O useful to quantify the expected increase in net baryon number fluctuations---as a result of this phase transition---is proposed and examined. Values of O in the absence of such a transition are presented. Methods adapted from condensed matter physics are combined with techniques from dissipative relativistic fluid dynamics to derive a covariant version of the Cahn-Hilliard equation. This equation is then solved numerically (mainly for Bjorken-type collisions exhibiting Bjorken longitudinal expansion) for a variety of scenarios and initial conditions. The essential finding of this thesis is that the deconfinement transition has the potential to elevate O from negative to positive values. Finally, suggestions for further refinement are presented.
Bower, David M., "Dynamics of the QCD phase transition in relativistic heavy ion collisions" (2003). Wayne State University Dissertations. 3391.