According to current understanding, our universe in the `Big Bang' scenario has evolved from a quark-gluon plasma (QGP) to color neutral hadronic states within the first second of its lifetime. In this context, the phase transition from partonic degrees of freedom (quarks and gluons) to interacting hadrons is a central topic of modern high-energy physics. In order to understand the dynamics and relevant scales of this transition –as well as the origin of confinement– laboratory experiments under controlled conditions are performed with relativistic nucleus-nucleus collisions.
The study of nuclear matter under extremely high baryon density and temperature –where according to lattice quantum chromodynamics (lQCD) the hadronic matter transforms to a strongly interacting quark-gluon plasma (sQGP)– is the aim of a variety of experiments at current and future facilities, i.e. SPS, RHIC, LHC or the future FAIR and NICA facilities. By going down in energy up to few GeV per nucleon one enters another intriguing physics area since at high baryon density and relatively low temperatures, where the nuclear matter is not yet deconfined in the QGP stage, the hadrons change their properties substantially relative to the vacuum case.
It is a theoretical challenge to describe the undergoing physical phenomena from the microscopic point of view –starting with the proper degrees of freedom– and to follow the full dynamical evolution of the system based on fundamental many-body theory.The main research direction of our group is oriented along this general line exploring in particular non-equilibrium dynamics of strongly interacting hadronic and partonic systems.
Main topics of research:
Phase transition from hadronic to partonic matter
Properties of quark-gluon plasma, Dynamical Quasi-Particle model (DQPM)
- Dilepton, strangeness and charm production
- Hadron properties in hot/dense nuclear matter, coupled-channel G-matrix approach
- Nambu-Jona-Lasinio model (NJL) at finite temperature and baryonic density
- Nucleon-nucleon, meson-nucleon and lepton-hadron interactions