Raju Venugopalan

Research Area

Energy, Energy and Modeling & Simulation


Brookhaven National Laboratory

My interests are primarily in QCD, with a focus on the theory at high energies, where quarks and gluons display novel interesting collective many-body behavior; one example is the strongly interacting quark gluon plasma (QGP) produced in heavy ion collisions at RHIC and at the LHC.

I am interested in how quantum states that generate this matter look like in nuclear wave functions–their properties can be described as a Color Glass Condensate (CGC). When two CGCs collide, they shatter to form a highly non-equilibrium Glasma state. In strong analogy with inflationary dynamics in the early universe, quantum fluctuations play an essential role in thermalizing quark-gluon matter and in generating long range rapidity correlations. Remarkably, experiments at RHIC and LHC are able to extract finger prints of such dynamics, providing insight into how strong color fields thermalize into the QGP.

The CGC can also be probed directly in deuteron-gold collisions at RHIC and in p+A collisions at the LHC. Further precision studies in the future are feasible with an Electron Ion Collider (EIC).

With on-going discoveries at RHIC and the LHC, and active plans for future facilities, the study of collective phenomena in QCD (the most perfect theory known) is a vibrant sub-field of physics.

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