From 0 to 5000 in 2 x 10-24 seconds: Entropy production in relativistic heavy-ion collisions Academic Article uri icon


  • We review what is known about the contributions to the final entropy from the different stages of a relativistic nuclear collision, including recent results on the decoherence entropy and the entropy produced during the hydrodynamic phase by viscous effects. We then present a general framework, based on the Husimi distribution function, for the calculation of entropy growth in quantum field theories, which is applicable to the earliest ("glasma") phase of the collision during which most of the entropy is generated. The entropy calculated from the Husimi distribution exhibits linear growth when the quantum field contains unstable modes and is asymptotically equal to the Kolmogorov-Sina (KS) entropy. We outline how the approach can be used to investigate the problem of entropy production in a relativistic heavy-ion reaction from first principles. 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Fries, R. J., Kunihiro, T., Mueller, B., Ohnishi, A., & Schaefer, A.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Fries, RJ||Kunihiro, T||Mueller, B||Ohnishi, A||Schaefer, A

publication date

  • November 2009