Decoherence and entropy production in relativistic nuclear collisions Academic Article uri icon


  • Short thermalization times of less than 1 fm/c for quark and gluon matter have been suggested by recent experiments at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. It has been difficult to justify this rapid thermalization in first-principle calculations based on perturbation theory or the color glass condensate picture. Here, we address the related question of the decoherence of the gluon field, which is a necessary component of thermalization. We present a simplified leading-order computation of the decoherence time of a gluon ensemble subject to an incoming flux of Weizscker-Williams gluons. We also discuss the entropy produced during the decoherence process and its relation to the entropy in the final state that has been measured experimentally. 2009 The American Physical Society.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Fries, R. J., Mueller, B., & Schaefer, A.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Fries, Rainer J||Mueller, Berndt||Schaefer, Andreas

publication date

  • January 1, 2009 11:11 AM