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 Weizsäcker-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.

author list (cited authors)

  • Fries, R. J., Müller, B., & Schäfer, A.

citation count

  • 12

publication date

  • March 2009