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The characteristics of thermalization of boost-invariant plasma from holography

By Michal P. Heller, Romuald A. Janik and Przemyslaw Witaszczyk


We report on the approach towards the hydrodynamic regime of boost-invariant N=4 super Yang-Mills plasma at strong coupling starting from various far-from-equilibrium states at tau=0. The results are obtained through numerical solution of Einstein's equations for the dual geometries, as described in detail in the companion article arXiv:1203.0755. Despite the very rich far-from-equilibrium evolution, we find surprising regularities in the form of clear correlations between initial entropy and total produced entropy, as well as between initial entropy and the temperature at thermalization, understood as the transition to a hydrodynamic description. For 29 different initial conditions that we consider, hydrodynamics turns out to be definitely applicable for proper times larger than 0.7 in units of inverse temperature at thermalization. We observe a sizable anisotropy in the energy-momentum tensor at thermalization, which is nevertheless entirely due to hydrodynamic effects. This suggests that effective thermalization in heavy ion collisions may occur significantly earlier than true thermalization.Comment: 4 pages, 5 figures; see also the companion article arXiv:1203.0755; v2: figure corrected (fixes problem with Acrobat); v3: various clarifications and additional data points added; v4: typo fixed, publishe

Topics: High Energy Physics - Theory, General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology, High Energy Physics - Phenomenology, Nuclear Theory
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.201602
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