Discovery of Quark-Gluon Plasma: Strangeness Diaries


We look from a theoretical perspective at the new phase of matter, quark-gluon plasma (QGP), the new form of nuclear matter created at high temperature and pressure. Here I retrace the path to QGP discovery and its exploration in terms of strangeness production and strange particle signatures. We will see the theoretical arguments that have been advanced to create interest in this determining signature of QGP. We explore the procedure used by several experimental groups making strangeness production an important tool in the search and discovery of this primordial state of matter present in the Universe before matter in its present form was formed. We close by looking at both the ongoing research that increases the reach of this observable to LHC energy scale pp collisions, and propose an interpretation of these unexpected results.


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Rafelski, J. Discovery of Quark-Gluon Plasma: Strangeness Diaries. Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. 229, 1–140 (2020).

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