A new state of nuclear matter, called quark-gluon plasma (QGP), is predicted to be created at extreme energy densities. This new state consists of interacting quarks, antiquarks and gluons. One of the major goals of RHIC (Relativistic Heavy Ion Collision) and LHC (Large Hadron Collider) experiments is to create and explore QGP. The main goal of this proposal is to develop a realistic theoretical formalism, which will be used to generate theoretical predictions that will be compared with the experimental data; such comparison will allow to map properties of this extreme phase of nuclear matter.
Two major experimental observables, which are used to probe QGP, are suppression and elliptic flow of high energy particles (jets) that are created during collisions of relativistic heavy ion beams. These two observables are closely related with the energy loss of jets as they travel through QGP. In previous theoretical studies, jet energy loss was calculated under universally implemented, but highly unrealistic, assumption of static scattering centers. In her recent work, the candidate has successfully developed a theoretical formalism for heavy quark energy loss in a dynamical finite size QCD medium. However, to develop a complete formalism of jet energy loss in such medium one also has to: i) accurately calculate gluon energy loss ii) incorporate non-zero magnetic mass into the formalism iii) generalize the energy loss to all orders in the number of scattering canters. Achieving these three objectives is the first goal of this proposal. As the second goal, we will integrate the developed formalism into a computational framework, in order to generate the most accurate computational predictions of jet suppression and elliptic flow available up to now. These predictions will be directly compared with RHIC and LHC experimental results, which will allow testing our understanding of QGP, and mapping properties of this new state of matter.
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