QCD above Tc: Hadrons, partons, and the continuum

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In this paper we provide a physical picture for the QCD phase transition in terms of qualitative changes in the spectral functions. Our approach takes into account the crossover nature of this transition and counts for the observed strong correlation seen in higher-order susceptibilities. We demonstrate that the hadron resonance gas, which alone describes the thermodynamics at temperatures T<Tc, will appreciably contribute to the total pressure until T3Tc. In this intermediate regime the QCD matter consists of strongly correlated excitations, interpretable as either hadrons or partons. As hadronic spectral peaks gradually vanish, the partonic excitations start to form a stand-alone quasiparticle gas. The conventional picture of a quark gluon plasma emerges only at T3Tc.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094029
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 24 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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