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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Drag force to all orders in gradients


AbstractWe study the energy loss of a heavy quark slowly moving through an evolving strongly coupled plasma. We use the linearized fluid/gravity correspondence to describe small perturbations of the medium flow with general spacetime dependence. This all order linearized hydrodynamics results in a drag force exerted on a heavy quark even when it is at rest with the fluid element. We show how the general contribution to the drag force can be derived order by order in the medium velocity gradients and provide explicit results valid up to the third order. We then obtain an approximate semi-analytic result for the drag force to all orders in the gradient expansion but linearized in the medium velocity. Thus, the effects of a class of hydrodynamic gradients on the drag force are re-summed, giving further insight into the dissipative properties of strongly coupled plasmas. The all order result allows us to study the drag force in the non-hydrodynamic regime of linear medium perturbations that vary rapidly in space and time.

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