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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Disoriented Chiral Condensates in High-Energy Nuclear Collisions


This brief lecture series discusses how our current understanding of chiral symmetry may be tested more globally in high-energy nuclear collisions by suitable extraction of pionic observables. After briefly recalling the general features of chiral symmetry, we focus on the SU(2) linear sigma model and show how a semi-classical mean-field treatment makes it possible to calculate its statistical properties, including the chiral phase diagram. Subsequently, we consider scenarios of relevance to high-energy collisions and discuss the features of the ensuing non-equilibrium dynamics and the associated characteristic signals. Finally, we illustrate how the presence of vacuum fluctuations or the inclusion of strangenesss may affect the results quantitatively.

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