Dynamics of the QCD phase transition

László P. Csernai, Joseph I. Kapusta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


We apply a recently computed nucleation rate to a first-order deconfinement/chiral-symmetry restoring phase transition in a set of rate equations to study the time evolution of expanding quark-gluon plasma as it converts to hadronic matter. At energies of the BNL Relativistic Heavy Ion Colliders, the system must supercool about 20% below Tc before nucleation of hadronic bubbles is sufficiently rapid to overcome the expansion rate. The system reheats to near Tc, nucleation turns off, and the transition is completed by the growth of previously nucleated bubbles. Based on Bjorken hydrodynamics and on current parameter values, we estimate that the transition generates 30% extra entropy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-740
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992


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