Sphaleron transition rates and the chiral magnetic effect

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The chiral magnetic effect is a novel quantum phenomenon proposed for high-energy nuclear collisions but which has yet to be observed. We quantify the axial charge relaxation time, due to sphalerons, which enters in simulations of this effect. An extrapolation of weak coupling calculations of the sphaleron rate yields rather different relaxation times than strong coupling AdS/CFT calculations. The AdS/CFT relaxation time is the larger one of the two by an order of magnitude, but the weak coupling relaxation time may not be reliable because it is only marginally bigger than the microscopic thermalization time. The role of quark masses has yet to be accurately assessed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2250010
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics E
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

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© 2022 World Scientific Publishing Company.


  • Chiral magnetic effect
  • equilibration time
  • quantum chromodynamics
  • sphalerons


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