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Theoretical Physics

Prof. Subrata Pal

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Understanding the hot and dense nuclear matter phase diagram is one of the most fascinating challenges of modern nuclear physics. Intermediate energy nucleus-nucleus collisions produce a very hot (T = 5 MeV ~ 5x 10^10 K) and dense fireball that breaks-up into a large of nuclei and nucleons exhibiting features of liquid-gas phase transition. Study of the break-up mechanism and the poorly known density dependence of neutron-proton asymmetry energy has wide-ranging implications from nuclear structure, nucleon dynamics to neutron stars. Ultra-relativistic energy heavy ion collisions generate extremely high temperature (T = 170 MeV) and density resulting in quarks and gluons confined within the nucleons in nuclei to be liberated and form Quark-Gluon-Plasma (QGP) – a new form of matter predicted by quantum chromodynamics (QCD) – the theory of strong interactions.