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## Holographic Thermalization |

Recently a lot of attention has been devoted to
non-equilibrium properties of strongly interacting systems, in both high energy
physics (the quark-gluon plasma at RHIC and at the LHC experiments) and
condensed matter physics (quantum quenches in cold atomic gases). In the absence of established and robust
first-principles methods to describe time-dependent configurations of strongly
interacting media, an alternative approach based on the gauge-gravity duality
emerged. In this new paradigm, certain strongly coupled media can be “holographically” described in terms of higher dimensional
curved geometries involving black holes. Remarkable progress has been made in the last 10 years
in understanding equilibrium and near-equilibrium properties of holographic
strongly coupled systems. Little is known, though, on the far-from-equilibrium
regime relevant to the approach to local equilibrium. Holographic
investigations of this regime may help understand the mechanism behind the fast
thermalization of the quark-gluon plasma observed in
heavy ion collisions. They are also relevant to studies of entropy production
and various measures of departure from equilibrium in non-equilibrium systems,
and can be useful to understand the physics of non-equilibrium condensates in condensed
matter experiments, as well as fundamental aspects of black hole physics.
Numerical methods are usually required to construct the highly time-dependent
dual geometries describing black hole formation and equilibration. Therefore, these investigations require ideas and tools
from string theory (the gauge/gravity duality), numerical relativity, as well
as many-body physics (QCD and condensed matter theory). Success will require
collaboration between members of these communities, whose interactions in the
past have been rather limited. The “Holographic Thermalization”
workshop aimed to facilitate and initiate such interactions by bringing
together leading experts on applications of the gauge-gravity duality with a
number of key players from the QCD, condensed matter theory and numerical
relativity communities. Although initially the organizers planned a meeting
with about 40 participants, an overwhelming interest led to the workshop with
55 researchers. The number would be higher, if not logistic constraints on the
organizational side. The workshop had a relaxed schedule with a moderate
number of speakers among which nine were invited as leading figures interested
in equilibration problems within their disciplines. The remaining eight talks
were given to registered participants with four shorter talks delivered by
junior researchers. There were also four discussion sessions led by the experts
in string theory, information theory, QCD and numerical methods and for each
discussion its leaders tried to choose the most interesting set of subjects
related to the holographic thermalization. The
schedule had generous three hour long lunch breaks, part of which the
participants used for working on their own projects and private discussions. The interdisciplinary character of the workshop led to a
couple of interesting group discussions, e.g. about the relation between the
so-called global AdS spacetime
used in their studies by relativists and the so-called Poincare patch of AdS used in most of the studies by string theorists working
on holography. [Back] |