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The good, the bad, and the perfect fluid

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 9:00am

Speaker Name(s): 

Paul Romatschke

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Nuclear Physics, Physics Department, CU
Seminar Type/Subject

Event Details & Abstract: 

There are good fluids and not so good fluids, as anyone trying to empty an old jar of honey will attest. Good fluids are characterized by having a low viscosity coefficient. Experimentally one finds that viscosity can reach arbitrarily high values for different fluids. However, the converse is not true: it is hard to find fluids with a viscosity coefficient lower than that of water.Until the end of last century, one of the record holders for low viscosity values was fluid helium, but with the advent of heavy-ion colliders and ultracold atomic gas experiments this has changed. I will lead you on a search for the "perfect fluid", using results from fields as different as relativistic fluid dynamics, string theory, high energy nuclear physics and atomic physics along the way.