Lab Home | Phone | Search
Center for Nonlinear Studies  Center for Nonlinear Studies
 Colloquia Archive 
 Postdoc Seminars Archive 
 Quantum Lunch 
 Quantum Lunch Archive 
 CMS Colloquia 
 Q-Mat Seminars 
 Q-Mat Seminars Archive 
 P/T Colloquia 
 Kac Lectures 
 Kac Fellows 
 Dist. Quant. Lecture 
 Ulam Scholar 
 CNLS Fellowship Application 
 Student Program 
 Past Visitors 
 History of CNLS 
 Maps, Directions 
 CNLS Office 
Monday, September 28, 2009
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


In Search of the Perfect Fluid

Thomas Schaefer
North Carolina State University

Experiments at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) indicate that the quark gluon plasma is a very good fluid. Motivated by these results we study the question whether there is a fundamental limit to the ``perfectness'' of a fluid. We review arguments based on kinetic theory as well as string theory that suggest that there is lower bound for the ratio of shear viscosity to entropy density. We present an analysis of experimental results for the shear viscosity of the best quantum fluids that have been studied in the laboratory. This includes Bose fluids (such as liquid Helium), Fermi fluids (dilute atomic Fermi gases near a Feshbach resonance), and gauge theory plasmas (the QGP at RHIC).

Host: Sanjay Reddy,