Date of Award

8-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Physics

Major Professor

George Siopsis

Committee Members

Yuri Kamyshkov, Soren Sorensen, Carl Sundberg

Abstract

The experiments performed at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Lab have discovered a state of matter called the strongly coupled quark-gluon plasma (sQGP). The strong coupling has limited the ability of the standard theory to describe such matter, namely Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD). However, string theory's anti-de Sitter/conformal field theory (AdS/CFT) correspondence has provided a new way to study the situation and in an analytical manner. So far, hydrodynamic properties of RHIC's plasma, such as elliptic flow and longitudinal expansion, have been seen to follow from classical supergravity calculations. In this dissertation I discuss some of the field's development as well as the research done by the author and collaborators.

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