Thermalization of heavy quarks in the quark-gluon plasma
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Charm- and bottom-quark rescattering in a quark-gluon plasma (QGP) is investigated with the objective of assessing the approach toward thermalization. Employing a Fokker-Planck equation to approximate the collision integral of the Boltzmann equation we augment earlier studies based on perturbative parton cross sections by introducing resonant heavy-light quark interactions. The latter are motivated by recent QCD lattice calculations that indicate the presence of "hadronic" states in the QGP. We model these states by colorless (pseudo-) scalar and (axial-) vector D and B mesons within a heavy-quark effective theory framework. We find that the presence of these resonances at moderate QGP temperatures substantially accelerates the kinetic equilibration of c quarks as compared to using perturbative interactions. We also comment on consequences for D-meson observables in ultrarelativistic heavy-ion collisions.
DescriptionJournals published by the American Physical Society can be found at http://publish.aps.org/
SubjectOPEN CHARM PRODUCTION