Decoherence and entropy production in relativistic nuclear collisions
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Short thermalization times of less than 1 fm/c for quark and gluon matter have been suggested by recent experiments at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. It has been difficult to justify this rapid thermalization in first-principle calculations based on perturbation theory or the color glass condensate picture. Here, we address the related question of the decoherence of the gluon field, which is a necessary component of thermalization. We present a simplified leading-order computation of the decoherence time of a gluon ensemble subject to an incoming flux of Weizsacker-Williams gluons. We also discuss the entropy produced during the decoherence process and its relation to the entropy in the final state that has been measured experimentally.
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