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Heavy-ion collision experiments carried out at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, or BNL, and at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, provide evidence that matter can be driven from a confined, low-temperature phase into a deconfined high temperature phase of liberated quarks and gluons. Understanding of the deconfinement transition can bring our knowledge of strongly-interacting matter to a deeper level. Ab initio equilibrium studies of the thermodynamic equation of state in the deconfined phase are possible in the framework of lattice gauge theory. It is often desired in such studies to approach the infinite volume thermodynamic limit. To accomplish it quickly, most studies have implemented lattices with periodic boundary conditions. However, the physical volumes created at the Brookhaven National Laboratory are small and exploratory work for pure SU(3) lattice gauge theory suggests that boundary effects cannot be neglected. In this work we study the SU(3) deconfined equilibrium phase in small volumes with inside and outside temperatures in the SU(3) scaling region, using a lattice geometry of the double-layered torus. Our results show substantial finite size effects on the deconfining transition temperature under realistic boundary conditions.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Physics in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Bernd A. Berg, Professor Directing Dissertation; Rafael Brüschweiler, Outside Committee Member; Todd Adams, Committee Member; Jorge Piekarewicz, Committee Member; Laura Reina, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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