How hadron collider experiments contributed to the development of QCD: from hard-scattering to the perfect liquid
Physics Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory,
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Received in final form: 20 November 2017
Published online: 30 January 2018
A revolution in elementary particle physics occurred during the period from the ICHEP1968 to the ICHEP1982 with the advent of the parton model from discoveries in Deeply Inelastic electron-proton Scattering at SLAC, neutrino experiments, hard-scattering observed in p+p collisions at the CERN ISR, the development of QCD, the discovery of the J/Ψ at BNL and SLAC and the clear observation of high transverse momentum jets at the CERN SPS p̄ + p collider. These and other discoveries in this period led to the acceptance of QCD as the theory of the strong interactions. The desire to understand nuclear physics at high density such as in neutron stars led to the application of QCD to this problem and to the prediction of a Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP) in nuclei at high energy density and temperatures. This eventually led to the construction of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at BNL to observe superdense nuclear matter in the laboratory. This article discusses how experimental methods and results which confirmed QCD at the first hadron collider, the CERN ISR, played an important role in experiments at the first heavy ion collider, RHIC, leading to the discovery of the QGP as a perfect liquid as well as discoveries at RHIC and the LHC which continue to the present day.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag 2018