Workshop "Strong and Electroweak Matter 2002"

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together theoretical physicists (including graduate students) working on matter in extreme conditions as found in the early Universe, heavy ion collisions or astrophysical applications. Depending on the energy scale, strong interactions (GeV) or electroweak interactions (100 GeV) are most important, described in the Standard Model by quantum chromodynamics (QCD) and the Salam-Weinberg gauge theory respectively. ``Extreme Conditions'' indicates that high temperatures, high matter densities and/or nonequilibrium conditions are involved. Their description is based on the fundamental interactions supplemented by statistical concepts appropriate for situations not touched by ordinary elementary particle accelerator experiments.

New results from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven offer a great potential to test our understanding of matter in extreme conditions. Perturbative QCD and small-x physics for the early stages of the collision will be as necessary as the nonperturbative analyses of QCD thermodynamics relevant at later times in a collision. Effective analytical descriptions and lattice gauge theory methods are import ingredients in mapping out the QCD phase diagram as a function of temperature and baryon number density. Techniques for integrating out degrees of freedom and to deal with the remaining ones (semi)analytically or with lattice methods are required. There is a growing need to develop methods for the description of quantum fields in nonequilibrium conditions. The basic theoretical tools to describe phase transitions in the early Universe and baryogenesis in the electroweak theory are the same as those required to describe the formation of the quark gluon plasma in QCD. Theoretical issues such as the emergence of hydrodynamic behavior from microscopic physics, transport processes or thermalization have to be described in a consistent framework. Nonequilibrium quantum field theory, its quasiclassical particle and infrared field limits and quantum deviations, are essential. This necessarily brings together theoreticians from quite different disciplines, and this we consider to be a very challenging aspect of such a workshop.

Since this is a workshop mainly focussing on theoretical physics, sessions will be organized mostly by collecting different research areas with similar methods. Another important criterion will be their application either to heavy ion collisions or to the early Universe.

Detailed information about the program will be given later.