Conical flow in a medium with variable speed of sound

Physics – High Energy Physics – High Energy Physics - Phenomenology

Scientific paper

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Scientific paper

In high energy nuclear collisions, QCD jets deposit a large fraction of their energy into the produced matter. It has been proposed that as such matter behaves as a liquid with a very small viscosity, a fraction of this energy goes into a collective excitation called the ``conical flow'', similar e.g. to the sonic booms generated by the supersonic planes. In this work we study the effect of time-dependent speed of sound on the development of the conical wave. We show that the expansion of matter and the decrease of $c_s$ leads to an increase of observable manifestations of the conical flow. We also show that if the QCD phase transition is of the first order (and thus with vanishing speed of sound in the mixed phase) the wave must split into two, with opposite directions. We then argue that it is not the case experimentally, which supports the conclusion that the QCD phase transition is $not$ of the first order.

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