[PAST EVENT] Physics Colloquium

February 12, 2013
4pm - 5pm
Small Hall, Room 111
300 Ukrop Way
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Quantum ChromoDynamics (QCD) is the fundamental theory describing almost all of the matter we know about. From the initial big bang, to the formation of protons and neutrons and the lightest nuclear elements, to the solar fusion that powers the stars, creates Carbon-12, and finally to the death of stars and the formation of white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, QCD plays a central role in these wonderful dynamics. Yet the theory of QCD is non-perturbative and evades an analytic solution, leaving us with very little quantitative connections between the fundamental strong force and these rich phenomena.

I will describe how, with the aid of the world's biggest computers, we are able to compute some of the simplest properties of matter directly from QCD. As an example, I will explain initial steps we are making to understanding the production of the primordial light nuclear elements just after the Big Bang directly from QCD.