Berndt Mueller
James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Physics

Prof. Mueller's work focuses on nuclear matter at extreme energy density. Quantum chromodynamics, the fundamental theory of nuclear forces, predicts that nuclear matter dissolves into quarks and gluons, the elementary constituents of protons and neutrons, when a critical density or temperature is exceeded. He and his collaborators are theoretically studying the properties of this "quark-gluon plasma", its formation, and its detection in high-energy nuclear collisions. His other research interests include symmetry violating processes in the very early universe and the chaotic dynamics of elementary particle fields. Prof. Mueller is the coauthor of textbooks on the Physics of the Quark-Gluon Plasma, on Symmetry Principles in Quantum Mechanics, on Weak Interactions, and on Neural Networks.

Current Research Interests

My research interests currently focus on emergent properties of the quark-gluon plasma, such as how it thermalizes, how its very low shear viscosity is generated, how it interacts with pairs of heavy quarks (quarkonia), how it reacts to magnetic fields, and how experimentally accessible probes can tell us more about these properties. I have also taken an active interest in the science that can be done at a future electron-ion collider and helped convince the Department of energy to initiate the construction of such a facility. More peripheral research interests include the viscous dynamics of matter falling into a black hole, the question of "thermalization" in the absence of a heat bath, and the possible physics of a world with two time dimensions.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

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