Viscosity, Black Holes, and Holography
Dam Thanh Son, University of Washington
Viscosity is a very old concept which was introduced to physics by Navier in the 19th century. For weakly interacting systems, like dilute gases, the viscosity can be computed very reliably. However, in strongly coupled systems viscosity is extremely difficult to compute ab initio. In this talk I will describe how holography, an idea originated from quantum gravity and string theory, allows one to compute the viscosity for a class of strongly interacting fluids. These fluids turn out to be not dissimilar to the quark gluon plasma created experimentally the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider in Brookhaven National Laboratory. I will also describe some other applications of holography to real systems.