Is there any reference (book/review article etc.) where the physics of heavy ion collisions is overviewed?

To be absolutely clear about things, I am looking for a introductory review which covers the physics aspects of the progression through the following stages

  • stable nuclei
  • fireball
  • quark-gluon plasma formation
  • (cooling)
  • hadronization
  • hadron interactions and decay
  • final observable particles (leptons, photons etc.)

with special emphasis on parameters like

  1. time for these stages,

  2. relevant temperatures,

  3. particle densities etc.

Apparently all the literature I have scanned through talks about bits and parts, a comprehensive big picture is unclear to me largely.


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  • $\begingroup$ In retrospect I guess if the first list is going to be a list at all, it should have been the numbered list, and the other list a bulleted list. Oh well. Something to consider if somebody edits the question again. $\endgroup$ – David Z Nov 24 '14 at 6:21

If someone stumbles across this question here some links:

Very general, about big questions in the field from 2018: https://arxiv.org/abs/1802.04801

More physics in here, by U. Heinz from 2013: https://arxiv.org/abs/1301.2826

Very nice review paper, linking to many established papers (2016): https://arxiv.org/abs/1605.08694

A PhD thesis, covering what you might look for in the first few pages (2014): https://etd.ohiolink.edu/pg_10?::NO:10:P10_ETD_SUBID:97415


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