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Paper IPM / P / 12137  


Abstract:  
We study the energy lost by an accelerating quark probe in the quarkgluon plasma
produced in the heavy ion collisions in an approximate setting where the acceleration
of the probe is due to uniform circular motion. The energy loss rate of
the rotating probe is calculated at strong coupling in the confining SU(N) gauge
theory based on N D4 branes on a circle, using the rotating string solutions in
the dual gravitational background. The system is known to exhibit a confinementdeconfinement
transition at a finite temperature Tc. We investigate energy loss
both in the low and the high T phases. The high T phase is similar to the previously
studied case of the N = 4 plasma, yet we find qualitative differences due to
nonconformality of the underlying theory. The low T phase, on the other hand
exhibits novel interesting behavior: We find a dual gravitational mechanism that
yields a lower bound on the emitted energy of the rotating quark, proportional
to the mass gap in the glueball spectrum. The low T energy loss is argued to be
completely due to glueball brehmstrahlung, hence the energy loss rate calculated
here determines the Lienard potential for syncrotron radiation in this confining
gauge theory at strong coupling.
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