From the reviews:
“The book describes the physics of nuclear matter that is heated or compressed to extremes of temperature and density. After reading it, a young researcher will be equipped with the concepts and basic tools necessary to begin working in the field. … provides an insightful and succinct introduction into what has become an active area of research. I highly recommend it.” (Dmitri Kharzeev, Physics Today, April, 2013)“Satz has done a wonderful service to the community of people working on QCD thermodynamics. The book presents a range of concepts, from statistical physics to particle and nuclear physics, covering critical behaviour and phase transitions, lattice QCD at nonzero temperatures or large baryon densities, deconfinement and chiral symmetry restoration, etc. … In conclusion, this is a remarkable book, which I highly recommend to whomever wants to study ‘QCD matter’ and related topics.” (Carlos Lourenço, CERN Courier, November, 2012)
From the Back Cover
The thermodynamics of strongly interacting matter has become a profound and challenging area of modern physics, both in theory and in experiment. Statistical quantum chromodynamics, through analytical as well as numerical studies, provides the main theoretical tool, while in experiment, high-energy nuclear collisions are the key for extensive laboratory investigations. The field therefore straddles statistical, particle and nuclear physics, both conceptually and in the methods of investigation used.
This course-tested primer addresses above all the many young scientists starting their scientific research in this field, providing them with a general, self-contained introduction that emphasizes in particular the basic concepts and ideas, with the aim of explaining why we do what we do.
To achieve this goal, the present text concentrates mainly on equilibrium thermodynamics: first, the fundamental ideas of strong interaction thermodynamics are introduced and then the main concepts and methods used in the study of the physics of complex systems are summarized. Subsequently, simplified phenomenological pictures, leading to critical behavior in hadronic matter and to hadron-quark phase transitions are introduced, followed by elements of finite-temperature lattice QCD leading to the important results obtained in computer simulation studies of the lattice approach. Next, the relation of the resulting critical behavior to symmetry breaking/restoration in QCD is clarified before the text turns to the study of the QCD phase diagram. The presentation of bulk equilibrium thermodynamics is completed by studying the properties of the quark-gluon plasma as new state of strongly interacting matter.The final chapters of the book are devoted to more specific topics which arise when nuclear collisions are considered as a tool for the experimental study of QCD thermodynamics.