We use holography to investigate the process of homogeneous isotropization and thermalization in a strongly coupled N= 4 Super Yang-Mills plasma charged under a U(1) subgroup of the global SU(4) R-symmetry which features a critical point in its phase diagram. Isotropization dynamics at late times is affected by the critical point in agreement with the behavior of the characteristic relaxation time extracted from the analysis of the lowest non-hydrodynamic quasinormal mode in the SO(3) quintuplet (external scalar) channel of the theory. In particular, the isotropization time may decrease or increase as the chemical potential increases depending on whether one is far or close enough to the critical point, respectively. On the other hand, the thermalization time associated with the equilibration of the scalar condensate, which happens only after the system has relaxed to a (nearly) isotropic state, is found to always increase with chemical potential in agreement with the characteristic relaxation time associated to the lowest non-hydrodynamic quasinormal mode in the SO(3) singlet (dilaton) channel. These conclusions about the late dynamics of the system are robust in the sense that they hold for different initial conditions seeding the time evolution of the far-from-equilibrium plasma.
- Gauge-gravity correspondence
- Holography and quark-gluon plasmas
- QuarkGluon Plasma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics