In physics, four states of matter are apparent in daily life: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. Many other states are known to exist only in extreme situations, such as Bose–Einstein condensates, neutron-degenerate matter, and quark-gluon plasma, which only occur in situations of extreme cold, extreme density, and extremely high-energy color-charged matter respectively. Some other states are believed to be possible but remain theoretical for now. The aim of high energy physics is to determine the most fundamental building blocks of matter and to understand the interactions between these particles. The research effort of the high energy theory group covers a wide range of fields, including quantum field theory, string theory, quantum gravity models in various dimensions, and the theory of turbulence, particle cosmology, phenomenology of the Standard Model and beyond, and also computer simulations of problems that arise in these areas. Black hole theory provides an important testing ground for the quantum theory of gravity and in recent work significant progress has been achieved in explaining black hole entropy and Hawking radiation from a more fundamental point of view. Work on quantum black holes has led to new relations between strings and non-Abelian gauge theory. This application of string theory has already provided new insights into strongly coupled gauge theories, and it continues to be an exciting area.

This book gives intriguing approaches into the unusual forms and behavior of matter under extremely high pressures and temperatures, devoted to more specific topics which arise when nuclear collisions are considered as a tool for the experimental study of QCD thermodynamics. It also presents the studies into the behavior of substances at ultimately high pressures and temperatures obtainable by way of kinetic or electromagnetic energy cumulation in laboratory conditions. Also considered are the diversified states of matter and the processes occurring under gravitational forces and thermonuclear energy release. The book will be of interest to students, novice researchers and all the many young scientists starting their scientific research in this field, providing them with a general, self-sufficient introduction that highlight in particular the basic concepts and ideas.