Abstract:
The viscosity of the QGP is a presently hotly debated subject. Since its computation from first principles is difficult, it is desirable to try to extract it from experimental data. Viscous hydrodynamics provides a tool that can attack this problem and which may work in regions where ideal hydrodynamics begins to fail. This thesis focuses on viscous hydrodynamics for relativistic heavy ion collisions. We first review the 2nd order viscous equations obtained from different approaches, and then report on the work of the Ohio State University group on setting up the equations for causal viscous hydrodynamics in 2+1 dimensions and solving them numerically for central and noncentral Cu+Cu and Au+Au collisions at RHIC energies and above. We discuss shear and bulk viscous effects on the hydrodynamic evolution of entropy density, temperature, collective flow, and flow anisotropies, and on the hadron multiplicity, single particle spectra and elliptic flow. Viscous entropy production and its influence on the centrality dependence of hadron multiplicities and the multiplicity scaling of eccentricity-scaled elliptic flow are studied in viscous hydrodynamics and compared with experimental data. The dynamical effects of using different versions of the Israel-Stewart second order formalism for causal viscous fluid dynamics are discussed, resolving some of the apparent discrepancies between early results reported by different groups. Finally, we assess the present status of constraining the shear viscosity to entropy ratio of the hot and dense matter created at RHIC.

Abstract:
In this article, we briefly review recent progress on hydrodynamic modeling and its implementations to relativistic heavy-ion collisions at RHIC and the LHC. The related topics include: 1) initial state fluctuations, final state correlations and event-by-event hydrodynamics, 2) extracting the QGP shear viscosity from flow data, 3) flow and hydrodynamics in 5.02 A TeV p+Pb collisions.

Abstract:
In this proceeding, we briefly describe the viscous hydrodynamics + hadron cascade hybrid model VISHNU for relativistic heavy ion collisions and report the current status on extracting the QGP viscosity from elliptic flow data.

Abstract:
In this article, we will briefly review the recent progress on hydrodynamic modeling and the extraction of the quark-gluon plasma (QGP) specific shear viscosity with an emphasis on results obtained from the hybrid model VISHNU that couples viscous hydrodynamics for the macroscopic expansion of the QGP to the hadron cascade model for the microscopic evolution of the late hadronic stage.

Abstract:
In this article, we briefly review the recent progress related to extracting the quark-gluon plasma (QGP) specific shear viscosity from the flow data measured at Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider (RHIC) and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Abstract:
This proceeding briefly summarizes our recent VISHNU hybrid model investigations on the chemical and thermal freeze-out of various hadrons species in 2.76 A TeV Pb+Pb collisions. Detailed analysis on the evolution of particle yields and the last elastic collisions distributions during the hadronic evolution reveals that the two multi-strange hadrons, $\Xi$ and $\Omega$, experience early chemical and thermal freeze-out when compared with other hadron species.

Abstract:
Using VISHNU hybrid model, we calculate the $p_{\rm T}$-spectra and elliptic flow of $\Lambda$, $\Xi$, and $\Omega$ in 200 A GeV Au+Au collisions. Comparisons with the STAR measurements show that the model generally describes these soft hadron data. We also briefly study and discuss the mass ordering of elliptic flow among $\pi$, $K$, $p$, $\Lambda$, $\Xi$, and $\Omega$ in minimum bias Au+Au collisions.

Abstract:
Using numerical results from ideal and viscous relativistic hydrodynamic simulations with three different equations of state, for Au+Au and Cu+Cu collisions at different centralities and initial energy densities, we explore the dependence of the eccentricity-scaled elliptic flow, v_2/epsilon, and the produced entropy fraction, Delta S/S_0, on the final charged hadron multiplicity density dN_ch/dy per unit transverse overlap area S, (1/S)(dN_ch/dy). The viscous hydrodynamic simulations are performed with two different versions of the Israel-Stewart kinetic evolution equations, and in each case we investigate the dependence of the physical observables on the kinetic relaxation time. We find approximate scaling of v_2/epsilon and Delta S/S_0 with (1/S)(dN_ch/dy), with scaling functions that depend on the EOS and, in particular, on the value of the specific shear viscosity eta/s. Small scaling violations are seen even in ideal hydrodynamics, caused by a breaking of the scale invariance of ideal fluid dynamics by the freeze-out condition. Viscous hydrodynamics shows somewhat larger scale-breaking effects that increase with increasing eta/s and decreasing system size and initial energy density. We propose to use precision studies of these scaling violations to help constrain the shear viscosity eta/s of the quark-gluon plasma created in relativistic heavy ion collisions.

Abstract:
Bulk viscosity suppresses elliptic flow v_2, as does shear viscosity. It can thus not be neglected when extracting the shear viscosity from elliptic flow data. We here explore uncertainties in the bulk viscous contribution to viscous v_2 suppression that arise from presently uncontrolled uncertainties in the initial value of the bulk viscous pressure and its microscopic relaxation time.

Abstract:
We explore the effects of shear viscosity on the hydrodynamic evolution and final hadron spectra of Cu+Cu collisions at ultrarelativistic collision energies, using the newly developed (2+1)-dimensional viscous hydrodynamic code VISH2+1. Based on the causal Israel-Stewart formalism, this code describes the transverse evolution of longitudinally boost-invariant systems without azimuthal symmetry around the beam direction. Shear viscosity is shown to decelerate the longitudinal and accelerate the transverse hydrodynamic expansion. For fixed initial conditions, this leads to a longer quark-gluon plasma (QGP) lifetime, larger radial flow in the final state, and flatter transverse momentum spectra for the emitted hadrons compared to ideal fluid dynamic simulations. We find that the elliptic flow coefficient v_2 is particularly sensitive to shear viscosity: even the lowest value allowed by the AdS/CFT conjecture, eta/s=1/4pi, suppresses v_2 enough to have significant consequences for the phenomenology of heavy-ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. A comparison between our numerical results and earlier analytic estimates of viscous effects within a blast-wave model parametrization of the expanding fireball at freeze-out reveals that the full dynamical theory leads to much tighter constraints for the specific shear viscosity eta/s, thereby supporting the notion that the quark-gluon plasma created at RHIC exhibits almost ``perfect fluidity''.