One important ingredient in the study of cosmological evolution is the equation of state of the primordial matter formed in the first stages of the Universe. It is believed that the first matter produced was of hadronic nature, probably the quark–gluon plasma which has been studied in high-energy collisions. There are several experimental indications of self-similarity in hadronic systems—in particular in multiparticle production at high energies. Theoretically, this property was associated with the dynamics of particle production, but it is also possible to relate self-similarity to the hadron structure—in particular to a fractal structure of this system. In doing so, it is found that the thermodynamics of hadron systems at equilibrium must present specific properties that are indeed supported by data. In particular, the well-known self-consistence principle proposed by Hagedorn 50 years ago is shown to be valid, and can correctly describe experimental distributions, mass spectrum of observed particles, and other properties of the hadronic matter. In the present work, a review of the theoretical developments related to the thermodynamical properties of hadronic matter and its applications in other fields is presented.
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