Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists may have succeeded in reproducing matter as it first appeared after the Big Bang

13.06.2003


Multi-National team of physicists include Weizmann Institute Scientists



Recent results of a joint experiment conducted by 460 physicists from 57 research institutions in 12 countries strongly indicate that the scientists have succeeded in reproducing matter as it first appeared in the universe; this matter is called the quark-gluon plasma. The experiment, called PHENIX and conducted at the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, New York, has brought together physicists from Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Sweden and the United States. The Israeli team is led by Prof. Itzhak Tserruya, head of the Weizmann Institute’s Particle Physics Department. Tserruya and his colleagues have designed and built unique particle detectors that are a central part of PHENIX’s detecting system.

In the first millionth of a second after the Big Bang, the atoms of different elements as we know them today did not yet exist. The main components of atoms, protons and neutrons, had not yet been "born" either. The jets of blazing matter that dispersed in all directions in the first few fractions of a second in the existence of the universe contained a mixture of free quarks and gluons, called the quark-gluon plasma. Later on, when the universe cooled down a bit and became less dense, the quarks and gluons got "organized" into various combinations that created more complex particles, such as the protons and neutrons. Since then, in fact, quarks or gluons have not existed as free particles in the universe.


Scientists studying the unique physical properties of the quark-gluon plasma have been trying to recreate this primordial matter using an accelerator, called RHIC, built especially for this purpose at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. This accelerator creates two beams of gold ions and accelerates them one towards the other, causing a head-on collision. The power of the collisions (about 40 trillion electron volts, also termed 40 tera electron volts) turns part of the beams’ kinetic energy into heat, while the other part of the energy turns into various particles (a process described by Einstein’s well-known equation E=mc2). The first stage in the creation of these new particles, like the first stage of the creation of matter in the Big Bang, is assumed to be the stage of the quark-gluon plasma.

One of the ways to identify the quark-gluon plasma is to observe the behavior of particles entering the plasma. When a single quark propagates through regular matter (containing protons and neutrons), it emits radiation that slows down its progress somewhat. In contrast, when it enters a very dense medium like quark-gluon plasma, it will slow down much more. That’s precisely the phenomenon that has recently been observed and analyzed in the PHENIX experiment. According to the physicists taking part in the experiment, these findings could indicate that they have succeeded in creating the quark-gluon plasma.

The detectors designed and built by Prof. Tserruya are capable of providing three-dimensional information on the precise location of the particles ejected from the collision area. These particles’ direction, together with their energy and identity, help distinguish the matter’s properties in the collision area. Apart from Prof. Tserruya, the Weizmann team that designed and built the detectors included Prof. Zeev Fraenkel, Dr. Ilia Ravinovich, postdoctoral fellow Dr. Wei Xie and graduate students Alexandre Kozlov, Alexander Milov and Alexander Cherlin.

Prof. Tserruya’s research is supported by Nella and Leon Benoziyo Center for High Energy Physics.

Prof. Tserruya is the incumbent of the Samuel Sebba Professorial Chair of Pure and Applied Physics.


The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world’s top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the Institute is home to 2,500 scientists, students, technicians and supporting staff. Institute research efforts include the search for new ways of fighting disease and hunger, examining leading questions in mathematics and computer science, probing the physics of matter and the universe, creating novel materials and developing new strategies for protecting the environment

Alex Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.weizmann.ac.il/

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Heating quantum matter: A novel view on topology
22.08.2017 | Université libre de Bruxelles

nachricht Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stretchable biofuel cells extract energy from sweat to power wearable devices

22.08.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technique to treating mitral valve diseases: First patient data

22.08.2017 | Medical Engineering

IVAM Marketing Prize recognizes convincing technology marketing for the tenth time

22.08.2017 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>