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 Institutes Particle Physics Department. Tserruya and his colleagues have designed and built unique particle detectors that are a central part of PHENIXs 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.
Alex Smith | EurekAlert!
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