Duke University theoreticians said their predictions helped guide the efforts of experimenters using Brookhaven National Laboratorys Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) atom smasher to create an almost perfectly flowing fluid of hot, dense matter.
Duke physics professor Berndt Mueller and assistant physics professor Steffen A. Bass said that some of the experimental evidence would also support the idea that these collisions have recreated a state of matter -- a quark-gluon plasma (QGP) --that last existed when the universe was only about a millionths of a second old. Their work is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.
"The matter that they are seeing is even more interesting in some sense than we thought it would be," Mueller said. "While the RHIC experimenters have taken a cautious stance by not explicitly declaring the discovery of a QGP, they have presented a compelling case for the achievement of an important milestone in the quest for the QGP."
Monte Basgall | EurekAlert!
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