Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Copper vs. copper at the relativistic heavy ion collider

17.01.2005


Middleweight matchup to provide control data in exploration of new form of matter



Scientists searching for evidence that a particle accelerator at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory has created a new form of matter not seen since the Big Bang and eager to study its properties have begun using a new experimental probe, collisions between two beams of copper ions. The use of intermediate size nuclei is expected to result in intermediate energy density -- not as high as in earlier runs colliding two beams of gold ions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), but more than was produced by colliding a beam of gold ions with much lighter deuterons.

"To completely understand the phenomena we are observing at RHIC, we have to look at what happens over a range of system sizes and collision energies," says Samuel Aronson, chair of Brookhaven’s Physics Department and an experimenter at RHIC.


RHIC scientists agree that the gold-gold collisions have produced some very intriguing data that indicate the presence of a new form of matter -- hotter and denser than anything ever produced in a laboratory. Furthermore, data from the deuteron-gold collisions confirm that the hot, dense matter the scientists are seeing in the gold-gold collisions is made in the collisions; that is, it is not an intrinsic property of the gold ions themselves, because it is not observed in the deuteron-gold collisions.

"The copper experiments will provide another control, or basis for comparison, that will help us understand how the new phenomena we are observing can be turned on and off, and under what conditions," Aronson says.

The run is expected to last for about 10 weeks, but depends on funding for fiscal year 2005.

At the same time, RHIC scientists are still analyzing more than a million gigabytes of data gathered since RHIC started collisions in June 2000, much of it from the most recent gold-gold run conducted in 2004. This data should help scientists describe in more detail the properties of the new form of matter being observed in the gold-gold collisions, and perhaps settle on how best to characterize it.

Built upon the foundation of an existing chain of accelerators at Brookhaven Lab, RHIC is actually two circular accelerators, 2.4 miles in circumference, capable of accelerating heavy ions to nearly the speed of light and creating collisions between these particles to help investigate the fundamental nature of matter. Through its collisions of gold ions, RHIC was designed to reproduce the hot, dense conditions of the early universe, in which it is postulated that the inner components of protons and neutrons -- known as quarks -- and the gluons that bind the quarks in ordinary matter would exist for a fleeting instant free from their normal confinement within protons and neutrons.

That is, the energy of the collisions was predicted to be sufficient to "melt" the protons and neutrons and produce a hot "soup" of free quarks and gluons, dubbed the quark-gluon plasma. By analyzing what happens in these collisions using four sophisticated detectors (BRAHMS, PHENIX, PHOBOS, and STAR), 1000 researchers from around the world are exploring the smallest, most fundamental bits of matter and how they interact.

To date, some of what has been observed at RHIC fits with what was expected of quark-gluon plasma, but some of the findings do not. So there has been considerable debate over whether the hot, dense matter being created at RHIC is indeed the postulated quark-gluon plasma, or perhaps something even more interesting.

Data already in hand show that the quarks in the new form of matter appear to interact quite strongly with one another and the surrounding gluons, rather than floating freely in the "soup" as the theory of quark-gluon plasma had predicted. Many physicists are beginning to use the term "strongly interacting quark-gluon plasma," or sQGP, to capture this understanding.

"The findings from the copper-copper run will provide some new answers -- and perhaps some additional questions, as we move steadily from discovery to the full characterization of the new form of nuclear matter," says Thomas Kirk, Brookhaven’s Associate Laboratory Director for High-Energy and Nuclear Physics.

Karen McNulty Walsh | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bnl.gov/newsroom

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht When fluid flows almost as fast as light -- with quantum rotation
22.06.2018 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences

nachricht Thermal Radiation from Tiny Particles
22.06.2018 | Universität Greifswald

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: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>