Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Detecting the Traces of Mystery Matter

01.08.2005


A splash of subatomic particles is created by the collision of gold atom nuclei traveling at nearly the speed of light in Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. (Brookhaven National Laboratory/STAR Collaboration/courtesy graph)


Using high-speed collisions between gold atoms, scientists think they have re-created one of the most mysterious forms of matter in the universe -- quark-gluon plasma. This form of matter was present during the first microsecond of the Big Bang and may still exist at the cores of dense, distant stars.

UC Davis physics professor Daniel Cebra is one of 543 collaborators on the research. His main role was building the electronic listening devices that collect information about the collisions, a job he compared to "troubleshooting 120,000 stereo systems."

Now, using those detectors, "we look for trends in what happened during the collision to learn what the quark-gluon plasma is like," he said. "We have been trying to melt neutrons and protons, the building blocks of atomic nuclei, into their constituent quarks and gluons," Cebra said. "We needed a lot of heat, pressure and energy, all localized in a small space."



The scientists produced the right conditions with head-on collisions between the nuclei of gold atoms. The resulting quark-gluon plasma lasted an extremely short time -- less than 10-20 seconds, Cebra said. But the collision left tracings that the scientists could measure.

"Our work is like accident reconstruction," Cebra said. "We see fragments coming out of a collision, and we construct that information back to very small points."

Quark-gluon plasma was expected to behave like a gas, but the data shows a more liquid-like substance. The plasma is less compressible than expected, which means that it may be able to support the cores of very dense stars.

"If a neutron star gets large and dense enough, it may go through a quark phase, or it may just collapse into a black hole," Cebra said. "To support a quark star, the quark-gluon plasma would need rigidity. We now expect there to be quark stars, but they will be hard to study. If they exist, they’re semi-infinitely far away."

The project is led by Brookhaven National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, with collaborators at 52 institutions worldwide. The work was done in Brookhaven’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC).

Andy Fell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucdavis.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte
17.08.2018 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

nachricht Protecting the power grid: Advanced plasma switch for more efficient transmission
17.08.2018 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

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: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>