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Quark Gluon Plasma

10 June 2010

www.physorg.com/print195306308.html June 9th … for a few millionths of a second after the Big Bang the universe consisted of a hot soup of elementary particles called quarks and gluons. A few micro seconds later they cooled to form protons and neutrons – the building blocks of the universe. Physicists have been trying to replicate that soup, known as quark gluon plasma, at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory and say they have achieved their goal by smashing gold toms together almost at the speed of light. Such collisions may produce temperatures as high as 4 trillion degrees – much warmer than the interior of the Sun. They have discovered it is not a gas – or they have produced something that is not a gas, somewhat spoiling the news. They have produced a liquid and now they hope to do even higher energy collisions to take the search forwards and find the elusive gas.

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