I believe that the only way you can know which way to go is to look as forward as you can.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Early Universe Liquid-Like

Washington, April 18 (Reuters): Scientists using a giant atom smasher said today they have created a new state of matter — a hot, dense liquid made out of basic atomic particles — and said it shows what the early universe looked like for a very, very brief time.

“We think we are looking at a phenomenon ... in the universe 13 billion years ago when free quarks and gluons ... cooled down to the particles that we know today,” Aronson said.

The quark-gluon plasma was made in the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider — a powerful atom smasher at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. Unexpectedly, the quark gluon plasma behaved like a perfect liquid of quarks, instead of a gas. For their experiment, the researchers smashed two gold ions together at extremely high speeds, very close to the speed of light. The collision was so intense that the strong force that usually binds quarks into protons and neutrons weakened, allowing the quarks to roam freely.

Great news! Big discovery…

Remember from physics what the quarks are?
Any of a group of six elementary particles having electric charges of a magnitude one-third or two-thirds that of the electron, regarded as constituents of all hadrons.

Any of a class of subatomic particles that are composed of quarks and take part in the strong interaction.

Any of a family of subatomic particles, including the nucleon and hyperon multiplets, that participate in strong interactions, are composed of three quarks, and are generally more massive than mesons. Also called heavy particle.

Any of a family of subatomic particles that participate in strong interactions, are composed of a quark and an antiquark, and have masses generally intermediate between leptons and baryons.

A hypothetical massless, neutral elementary particle believed to mediate the strong interaction that binds quarks together.

Interesting definitions! Interesting world! Are we getting the grasp of the state of matters possible in this universe? Are we close to know them all? Probably there no one would think that. Is the quark the smallest electrical charge? Oh… one day… possible someone will prove something else. I think the more physics discovers in the area the more questions appear. So we try to answer and make a step forward, but not very far. It is not possible to look beyond although everyone wishes that.


Luca said...
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Luca said...

how come? the smaller the particle, the bigger the smasher?
ooh, and... yeah! the smaller the particle the bigger the questions!
i think that, maybe, sometimes simpler answers and deeper truths lie, not in physics, but rather in the hearts of the poets...
what if... those quarks and gluons were two galaxies coliding on some astronomer's sky? and he/she would know that, in his/her own time, that happend eons before... and he/she is wondering what is beyond his/her universe...
i wonder... what is beyond our gold atom?