When matter melts: Scientists map phase changes in quark-gluon plasma

By abe10tiger
Jun 24, 2011
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  1. Science News

    In its infancy, when the universe was a few millionths of a second old, the elemental constituents of matter moved freely in a hot, dense soup of quarks and gluons. As the universe expanded, this quark-gluon plasma quickly cooled, and protons and neutrons and other forms of normal matter "froze out": the quarks became bound together by the exchange of gluons, the carriers of the color force.

    [​IMG]
    An ordinary proton or neutron (foreground) is formed of three quarks bound together by gluons, carriers of the color force. Above a critical temperature, protons and neutrons and other forms of hadronic matter "melt" into a hot, dense soup of free quarks and gluons (background), the quark-gluon plasma. (Credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

    Source:Science Daily


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