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OfflineJackal
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Big Bang Theory Put To Test
    #1643950 - 06/19/03 09:18 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Big Bang experiment strikes gold

By Dr David Whitehouse
BBC News Online science editor


Scientists are on the verge of creating a quark-gluon plasma, a state of matter that has not existed since the Universe was less than a millionth of a second old.

Deuterium and gold ions collide
The optimism stems from the latest results to come out of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), the world's most powerful facility for nuclear physics research, sited in the US.

The properties of the quark-gluon plasma will hopefully answer many questions about the laws that govern nature's fundamental particles.

The scientists are not yet ready to claim a definite discovery of this ancient state of matter, however. They say that must await corroborating experiments, also under way at the RHIC.

Fundamental question in science

"This is a very exciting result that clearly indicates we are on the right track to an important scientific discovery," says Thomas Kirk, from the Brookhaven National Laboratory, home of the RHIC.

"But the case for having created quark-gluon plasma is not yet closed. We have four experiments looking for a number of different 'signatures' of this elusive form of extremely hot, dense nuclear matter."

Raymond Orbach, director of the US Department of Energy, added: "These results from RHIC are profoundly important. They go to a fundamental question in science: how did the Universe look at the beginning of time?"

The latest RHIC findings come from experiments conducted from January through to March 2003, in which a beam of heavy gold nuclei collided head-on with a beam of deuterons - much smaller and lighter nuclei, each consisting of one proton plus one neutron.

A fleeting instant

These deuteron-gold experiments, along with other experiments using two colliding beams of protons, serve as a basis for comparison with collisions of two gold beams at the RHIC.


Gold-gold collisions are spectacular
The gold-gold collisions, which bring nearly 400 protons and neutrons into collision at once, are designed to recreate, for a fleeting instant, the extremely hot, dense conditions of the early Universe.

When two gold nuclei collide head-on, the temperatures reached are more than 300 million times the surface temperature of the Sun. It is thought the individual protons and neutrons inside the merged gold nuclei "melt" to form a tiny sample of quark-gluon plasma.

When this happens a pair of energetic quarks can be knocked loose from within a proton or neutron. Each of these loose quarks produces a stream of particles emerging in opposite directions from the site of the collision.

In the deuteron-gold experiments, back-to-back jets were seen to emerge but, puzzlingly, in head-on collisions from the earlier gold-gold experiments, one of the two jets was missing.

'Jet quenching'

In addition, fewer highly energetic individual particles were seen coming from gold-gold than from deuteron-gold collisions.


Inside the RHIC
Scientists are intrigued by these distinctions, which clearly show that head-on gold-gold collisions are producing a nuclear environment quite different from that of deuteron-gold collisions.

One possible explanation is that if a quark pair is produced near the surface of the quark-gluon plasma, the outward-bound quark is able to escape, while the inward-bound quark is absorbed.

This phenomenon is called "jet quenching" and was predicted to occur in quark-gluon plasmas.

If further work proves that a quark-gluon plasma has been made then scientists hope to learn more about the strong nuclear force - the force that holds quarks together in protons and neutrons.



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InvisibleAlien
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Post deleted by Administrator [Re: Jackal]
    #1644358 - 06/19/03 12:27 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)



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OfflineJackal
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Re: Big Bang Theory Put To Test [Re: Alien]
    #1644379 - 06/19/03 12:34 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Oh yeah, a laugh a minute. :wink:


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Invisiblemicro
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Re: Big Bang Theory Put To Test [Re: Jackal]
    #1644441 - 06/19/03 12:51 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Interesting read; thanks!

--
Micro


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Invisiblewhiterasta
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Re: Big Bang Theory Put To Test [Re: Jackal]
    #1644571 - 06/19/03 01:29 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Taking things apart has long been man's method of finding out how things work. When we know why they have organized themselves into a set of perfectly balanced "laws" which only just open the window in which a universe is even possible,then we will be doing something new.
What I don' understand is why the natural lab is ignored.Black holes are the remanants of the imediate post expansion condition as they exist yet are w/o space-time.The first condition which had to be fullfilled before any other was possible was ,existance.Black holes exist yet do-not have space-time this is the imediate condition of the proto-universe prior to the birth of space-time.Until we can unmask the nature of non-space-time realities smashing things up will just be expensive fun for overfunded defense department children.;)
WR:rasta:   


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OfflineMurex
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Re: Big Bang Theory Put To Test [Re: Jackal]
    #1645994 - 06/19/03 09:50 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)


Where does the funding come from for all this? I mean, it must cost a lot to create a machine or whatever that can make super-charged ions and plasma. I understand it's important, but it doesn't really go twoard anything 'substantial', ya know?


--------------------
What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?



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Invisiblewhiterasta
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Re: Big Bang Theory Put To Test [Re: Murex]
    #1646090 - 06/19/03 10:18 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Most is DOE and DOD funded and is primarily weapons research(although those being funded would likely squawk at that).Like I said overfunded boys who never grew up.
Murex can you think of ten great advances which have bettered mankind from smashing atoms into a subatomic plasma?I sure as hell can't but then I tend to focus on more fundamental matters like food,water,and shelter,LOL :grin:
I am with you on this fo sho .......WAW(what a waste) :wink:
WR:rasta:


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