Quark-Gluon Plasma: Has It Been Observed?

Barbara Jacak of Stony Brook University in Long Island, N.Y., is a member of the PHENIX team, a large detector collaboration studying the high-energy smashup of gold nuclei at Brookhaven National Lab’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). Delivering a plenary talk at this week’s American Physical Society April Meeting in Dallas, Jacak argued that new experimental data provide evidence that in collisions the gold nucleus, including its complement of neutrons and protons, and all their quark constituents, are being melted into a true plasma of quarks and gluons. This plasma possesses the highest energy density of any substance made in a lab — up to 15 gigaelectronvolt per cubic femtometer.

Site – http://www.aip.org

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