HUNTING THE QUARK GLUON PLASMA. [electronic resource].
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy. Office of Science ; Oak Ridge, Tenn. : distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2005
- Physical description
- 1 online resource (354 pages ) : digital, PDF file.
- Brookhaven National Laboratory Researcher
- United States. Dept. of Energy. Office of Science. Sponsor
- United States. Dept. of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information. Distributor
- ARONSON, S. Author
- LUDLAM, T. Author
- The U.S. Department of Energy's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) construction project was completed at BNL in 1999, with the first data-taking runs in the summer of 2000. Since then the early measurements at RHIC have yielded a wealth of data, from four independent detectors, each with its international collaboration of scientists: BRAHMS, PHENIX, PHOBOS, and STAR . For the first time, collisions of heavy nuclei have been carried out at colliding-beam energies that have previously been accessible only for high-energy physics experiments with collisions of ''elementary'' particles such as protons and electrons. It is at these high energies that the predictions of quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the fundamental theory that describes the role of quarks and gluons in nuclear matter, come into play, and new phenomena are sought that may illuminate our view of the basic structure of matter on the sub-atomic scale, with important implications for the origins of matter on the cosmic scale. The RHIC experiments have recorded data from collisions of gold nuclei at the highest energies ever achieved in man-made particle accelerators. These collisions, of which hundreds of millions have now been examined, result in final states of unprecedented complexity, with thousands of produced particles radiating from the nuclear collision. All four of the RHIC experiments have moved quickly to analyze these data, and have begun to understand the phenomena that unfold from the moment of collision as these particles are produced. In order to provide benchmarks of simpler interactions against which to compare the gold-gold collisions, the experiments have gathered comparable samples of data from collisions of a very light nucleus (deuterium) with gold nuclei, as well as proton-proton collisions, all with identical beam energies and experimental apparatus. The early measurements have revealed compelling evidence for the existence of a new form of nuclear matter at extremely high density and temperature--a medium in which the predictions of QCD can be tested, and new phenomena explored, under conditions where the relevant degrees of freedom, over nuclear volumes, are expected to be those of quarks and gluons, rather than of hadrons. This is the realm of the quark gluon plasma, the predicted state of matter whose existence and properties are now being explored by the RHIC experiments.
- Publication date
- Published through SciTech Connect.
- ARONSON, S.; LUDLAM, T.
- Funding Information