Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have studied how quark-gluon plasma, also called an ideal liquid, turned into matter.
A few millionths of a second after the Big Bang, the early universe assumed a strange new state: it became a subatomic soup called quark-gluon plasma. Quark-gluon plasma is an ideal liquid: in it, quarks and gluons, which are the building blocks of protons and neutrons, are so strongly bound that they flow almost without friction.
Scientists have previously found that high-energy jets of particles fly through quark-gluon plasma – a droplet the size of an atomic nucleus – at a speed exceeding the speed of sound and emit a supersonic shock.
To study the properties of these jet particles, in 2014, a team of scientists first applied an atomic X-ray imaging technique called jet tomography. As a result, it turned out that these jets scatter and lose energy when propagating in a quark-gluon plasma.
But where did these jet particles come from in the quark-gluon plasma? Scientists tried to find and study them, but they failed.
In the video, the author explains how heavy particles of relativistic heavy ions collide at the collider.
The authors of the new work said they have invented another method, called 2D jet tomography, that could help researchers locate the diffuse trace signal in quark-gluon plasma.
To find the signal, the Berkeley lab team analyzed more than 100,000 lead collisions that were modeled at the Large Hadron Collider, and also studied how gold nuclei collided on a relativistic heavy ion.
The authors believe that their work will help to understand what signals to look for in order to understand how the quark-gluon plasma turned into matter.