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Trillion Degree Matter

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • Duane Physics Room G1B20

Speaker Name(s): 

Gunther Roland

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

MIT
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Physics Department Colloquium

Event Details & Abstract: 

Experiments at large particle colliders like RHIC at Brookhaven Lab and LHC at CERN have used collisions of heavy nuclei to study a simple question:
What are the properties of matter at extremely high temperature, in excess of several trillion Kelvin? At such temperatures, matter exists in the form of a plasma of quarks and gluons resembling the universe shortly after the Big Bang. We have found that the produced state of matter exhibits fascinating and somewhat surprising properties: Although its density exceeds that of water by 16 orders of magnitude, the quark-gluon plasma behaves like a near-perfect liquid. I will review the most striking experimental observations and describe new experiments aimed at elucidating the emergence of the plasma's unusual properties.

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