Feb 25, 2023

Particle accelerator creates substance that hasn’t existed for 13 billion years

Posted by in category: particle physics

It hasn’t existed since the beginning of time itself, but now scientists have managed to create what they call quark soup. This substance is believed to be the smallest, hottest, and densest state of our universe and the very “soup” that allowed the universe to grow and expand into what we know it as today.

The feat was made possible thanks to a powerful yet very complicated particle accelerator. According to research featured in a video by Scientific American, the universe began as a quark soup — the smallest, most fundamental building blocks of our atoms. Scientists say these quarks floated in a fluid-like force that held them all together inside their proton and neutrons.

These particles, the researchers say, are called gluons. As such, the plasma-like fluid that helped create our universe, the quark soup that they have recreated here, is more formally called quark-gluon plasma. And it hasn’t been found in nature since the beginning of time, as far as we know. But by using a particle accelerator located at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island, scientists were able to recreate it.

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