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The Color Glass Condensate

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posted on Mar, 26 2004 @ 07:17 PM
Could scientist have discovered a new universal form of matter, one which is the densest yet to be discovered, yet occours the same in helium as it does in uranium? Larry McLerran of Brookhaven National Laboratory, along with others, says yes!

First, to understand this new form of matter, we need to know what the larger building blocks of matter consist of. protons and neutrons, fairly large particles in the world of particle physics, consist of smaller particles called quarks and gluons. Quarks have a charge, and transmit their force via gluons, like electrons do photons. However, unlike photons, gluons interact mightily with one another.

As protons are accelerated (this also applies to "heavy" nuclei, like hydrogen or gold) to near-light speed, quarks and gluons flatten into a flat, lens-like structure. They then begin to overlap, falling into the same quantum state. This state is similar to the quantum state of the low-temperature Bose-Einstein condensate, as it acts collectively as one gigantic atom.

There is, though, a major diference from the Bose-Einstein condensate: these little pancakes bar some resemblance to ordinary glass. The color fields produced by the gluons in this state point in random directions like the electrical fields created by the way atoms line up in regular glass. This "glass" form can be detected by viewing quark-gluon plasma emitted by speeding up a proton to near light speed. Then one must look at a slight offset from the angle of the beam's axis. This will display a fewer number of particles, sudgesting the matter has formed together into several coheisive "atoms".

This form of matter is similar to glass in another way. Just as glass is a solid for short periods, but flows over long intervals (centuries), our new form of matter changes very slowly compared with timescales of typical nuclear systems. And this state is consistant with all extreamely high energy particles.

Ain't new discoveries great?

posted on Mar, 29 2004 @ 02:08 PM
I can't believe no one is interested in this! New form of matter, people! Remember sitting in class in 3rd and 4th grades being taught solid, liquid, and gas? Well, in the past 2 years, 3 more things have been added to that exclusive list of 3! And this is one of those three. So many years from now, when your kids come home from 3rd grade, and are all excited about the Color Glass Condensate, you can tell them one of two things:

"Wow, honey, you know, I read the news that day that was proven to exist! Let me tell you about it..."


"Huh, get me another beer, kid."

You get to make the descision now.

posted on Mar, 29 2004 @ 02:12 PM
This is the first time I've seen this thread. What are the other forms of matter that have been found? I remember one thread from some months ago.

posted on Mar, 29 2004 @ 02:15 PM
There's the Bose-Einstein Condensate, which behaves much like the Color Glass Condensate, except that it only happens in extreamly low temps (0-2K). The third I can't recall at this moment
. Bose Einstein also wasn't a universal state of matter, it would only happen with entire molecules (last I heard) and not the building blocks of those molecules.

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