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
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
Ain't new discoveries great?