When heavy ions collide at high energies at Brookhaven's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, the components of the nuclei melt to form a hot soup of their constituent particles. A new model that describes the patterns of particles flowing out from this "quark-gluon plasma" suggests that the resistance to flow is close to the ideal limit used to define a "perfect" fluid.
Brookhaven physicist Paul Sorensen describes discoveries made at the
Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider where conditions similar to what the
universe may have looked like in the first microseconds after its birth are
RHIC is in its prime, poised to address a host of compelling science questions that remain or have been raised by the important discoveries to date, the facility performance continues to improve dramatically and the user base remains energized. Read more...