The Nuclear Chemistry (Heavy Ion) Group is creating and studying matter at
the hottest temperatures accessible in the laboratory to date, more than 1
trillion degrees K (1,000,000,000,000 K or 2,000,000,000,000 F). This
temperature far exceeds the temperatures at the surface (6000 K) or even the
core (15,000,000 K) of the Sun. These temperatures are believed to recreate
conditions similar to those occurring in the universe during the first
microsecond (0.000001 s) after the big bang. Such matter is hard to describe
in terms of hadronic degrees of freedom and is probably some form of "Quark
Gluon Plasma" although the exact nature of this matter is still under active
debate. We do this by hosting an international collaboration of about 60
scientists from 8 institutions in 3 countries and operating a
multi-million-dollar detector. Both the collaboration and the detector
are called PHOBOS. The detector is
installed in the
located here at BNL.
The focus of the BNL group, as well as much of PHOBOS, is on characterizing the strongly interacting matter that we've created. In particular, we have discovered scaling laws which allow us to describe these rather complex collisions in terms of a few simple parameters or functions. They also allow us to relate head-on heavy-ion collisions to more glancing collisions and to more "elementary" collisions such as pp, pA/dA, eA and even e+e-. This approach should provide clear guidance on the important parameters and degrees of freedom in this high temperature matter.
The PHOBOS Collaboration at Brookhaven is supported by the the Heavy Ion Nuclear Physics Program of the Office of Nuclear Physics of the Office of Science under contract No. DE-AC02-98CH10886 with the U.S. Department of Energy.
Last Modified: June 28, 2012