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P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000
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by Brookhaven Science Associates, a company
founded by Stony Brook University and Battelle

RHIC logo

Gathering Additional Evidence

In the future, other definitive evidence for QGP will come from experimental comparisons of behavior in hot, dense nuclear matter with that in cold nuclear matter. To accomplish this, the next round of experimental measurements will involve collisions between heavy ions (gold nuclei) and light ions (deuterons, a proton and neutron bound together).

In the gold-gold collisions, all the colliding particles are simultaneously raised to the region of hot, dense quarks and gluons as seen in the phase diagram. In deuteron-gold collisions, only a single hot line is created by the small deuteron as it plows into the middle of the cold gold nucleus. When a particularly energetic quark is produced along the deuteron’s path and then streams outward through the cold matter around the hot deuteron line, it is expected to exhibit measurably different properties than it would experience in gold-gold collisions, where the quark travels through regions of hot, dense quark-gluon soup instead of cold matter.

The next run promises consistently higher collision rates, which is called luminosity, and fully operational detectors, parameters that are likely to confirm some scientific predictions and produce more interesting surprises.

NEXT> Interesting findings from RHIC so far...

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