Brookhaven Lecture

"403rd Brookhaven Lecture: 'Probing the Matter Created at RHIC'"

Presented by Saskia Mioduszewski, Physics

Wednesday, April 20, 2005, 4:00 pm — Berkner Hall Auditorium

Physicists from around the world are using the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) to explore some of nature�s most basic and intriguing ingredients and phenomena. At RHIC, two beams of gold ions (atoms that have had their electrons stripped off) travel at nearly the speed of light � what Einstein called relativistic speeds � in opposite directions around RHIC�s 2.4-mile, two-lane �racetrack.� At six intersections, the lanes cross and ions collide at such high speeds that fascinating things happen. It is the conditions that are created as a result of these collisions � conditions that exist for only a brief period (approximately 10-22 seconds) following each collision � that physicists are interested in studying. To learn how and why researchers analyze these collisions, join Saskia Mioduszewski, an associate scientist in the Physics Department, on Wednesday, April 20, at 4 p.m. in Berkner Hall, where she will present the 403rd Brookhaven Lecture, �Probing the Matter Created at RHIC.� Mioduszewski will be introduced by Sally Dawson, Acting Chair of the Physics Department. In her talk, Mioduszewski will discuss the results from RHIC�s experimental collaborations and how researchers hope to create a form of matter in which the basic building blocks of matter � quarks and gluons � interact freely in what is called quark-gluon plasma. Researchers believe that quark-gluon plasma existed at the birth of the early universe. As Mioduszewski will explain, characterizing the state of matter produced in the collisions is challenging because of its very short duration.�She will describe the sophisticated probes that researchers have developed to meet this challenge. Mioduszewski received B.S. degrees in physics and mathematics from North Carolina State University in 1994, and a Ph.D. in nuclear physics from the University of Tennessee in 1999.

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