20 June 2024
Speed of sound in quark plasma precisely measured

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Speed of sound quark plasma, a fluid-like state of matter made up of strongly interacting particles, has been measured with unprecedented precision by CERN researchers. This measurement provides insights into the properties and behavior of these almost-perfect liquids, which may help us understand nature across scales that are orders of magnitude apart.

Precise Measurement of the Speed of Sound in Quark Plasma



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The universe is a vast and diverse place, filled with various forms of matter and energy that may seem unrelated on the surface. Neutron stars, ultracold atomic gases, and the quark–gluon plasma created in collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) all share a commonality – they exist in a fluid-like state of matter comprising strongly interacting particles. These almost-perfect liquids offer valuable insights into the fundamental properties of nature across different scales, providing researchers with a unique opportunity to explore the underlying principles that govern the universe.

What is the Quark–Gluon Plasma?

At the heart of this exploration lies the quark–gluon plasma, a state of matter that emerges from the high-energy collisions of heavy ions at the LHC. During these collisions, an immense amount of energy is deposited in a tiny volume, allowing quarks and gluons to move freely within this confined space. This leads to the formation of a fluid-like medium whose behavior can be effectively studied to understand the collective dynamics of particles in extreme conditions.

The speed of sound in the quark–gluon plasma serves as a critical parameter for researchers seeking to unravel the properties of this unique state of matter. Sound, as a longitudinal wave, travels through a medium by creating compressions and rarefactions of matter in its path. The speed at which sound propagates is influenced by the medium’s density and viscosity, making it a valuable tool for probing the characteristics of the quark plasma.

Precise Measurement of the Speed of Sound in Quark Plasma

In a recent study, the CMS collaboration at CERN has achieved the most precise measurement to date of the speed of sound in the quark–gluon plasma. By analyzing data from lead–lead collisions at the LHC, researchers were able to determine the relationship between temperature and entropy in central heavy-ion collisions. This analysis led to the calculation of the speed of sound in the quark plasma, revealing a value that is nearly half the speed of light with unprecedented precision.

The study reported a squared speed of sound of 0.241 in units of the speed of light, with a statistical uncertainty of 0.002 and a systematic uncertainty of 0.016. Additionally, the effective temperature of the quark–gluon plasma was determined to be 219 million electronvolts (MeV), with a systematic uncertainty of 8 MeV. These results align closely with theoretical expectations, confirming the fluid-like nature of the quark plasma and its ability to store significant amounts of energy.

Implications and Future Research

The precise measurement of the speed of sound in the quark–gluon plasma opens up new avenues for research in the field of high-energy physics. Understanding the properties of this extreme state of matter not only sheds light on the behavior of particles in conditions akin to the early universe but also provides insights into the fundamental forces that govern the cosmos.

By delving deeper into the intricacies of the quark–gluon plasma, researchers aim to uncover the underlying principles that dictate the behavior of matter at the smallest scales. This knowledge not only enhances our understanding of the fundamental building blocks of the universe but also paves the way for advancements in fields ranging from particle physics to astrophysics.

Wrapping up, the measurement of the speed of sound in the quark–gluon plasma represents a significant milestone in our quest to unravel the mysteries of the universe. By probing the properties of this unique state of matter with unprecedented precision, researchers are paving the way for new discoveries and a deeper understanding of the fundamental forces that shape the cosmos..

**FAQ’s**

1. What is the significance of understanding the speed of sound in quark plasma?

The speed of sound in quark plasma provides insights into the fundamental properties of matter in extreme conditions, akin to the early universe.

2. How is the speed of sound in quark plasma measured?

The speed of sound is measured by analyzing data from heavy-ion collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which create a fluid-like state of quark plasma.

3. What is the relationship between the speed of sound and the properties of quark plasma?

The speed of sound is determined by the density and viscosity of the medium, making it a valuable tool for probing the characteristics of quark plasma.

4. What are the implications of the precise measurement of the speed of sound in quark plasma?

The precise measurement opens up new avenues for research in high-energy physics, shedding light on the behavior of matter in extreme conditions and the fundamental forces that govern the universe.

5. What are the future directions of research related to the speed of sound in quark plasma?

Future research aims to uncover the fundamental principles that govern the behavior of matter in extreme states, leading to advancements in fields ranging from cosmology to particle physics.

Links to additional Resources:

1. home.cern 2. quarkgluonplasma.org 3. symmetrymagazine.org

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Quark-gluon plasma, Speed of sound, Large Hadron Collider

Quark–gluon plasma
Quark–gluon plasma (QGP or quark soup) is an interacting localized assembly of quarks and gluons at thermal (local kinetic) and (close to) chemical (abundance) equilibrium. The word plasma signals that free color charges are allowed. In a 1987 summary, Léon van Hove pointed out the equivalence of the three terms:...
Read more: Quark–gluon plasma

Speed of sound
The speed of sound is the distance travelled per unit of time by a sound wave as it propagates through an elastic medium. At 20 °C (68 °F), the speed of sound in air is about 343 m/s (1,125 ft/s; 1,235 km/h; 767 mph; 667 kn), or 1 km in...
Read more: Speed of sound

Large Hadron Collider
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world's largest and highest-energy particle collider. It was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) between 1998 and 2008 in collaboration with over 10,000 scientists and hundreds of universities and laboratories across more than 100 countries. It lies in a tunnel...
Read more: Large Hadron Collider

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