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Scientists Recreate Big Bang's 'Littlest Liquid' Using LHC: Why Should You Care About Primordial Goo

A group of scientists from the Brookhaven National Laboratory were able to recreate the primordial goo called quark-gluon plasma (QGP) or the "littlest liquid," which represents the state of matter that transpired shortly after the Big Bang took place.

The researchers performed the study by smashing lead nuclei-containing protons at intense energy levels and at the speed of light inside the Compact Muon Solenoid detector.

The findings of a study, published in the Physical Review of Letters, show that QGP exhibits a perfect liquid state that is almost free from friction. With this, the scientists were able to confirm the previous uncertainties saying that the primordial goo may result from the collision of small particles with big nuclei.

Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) together with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are the ion-colliding accelerators that enabled the scientists to come up with the study results. These machines' efficiency and accuracy have exhibited impeccable performance in terms of comprehending the intense state of the QGP, as well as providing information about the makeup of the early universe, particularly after the Big Bang.

QGP is highly known for being the state of matter that existed about a microsecond after the Big Bang; however, there is still a wide range of properties that scientists still do not fully understand about it, said Quan Wang, one of the study authors from the University of Kansas. Nonetheless, the ability to form of the "littlest liquid" by smashing protons may provide a better insight into the conditions that it require to exist.

Aside from providing valuable information regarding the state of the universe after the Big Bang and the mechanisms that helped the universe expand better, the study of the primordial goo is important for the further understanding of high-energy physics and its applications in thermal energy and astrophysics as the core of several astrophysical objects such as the neutron star are believed to contain QGP. Other beneficial applications of studying QGP have not been clearly determined but according to experts, the basic research that is being carried out to understand QGP better may move the boundaries of possibilities, and until research efforts are being conducted, the prospective uses of the primordial goo will remain borderless.

Photo: Image Editor | Flickr

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