Collisions in the Large Hadron Collider unexpectedly gave birth to a new kind of matter


Collisions of protons with lead ions in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have led to an unexpected result in the form of new particles created in the collisions. The new observations show that the collision may produce a new type of matter called color glass condensate (Glasma).

During the high-speed collision of particles produced hundreds of new particles, most of which departs from the collision at near light speed. But a team of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) at the Large Hadron Collider has found that from a sample of 2 million ion-proton collisions, some pairs of particles as they kept flying away cross-correlation with each other.

"Somehow, they fly off to one side, though it is unclear how they can communicate to each other their direction. This surprised many, including us," - said the professor of physics at MIT Gunther Roland, whose group led the data analysis collisions.

Article describing these unexpected discoveries will be published in the next issue of the journal Physical Review B.

The MIT group on heavy ions found similar distinguishing feature in the analysis of proton-proton collisions about two years ago. Such behavior by the expansion of the fragments is also observed in a collision with each other ions of lead or other heavy metals, such as gold or copper.

During these collisions of heavy ions, created a wave of quark-gluon plasma, a hot soup of particles that existed in the first millionth of a second after the Big Bang. In the collider this wave sweeps out of the way some of the generated particles in the direction of his route, which explains the correlation between the trajectories of their departure.

According to some theories, these proton-proton collisions can produce fluidlike wave gluons, known as the color glass condensate. This unusual behavior of the particles after the collision may have caused this dense cloud of gluons.

The correlation effect "is very small, but, nevertheless, points to something very fundamental about how quarks and gluons are spatially located inside the proton," - say the scientists.


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