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Large Hadron Collider May Have Produced New Matter 238

Posted by Soulskill
from the news-for-nerds-stuff-that's-matter dept.
Covalent writes "The Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator and the 'Big Bang machine' that was used to discover what appears to be the long-sought Higgs boson particle (as announced July 4), may have another surprise up its sleeve this year: The LHC looks to have produced a new type of matter, according to a new analysis of particle collision data by scientists at MIT and Rice University. The new type of matter, which has yet to be verified, is theorized to be one of two possible forms: Either 'color-glass condensate' — a flattened nucleus transformed into a 'wall' of gluons, which are smaller binding subatomic particles, or it could be 'quark-gluon plasma,' a dense, soup or liquid-like collection of individual particles."
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Large Hadron Collider May Have Produced New Matter

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  • Re:New matter (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @04:29PM (#42109537)

    The conditions that the LHC can recreate are unique in that they are thought to have been present only during the Big Bang. As such, yes, this could be new matter that we haven't seen before anywhere else.

    And that's why the LHC was and is every particle physicist's wet dream: they get to see and play with the conditions of the Big Bang. Nothing else does.

  • by The Master Control P (655590) <ejkeever@@@nerdshack...com> on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @05:06PM (#42110005)
    We know quite certainly that the standard model is incomplete both from quantum theory and cosmology: If one rejects fine tuning, something has to keep the Higgs mass from diverging due to Top loops. Above a few TeV, something has to keep vector boson scattering cross sections sane. Dark matter and dark energy have to be made of something.

    Unfortunately, that it is incomplete is about all the hell we've got at this point. The LHC has basically been ruling proposed SUSY models out unceasingly, and if we're unlucky and New Physics lies past 14TeV, it will likely be a damn long time until we discover it because the LHC took up the theoretical physics budgets of nearly every nation that does theoretical physics for the better part of a decade to build, and they already had the tunnel. To make significant advances with a successor hadron accelerator we'd be talking about building something at least several times larger and the obstacles are enormous... Staggering costs, the irradiation of the inner detectors, data processing, construction times stretching into multiple decades. Not to mention that the LHC consumed most of the world's supply of helium for years on end.

    In the worst-case scenario, there's nothing significantly new until one reaches strong-force unification, and that lies a trillion times beyond the LHC,
  • Re:First post (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @05:31PM (#42110303)
    If we could create this type of matter and it actually had any interesting properties, what makes you think we'd need the 1960s space fantasies you dream about? It's like discovering nuclear power and wondering what kind of steam locomotive we could build with it. Here's a hint, technology changes your base perceptions and your needs. If we did have the tremendous technologies you think we need to get into space, we wouldn't need to get into space. You're a Space Nutter.
  • by Xerxes314 (585536) <clebsch_gordan@yahoo.com> on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @08:01PM (#42111797)
    Well, it's just cool because it probes new regions of the parameter space (temperature and density) of quantum chromodynamics (the fundamental theory of the strong nuclear force). Knowing what nuclear matter does under extreme conditions teaches us new things about what kinds of matter that might exist in the cores of neutron stars, whether there could be more compact kinds of stars between neutron stars and black holes and what conditions were like during the first moments after the Big Bang. It also gives us more data to compare against the predictions of quantum chromodynamics, which will help us make sure that that's actually the correct theory of the nuclear forces. I can't think of any practical applications (say, to fission cross-sections or something) off the top of my head, but that doesn't imply they don't exist.
  • by bdwoolman (561635) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @08:01PM (#42111801) Homepage
    One of the smaller nuclear power plants for a sub might actually be quite efficient for a very large locomotive running on a much larger-than-standard track. At speed with radiator cooling you might manage some good efficiency. Tanker cars for coolant. Green as hell as as far as CO2 is concerned. You could move heavy freight. I bet in the fifties or sixties some serious thought went into big nuclear trains. Not feasible then with the reactors they had, but some of the N power plants in our ships are very compact now I believe. Albeit highly classified. What a poor analogy the poster made in his tirade against the sci fi fan.. Because, obvious security and political disadvantages aside, using a nuclear power plant in a big-ass steam locomotive may not be a half bad idea. Especially these days.
  • by nitehawk214 (222219) on Tuesday November 27, 2012 @08:16PM (#42111933)

    One of the smaller nuclear power plants for a sub might actually be quite efficient for a very large locomotive running on a much larger-than-standard track. At speed with radiator cooling you might manage some good efficiency. Tanker cars for coolant. Green as hell as as far as CO2 is concerned. You could move heavy freight. I bet in the fifties or sixties some serious thought went into big nuclear trains. Not feasible then with the reactors they had, but some of the N power plants in our ships are very compact now I believe. Albeit highly classified. What a poor analogy the poster made in his tirade against the sci fi fan.. Because, obvious security and political disadvantages aside, using a nuclear power plant in a big-ass steam locomotive may not be a half bad idea. Especially these days.

    Yep. [barentsobserver.com]

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