Scientists may have created what appears to be a new form of matter, at CERN‘s Large Hadron Collider. The collisions may have produced a new type of matter known as ‘color-glass condensate.’ A proton collides with a lead nucleus, sending a shower of particles through the CMS detector. Image: CERN
Usually in collision inside particle accelerators, like CERN’s LHC, particles fly away at near the speed on light.
A team at the LHC found that in a sample of 2 million lead-proton collisions, some pairs of particles, with some properties of a liquid, flew away from each other with their respective directions correlated.
MIT physics professor Gunther Roland, whose group led the analysis of the collision data along with Wei Li, a former MIT postdoc who is now an assistant professor at Rice University, said:
“Somehow they fly at the same direction even though it’s not clear how they can communicate their direction with one another. That has surprised many people, including us.”
According to MIT: “Those heavy-ion collisions produce a wave of quark gluon plasma, the hot soup of particles that existed for the first few millionths of a second after the Big Bang. In the collider, this wave sweeps some of the resulting particles in the same direction, accounting for the correlation in their flight paths.”