(ORDO NEWS) — In an attempt to unravel the mysteries of the universe, physicists shoot high-energy particles at protons using sophisticated laboratory equipment.
According to scientists, this is not just pampering – such experiments have already opened the eyes of mankind to the existence of a special state of matter.
It’s called “stained glass condensate” and was predicted by Einstein’s special theory of relativity.
According to the standard model of physics, gluons are the subatomic glue that holds together 98% of the visible matter in the universe.
Thanks to gluons, quarks and antiquarks stick together to form protons and neutrons. Some experiments have found that when protons are accelerated at a speed close to the speed of light, the density of gluons in them increases sharply.
“In these cases, the gluons split into pairs of lower-energy gluons, which subsequently split into gluons with even lower charges, and so on,” physicist Tapia Takaki of the University of Kansas said in a statement.
But at some point, the gluons reach a point where they are not capable of further splitting: the state of matter in which such saturation with gluons occurs, scientists have called colored glass condensate.
Previously, this was only a hypothesis, but the experiments of Takaki and his colleagues prove that this phase of matter actually exists.
To test their theories, the scientists conducted a series of experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider and the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.
In these experiments, they fired protons or, in some cases, lead ions past each other at ultra-high speeds. When protons reach these speeds, they create an electromagnetic field and emit photons.
When protons rush past each other, their photons bounce off neighboring protons, causing a reaction.
Such ultra-peripheral collisions, as they are called, have long been known to scientists, but only recently have they finally helped to understand how high-energy protons “work”.
Why is all this necessary? Photons have the unique ability to travel through the nucleus of a proton and produce many new particles without destroying the structure of the proton.
Thus, a kind of image is created. With its help, scientists can study in detail the density of gluons in a proton, revealing other secrets of particles.
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