CERN Makes Historic Sound Speed Measurement in Plasma

Scientists from the CMS collaboration at a large hadron collider in CERN have made a groundbreaking discovery by directly measuring the speed of sound in quarter-gluon plasma for the first time. This unique experiment involved observing high-energy collisions of lead nuclei.

Quark-gluon plasma is a special state of matter that exists at extreme temperatures and densities, causing quarks and gluons to break free from protons and neutrons and form a nearly perfect liquid.

For this experiment, researchers focused on frontal collisions of heavy lead ions due to their ability to generate higher energies. Using the CMS detector, scientists were able to capture particles produced from these collisions, enabling them to calculate the plasma’s energy density right after each collision.

By measuring heat and energy density in the plasma, scientists successfully determined the speed of sound in this environment. The results aligned with predictions from quantum chromodynamics, a theoretical approach used to calculate quarter-gluon plasma properties.

This study not only validates theoretical calculations but also presents new avenues for exploring matter under extreme conditions. Future plans involve conducting measurements at varying temperatures to gain a more comprehensive understanding of quarter-gluon plasma behavior.

These findings hold significant relevance in comprehending inner workings of neutron stars, where matter exists in highly intense states. The study highlights the efficacy of modern experimental techniques in exploring fundamental matter properties.

The research article has been featured in the prominent journal Reports on Progress in Physics, known for publishing original research in the field.

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