Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Weizmann Institute Particle Detectors Used To Explore Primordial Matter In International Collider Project

Date:
June 21, 2000
Source:
Weizmann Institute
Summary:
The first collisions of particles that will allow scientists to study matter as it existed just after the Big Bang have been observed with the help of unique particle detectors designed and built at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

June 13, 2000 -- The first collisions of particles that will allow scientists to study matter as it existed just after the Big Bang were observed today with the help of unique particle detectors designed and built at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

The collisions marked the launch of the largest experiment of its type at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island, intended to simulate the first stage in the creation of matter in the universe. This experiment, called PHENIX, involves some 450 scientists from 11 national groups, including the Israeli team headed by Prof. Itzhak Tserruya of the Weizmann Institute's Particle Physics Department.

In the first millionth of a second after the Big Bang, the atoms of different elements as we know them today did not yet exist. The protons and neutrons had not yet been 'born' either. The jets of blazing matter that dispersed in all directions in the first few fractions of a second in the existence of the universe contained a mixture of free quarks and gluons, called the quark-gluon plasma.

Later on, when the universe cooled down a bit and became less dense, the quarks and gluons got 'organized' in various combinations that created more complex particles, such as the protons and neutrons. Since then, in fact, quarks or gluons have not existed as free particles in the universe.

Scientists studying the unique physical properties of the quark-gluon plasma have been trying to recreate this primordial matter using particle accelerators. In an experiment called CERES, conducted at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN) near Geneva, an international team including Weizmann Institute scientists came close to that goal. But in order to be certain that the goal has indeed been achieved and to maintain the quark-gluon plasma sufficiently long in order to study its properties, a special 3.8 kilometer circumference Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) was built at the Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory.

RHIC creates two beams of gold ions, accelerates them almost to the speed of light and causes them to collide. The power of the collisions, about 40 trillion (40 million times one million) electron volts, turns part of the beams' kinetic energy into heat, while the other part of the energy turns into various particles -- a process described in Einstein's famous equation E=mc2. The first stage in the creation of new particles, just as in the first stage of the creation of matter in the Big Bang, is assumed to be the stage of the quark-gluon plasma.

The 20 Weizmann detectors designed and built by Prof. Tserruya are crucial elements of the PHENIX detection system, intended to definitively identify the quark-gluon plasma. They are capable of providing three-dimensional information of the precise location of the particles ejected from the area of the collision. The direction of the particles' motion, their energy and their identity will allow scientists to study the state of matter in the area of the collision. The PHENIX experiment is scheduled to run several years.

Among the distinguishing features of the Weizmann Institute detectors is the fact that they are both lightweight and strong, a rare combination of properties. Also, they contain several unique elements, such as extremely complex printed circuits. The Institute scientists were able to find only one company in the world, located in Italy, that was able to manufacture the circuits matching their specifications.

Apart from Prof. Tserruya, the team that designed and built the detectors included Prof. Zeev Fraenkel, Dr. Ilia Ravinovich, postdoctoral fellow Dr. Wei Xie and graduate students Alexander Gnaenski, Alexander Milov and Alexander Cherlin, all from the Weizmann Institute's Particle Physics Department.

Professor Tserruya holds The Samuel Sebba Chair of Pure and Applied Physics. Prof. Tserruya's research is supported by the Nella and Leon Benoziyo Center for High Energy Physics, Switzerland.

The Weizmann Institute of Science is a major center of scientific research and graduate study located in Rehovot, Israel. Its 2,500 scientists, students and support staff are engaged in more than 1,000 research projects across the spectrum of contemporary science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Weizmann Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Weizmann Institute. "Weizmann Institute Particle Detectors Used To Explore Primordial Matter In International Collider Project." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000621074336.htm>.
Weizmann Institute. (2000, June 21). Weizmann Institute Particle Detectors Used To Explore Primordial Matter In International Collider Project. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000621074336.htm
Weizmann Institute. "Weizmann Institute Particle Detectors Used To Explore Primordial Matter In International Collider Project." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000621074336.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins