Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Direct Photon Properties Reveal Secrets Of Extreme Nuclear States

Date:
April 26, 2006
Source:
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Summary:
When atomic nuclei are smashed together at great speed, resulting temperatures exceed one trillion degrees. Scientists who study nuclear matter under extreme conditions have a particular interest in the properties of particles of light called photons. Using RHIC, Stefan Bathe has measured characteristics of photons to reveal data about the temperature and density of a nuclear collision.

Stefan Bathe and the PHENIX detector at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.
Credit: Image courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory

When atomic nuclei are smashed together at great speed, resulting temperatures exceed one trillion degrees, 200 million times hotter than the surface of the sun. Scientists who study nuclear matter under extreme conditions have a particular interest in the properties of particles of light called photons, which reveal valuable information because they don't interact strongly with other particles following a nuclear collision.

Using the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, physicist Stefan Bathe has measured characteristics of photons to reveal data about the temperature and density of a nuclear collision.

Bathe will discuss his study of direct photon production at the April meeting of the American Physical Society at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas. Bathe's talk will be held on Tuesday, April 25 at 2:06 p.m. in Landmark B.

RHIC is a world-class scientific research facility used by hundreds of physicists from around the world to study what the universe may have looked like in the first few moments after its creation. RHIC drives two intersecting beams of gold ions head-on, in a subatomic collision. What physicists learn from these collisions may help us understand more about why the physical world works the way it does, from the smallest subatomic particles, to the largest stars.

Working at the PHENIX detector, Bathe has studied gold-gold, deuteron-gold, and proton-proton collisions to test the theory of quantum chromodynamics, the theory of the strong force that holds atomic nuclei together.

"While gold-gold collisions are the most interesting, we also have to understand simpler systems with fewer particles," he said. "We want to understand the strong interactions between quarks and gluons, which are the components of protons and neutrons. In a collision of nuclei, they all break apart, resulting in thousands of particles."

The vast majority of the particles released in a nuclear collision interact strongly with the nuclear medium and lose large amounts of energy. How much energy they lose reveals information about the medium. By studying the energy spectrum of direct photons, Bathe and his colleagues have been able to determine the temperature and density of the matter, which in turn reveals the phase of the collision.

"The detector will tell us the energy and position where a photon hits it," Bathe said. "From the energy and position, we get a spectrum of energy distribution, whose slope tells us the temperature. If you know the temperature and density, you know the phase of the matter."

"By studying photons, particles that you can see, you can learn about the temperature of the nuclear matter you've created, " he said.

Research at PHENIX is funded by the Office of Nuclear Physics within the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science and by a variety of other national and international organizations (see http://www.bnl.gov/rhic/funding.htm).


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Brookhaven National Laboratory. "Direct Photon Properties Reveal Secrets Of Extreme Nuclear States." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 April 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060426081421.htm>.
Brookhaven National Laboratory. (2006, April 26). Direct Photon Properties Reveal Secrets Of Extreme Nuclear States. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060426081421.htm
Brookhaven National Laboratory. "Direct Photon Properties Reveal Secrets Of Extreme Nuclear States." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060426081421.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
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