Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Strange World Of Quarks, Gluons, Described By Physicist

Date:
February 23, 2008
Source:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Summary:
One of the great theoretical challenges facing physicists is understanding how the tiniest elementary particles give rise to most of the mass in the visible universe. A physicist from MIT will talk about the theory that governs interactions of quarks and gluons, known as quantum chromodynamics.

One of the great theoretical challenges facing physicists is understanding how the tiniest elementary particles give rise to most of the mass in the visible universe.

Related Articles


Tiny particles called quarks and gluons are the building blocks for larger particles such as protons and neutrons, which in turn form atoms. However, quarks and gluons behave very differently than those larger particles, making them more difficult to study.

John Negele, the W.A. Coolidge Professor of Physics at MIT, will talk about the theory that governs interactions of quarks and gluons, known as quantum chromodynamics (QCD), during a Feb. 17 presentation to the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Boston.

Negele will describe how scientists are using supercomputers and a concept called lattice field theory to figure out the behavior of quarks and gluons, the smallest known particles.

"The quest to understand the fundamental building blocks of nature has led to the exploration of successive layers of worlds within worlds," says Negele, who also holds an appointment in MIT's Laboratory for Nuclear Science.

Molecules are built from atoms, atoms from electrons and nuclei, and nuclei from protons and neutrons. Those interactions are well understood. The next step in the process is to unravel the interactions of quarks and gluons, which are strikingly different from those of larger particles and require a different approach to study them.

Several factors make interactions between quarks and gluons more complicated to study. For one, quarks are confined within larger particles, so they cannot be separated and studied in isolation. Also, the force between two quarks becomes larger as they move farther apart, whereas the force between a nucleus and an electron, or two nucleons in a nucleus, grows weaker as their separation increases.

These differences can be explained by the property of asymptotic freedom, for which David Gross, David Politzer and MIT's Frank Wilczek, the Herman Feshbach (1942) Professor of Physics, shared the 2004 Nobel Prize. This property describes how the force generated by the exchange of gluons becomes weaker as the quarks come closer together and grows larger as the quarks are separated. As a consequence, none of the analytical techniques used to successfully solve atomic and nuclear physics problems can be used to analyze quarks and gluons.

Instead, physicists use lattice field theory to study QCD interactions. Using large supercomputers, researchers can analyze QCD by representing space-time by a four-dimensional lattice of discrete points, like a crystal.

The calculations are being performed by computers specially built for this purpose, such as the 360-teraflop BlueGene/L at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

In his talk, Negele will describe the basic ideas of how QCD is solved using a space-time lattice and will show selected results of the calculations of fundamental properties of protons, neutrons and other strongly interacting particles.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Strange World Of Quarks, Gluons, Described By Physicist." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080217143832.htm>.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2008, February 23). Strange World Of Quarks, Gluons, Described By Physicist. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080217143832.htm
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Strange World Of Quarks, Gluons, Described By Physicist." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080217143832.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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