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.

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 22, 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 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Airlines Swanky New Plane

China Airlines Swanky New Plane

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) China Airlines debuted their new Boeing 777, and it's more like a swanky hotel bar than an airplane. Enjoy high-tea, a coffee bar, and a full service bar with cocktails and spirits, and lie-flat in your reclining seats. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
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