You Spin Me Right Round, Quark-Gluon Plasma, Right Round

Some exciting news is being shared for all those interested in physics. In an effort to recreate and study the effects of The Big Bang, scientists from the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y have discovered a liquid with extremely high vorticity, or the tendency of a fluid particle to circulate at a certain point.

This liquid, known as quark-gluon plasma, was created when scientists forced gold ions to smash into each other at high speeds, with their velocity almost approaching  the speed of light. This liquid is dense and extremely hot. Its temperature is in the trillions of degrees Celsius, which is much, much hotter than the core of the sun, making it the hottest fluid ever to be made by humans. This liquid also has another interesting quality; in this liquid, quarks and gluons, substances that make up protons and neutrons, float freely in the liquid, hence its name, quark-gluon plasma.

Not only that, but the quark-gluon plasma has been found to have an average vorticity around ω≈(9±1)×10^21 s^−1 (9 billion trillion radians per second). As this probably doesn’t mean much to anyone not studying physics, to give a sense of scale, the Earth rotates at a vorticity of 7.27×10^-6 radians per second. This means that the quark-gluon plasma is, without a doubt, the fastest rotating fluid to ever be found, surpassing the fluid Gomez et al, with a vorticity of 10^7 s−1.

Nothing about this liquid could be considered part of the ordinary, and studying it could yield very interesting results for science and physics!



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