q&a: the physics
What is a quark-gluon plasma?
A quark-gluon plasma is, as its name implies, a plasma of quarks and gluons! Quarks are
fractionally-charged particles that, in groups of 2 or 3, make up most of
the particles known to exist (including protons and neutrons), and gluons are the particles
that carry the strong force
felt between quarks.
Quarks and gluons,
normally confined within other particles, are thought to be freed at very
high densities, such as those created in high-energy nuclear collisions,
for a tiny fraction of a second.
These pages are under development.