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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.

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webmaster Last modified: Jun 19 2013 10:36.