From soup to stars

Credit: Image courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory

Thanks to a new development in nuclear physics theory, scientists exploring expanding fireballs that mimic the early universe have new signs to look for as they map out the transition from primordial plasma to matter as we know it. The theory work, described in a paper recently published as an Editor’s Suggestion in Physical Review Letters (PRL), identifies key patterns that would be proof of the existence of a so-called “critical point” in the transition among different phases of nuclear matter. Like the freezing and boiling points that delineate various phases of water — liquid, solid ice, and steam — the points nuclear physicists seek to identify will help them understand fundamental properties of the fabric of our universe. … (ScienceDaily)

Credit: Image courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory

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