Canadian physicists got into the Guinness Book of Records: during the experiment they managed to get a substance heated to four trillion degrees Celsius. This is 250 thousand times more than the temperature of the Sun. Scientists collided in a collider accelerated almost to the speed of light nuclei of gold atoms.
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American physicists conducted a unique experiment: they managed to heat the substance up to 4 trillion degrees Celsius under laboratory conditions. This temperature is enough for the substance not only to cease to exist, but also its molecular structure and atoms simply disintegrated into quark matter, which is a homogeneous substance that was in our Universe after about 1-2 microseconds after the Big Bang.
To obtain unimaginable temperatures, scientists used a large atomic particle accelerator installed at the US Department of Energy's National Laboratory in Brookhaven, New York.
In an atomic accelerator, scientists collided gold ions with very high energy, which, when colliding at speeds close to the speed of light, formed ultra-hot explosions, the temperature of which reached 4 trillion degrees. True, this temperature exists for only a few microseconds. However, this is enough for scientists to be able to observe with their own eyes the processes that took place in the Universe in the first moments of its existence.
“This temperature is enough to literally melt protons and neutrons. The atoms of matter from the released energy and temperature break down into even smaller components - quarks and gluons, ”says Stephen Vigdor, one of the authors of the experiment.
The purpose of this experiment is to find those irregular oscillations and deviations, the occurrence of which leads to the formation of matter from a primordial homogeneous "soup" of quark-gluon matter. In addition, research in this area affects such a promising area of circuitry as spintronics. Future processors created using these areas of science will be able to obtain computing capabilities tens of thousands of times greater than those of current chips.
To conduct collisions, a team of nuclear physicists used the American RHIC (Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider) collider, which is more than 3.5 km long, and the "tube" of the accelerator itself is located underground at a depth of 5 meters.
“We can only guess what the temperature was in the Universe in the first moments of its existence, however, judging by the way matter behaves, 4 trillion degrees is very close to real indicators, ” says Vigor.
Scientists themselves admit that it is impossible to understand what a heat of 4 trillion degrees is, since there is simply nothing to compare such a temperature with. According to scientists, the protons and neutrons of matter begin to decay at temperatures over 2 trillion degrees. The hottest objects in the real world are the cores of Type II supernovae. Here the temperature reaches 2 billion degrees. In the center of our Sun, the temperature reaches 50 million degrees. The melting point of iron is 1800 degrees.
The group led by Stephen Vigor intends to repeat their experiments in the near future, but in order to understand how exactly quarks and gluons are formed into heavier elements - hadrons. “Something similar happened in the first milliseconds of the life of the Universe and something unknown led to the emergence of an imbalance between matter and antimatter. If this disproportion did not exist, then matter and antimatter would simply collapse into pure energy and the Universe would cease to exist, ”says Vigor.
Physicists intend to advance even more in the study of the very first moments of the life of the Universe with the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, where it will be possible to create even higher temperatures.