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    • 2015-10-01 09:05:00
    • Article ID: 640706

    Quark Matter 2015: Scientists Present, Discuss Latest Data from Experiments Smashing Nuclei at the Speed of Light

    Details of particle smashups at RHIC and the LHC offer insight into the building blocks of matter and the hearts of neutron stars

    • Credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory

      Experiments at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory are revealing insight into the building blocks of matter.

    Quark Matter 2015: Scientists Present, Discuss Latest Data from Experiments Smashing Nuclei at the Speed of Light

    Details of particle smashups at RHIC and the LHC offer insight into the building blocks of matter and the hearts of neutron stars

    October 1, 2015

    Kobe, JAPAN-Scientists intent on unraveling the mystery of the force that binds the building blocks of visible matter are gathered in Kobe, Japan, this week to present and discuss the latest results from "ultrarelativistic nucleus-nucleus collisions." Known more colloquially as Quark Matter 2015, the conference convenes scientists studying smashups of nuclei traveling close to the speed of light at the world's premier particle colliders-the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN). These collisions momentarily recreate the extreme conditions of the early universe so scientists can study quarks and gluons, the building blocks of ordinary protons and neutrons, as they existed and interacted nearly 14 billion years ago, before becoming bound by the strong nuclear force to form the atoms of the visible universe today.

    The last few years have yielded a series of intriguing results that RHIC, in particular, has the unique ability to explore in depth by colliding many different types of nuclei over a wide range of energies. Members of STAR and PHENIX, the two scientific collaborations conducting nuclear physics research at this DOE Office of Science User Facility-along with theorists analyzing and guiding the research and colleagues working on complementary studies at the LHC-are eager to share the latest insight.

    "We're particularly excited about the breadth of new results that PHENIX will be showing in Kobe," said Brookhaven physicist Dave Morrison, a co-spokesperson for the PHENIX collaboration. "We explain our key analyses in scientific papers that we've recently submitted to peer-reviewed journals."

    "STAR will be presenting the first scientific results from recent detector upgrades, which showcase our ability to probe the behavior of distinct types of particles over a wide range of energies," said Brookhaven physicist Zhangbu Xu, spokesperson for the STAR collaboration. "These data are helping us map out the only phase diagram involving the strong nuclear force and lay the foundation for future experiments at RHIC."

    Click on the headings below to learn more about the latest RHIC results

    The smallest quark-gluon plasma (QGP)

    Mapping the phase diagram of quark matter

    Restoration of a crucial symmetry and effects from fleeting fields

    Charm and beauty in the QGP

    Using jets to probe the QGP

    Perfect liquid photon puzzle

    "These are just the highlights among the many new results STAR and PHENIX are presenting at Quark Matter 2015," said Berndt Mueller, Associate Laboratory Director for Nuclear and Particle Physics at Brookhaven Lab. "They are the product of the ever-improving capabilities of these detectors and the accelerator. And they showcase how a global community of dedicated scientists is taking full advantage of RHIC's remarkable versatility to explore in depth the structure of nuclear matter over a wide range of temperatures and densities.

    "As always," Mueller continued, "the discussions that take place during this meeting will play an important part in fine-tuning the future research plans at RHIC. When many of the leading experts in the field convene at one place, the often quite heated discussions are certain to move the field forward."

    Research at RHIC is funded primarily by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science and by these agencies and organizations.

    ***

    SIDEBAR: A Perfect Celebration of Japanese Collaboration

    The Quark Matter conference takes place approximately every 18 months at various international venues. The last time it was held in Japan was in 1997, prior to the completion of construction of RHIC and long before the startup of the LHC. This year's meeting is therefore a celebration of the exciting physics program that has grown since that time, thanks in part to crucial contributions from Japanese scientists.

    "RHIC's PHENIX collaboration, in particular, has had a strong international partnership with many scientists and institutions in Japan, who have provided key intellectual and technical leadership in our science program, including as partners in funding key detector systems and upgrades," said Brookhaven physicist Dave Morrison, a co-spokesperson for PHENIX. The entire RHIC enterprise has also benefitted greatly from the foundational Japanese role in the RIKEN BNL Research Center (RBRC)-a physics research center located at Brookhaven and formed by an international collaboration between the Lab and RIKEN, Japan's Institute of Physical and Chemical Research. In addition to their roles in heavy-ion physics, RIKEN and RBRC scientists have played key roles in developing and funding the accelerator capabilities that underpin the extremely successful spin physics research program at RHIC.

    ***

    Media contacts: Karen McNulty Walsh, (631) 344-8350, kmcnulty@bnl.gov, or Peter Genzer, (631) 344-3174, genzer@bnl.gov

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    The Beauty of Imperfections: Linking Atomic Defects to 2D Materials' Electronic Properties

    The Beauty of Imperfections: Linking Atomic Defects to 2D Materials' Electronic Properties

    Scientists at Berkeley Lab have revealed how atomic defects emerge in transition metal dichalcogenides, and how those defects shape the 2D material's electronic properties. Their findings could provide a versatile yet targeted platform for designing 2D materials for quantum information science.

    High school students' data science contributions boost biomineralization research

    High school students' data science contributions boost biomineralization research

    Two high school students developed software to analyze images of diatoms--algae that produce silicon for constructing cell walls--to determine the differences between wild and genetically modified strains of these organisms. This work was instrumental to a research team interested in optimizing diatoms for biomineralization, the process of making materials from biological systems.

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    Two Argonne projects earn Secretary of Energy Honor Awards

    Two Argonne projects earn Secretary of Energy Honor Awards

    With this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded for the development of lithium-ion batteries, directors of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research share perspectives on the future of energy storage.

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    In its 15th year, INCITE advances open science with supercomputer grants to 47 projects

    In its 15th year, INCITE advances open science with supercomputer grants to 47 projects

    The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science announced allocations of supercomputer access to 47 science projects for 2020--awarding 60 percent of the available time on some of the nation's most powerful supercomputers, with the ultimate goal of accelerating discovery and innovation. In 2020, 14 projects will run on Theta and 39 projects on Summit, where six of these projects will receive an allocation on both systems.

    ASU solar awards eclipse other universities in latest round of DOE funding

    ASU solar awards eclipse other universities in latest round of DOE funding

    ASU receives $9.8 million in Solar Energy Technologies Office Awards.

    DOE to Provide $10 Million for New Research into Ecosystem Processes

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a plan to provide $10 million for new observational and experimental studies aimed at improving the accuracy of today's Earth system models. Research will focus on three separate types of environments--terrestrial, watershed, and subsurface--where current models fall short of providing fully accurate representation.

    ORNL to host 13 teams for DOE CyberForce Competition

    ORNL to host 13 teams for DOE CyberForce Competition

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory will give college students the chance to practice cybersecurity skills in a real-world setting as a host of the Department of Energy's fifth collegiate CyberForce Competition on Nov. 16.

    Argonne nuclear engineer J'Tia Hart selected to Crain's Chicago Business "40 Under 40"

    Argonne nuclear engineer J'Tia Hart selected to Crain's Chicago Business "40 Under 40"

    Argonne nuclear engineer J'Tia Hart has been named to Crain's Chicago Business's "40 Under 40" list, which recognizes young leaders in a variety of fields.

    Lab-Wide Stormwater Capture, Transportation Savings and Clean-Up Efforts Win Federal Recognition

    Lab-Wide Stormwater Capture, Transportation Savings and Clean-Up Efforts Win Federal Recognition

    Argonne National Laboratory has won a regional Federal Green Challenge award for conserving resources and saving taxpayers' money.

    PPPL wins $70,000 in project funding from DOE for entrepreneurship

    PPPL wins $70,000 in project funding from DOE for entrepreneurship

    The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy for two projects to encourage entrepreneurship and mentor and encourage potential entrepreneurs.


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    Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells

    Harvesting Energy from Light using Bio-inspired Artificial Cells

    Scientists designed and connected two different artificial cells to each other to produce molecules called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

    Engineering Living Scaffolds for Building Materials

    Engineering Living Scaffolds for Building Materials

    Bone and mollusk shells are composite systems that combine living cells and inorganic components. This allows them to regenerate and change structure while also being very strong and durable. Borrowing from this amazing complexity, researchers have been exploring a new class of materials called engineered living materials (ELMs).

    Excavating Quantum Information Buried in Noise

    Excavating Quantum Information Buried in Noise

    Researchers developed two new methods to assess and remove error in how scientists measure quantum systems. By reducing quantum "noise" - uncertainty inherent to quantum processes - these new methods improve accuracy and precision.

    How Electrons Move in a Catastrophe

    How Electrons Move in a Catastrophe

    Lanthanum strontium manganite (LSMO) is a widely applicable material, from magnetic tunnel junctions to solid oxide fuel cells. However, when it gets thin, its behavior changes for the worse. The reason why was not known. Now, using two theoretical methods, a team determined what happens.

    When Ions and Molecules Cluster

    When Ions and Molecules Cluster

    How an ion behaves when isolated within an analytical instrument can differ from how it behaves in the environment. Now, Xue-Bin Wang at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory devised a way to bring ions and molecules together in clusters to better discover their properties and predict their behavior.

    Tune in to Tetrahedral Superstructures

    Tune in to Tetrahedral Superstructures

    Shape affects how the particles fit together and, in turn, the resulting material. For the first time, a team observed the self-assembly of nanoparticles with tetrahedral shapes.

    Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System's Formation

    Tracing Interstellar Dust Back to the Solar System's Formation

    This study is the first to confirm dust particles pre-dating the formation of our solar system. Further study of these materials will enable a deeper understanding of the processes that formed and have since altered them.

    Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors

    Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors

    Future fusion reactors will require materials that can withstand extreme operating conditions, including being bombarded by high-energy neutrons at high temperatures. Scientists recently irradiated titanium diboride (TiB2) in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) to better understand the effects of fusion neutrons on performance.

    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

    Better 3-D Imaging of Tumors in the Breast with Less Radiation

    In breast cancer screening, an imaging technique based on nuclear medicine is currently being used as a successful secondary screening tool alongside mammography to improve the accuracy of the diagnosis. Now, a team is hoping to improve this imaging technique.

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

    Microbes are Metabolic Specialists

    Scientists can use genetic information to measure if microbes in the environment can perform specific ecological roles. Researchers recently analyzed the genomes of over 6,000 microbial species.


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