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Home Science Energy Record universal temperature created at Brookhaven
Brookhaven National Laboratory has produced the hottest temperature on Earth'”even in the Universe. It is as hot as when the Big Bang explosion created our Universe, producing a soup of quark-gluon plasma.

A combination of four Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) detectors'”BRAHMS, PHENIX, PHOBOS, and STAR'”measured a temperature of about 4 trillion degrees Celsius, or 39 trillion degrees Fahrenheit.

The temperature was produced after a carefully controlled explosion occurred inside the 3.9-kilometer (2.4-mile) long Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Learn more about the RHIC (pronounced 'Rick') particle accelerator and collider at the BNL webpage 'The Physics of RHIC.'

The temperature produced at Brookhaven was hotter than what is produced inside the Sun, at a temperature of a mere 15 million degrees Celsius (59 million degrees Fahrenheit).

You have to go hotter than the Sun to equal what was produced at Brookhaven.

It was hotter than what is produced inside a dying star that is exploding and producing a supernova, only about 10 billion degrees Celsius (40 billion degrees Fahrenheit).

You have to go hotter still.

The temperature produced at Brookhaven is comparable to the temperature produced by the Big Bang explosion, which occurred about 13.7 billion years ago, plus or minus a few hundreds of millions of years.

Page two discusses more about the dramatic new record produced by the scientists at Brookhaven.

The press release ('Perfect' Liquid Hot Enough to be Quark Soup) from Brookhaven quoted Dr. William F. Brinkman, the director of the Department of Energy's Office of Science. The Brookhaven Lab is part of the DOE.

Dr. Brinkman said, 'This research offers significant insight into the fundamental structure of matter and the early universe, highlighting the merits of long-term investment in large-scale, basic research programs at our national laboratories. I commend the careful approach RHIC scientists have used to gather detailed evidence for their claim of creating a truly remarkable new form of matter.'

According to the February 15, 2010 Fox News article 'Measuring the Hottest Temperatures in the Universe,' scientists with the Brookhaven Lab collided two 30-billion electron-volt gold beams, consisting of gold (Au) ions, inside the RHIC particle accelerator and collider, which lies about 12 feet below the Earth's surface, at Long Island, New York.

U.S. physicist Steven Vigdor, associated with the Brookhaven Lab team that produced the temperature-setting record, stated, 'It's a hotter temperature than anything we know about in the universe.'

The BNL team made the announcement of their accomplishment on February 15, 2010, at a meeting of the American Physical Society, held in Washington, D.C. on February 13-17, 2010.

The scientific team produced conditions at the time of the Big Bang that, according to theory, is called a 'quark-gluon plasma' (QGP).

Page three continues with a video showing an animation of the collision.

At the time before the Big Bang explosion tiny particles existed. They were called quarks and gluons.

The BNL team collided two gold beams, which caused some of the gold ions to explode (thousands per second, on average), producing a very tiny amount of 'freely-flowing' quark-gluon plasma after the gold ions broke apart.

Check out the YouTube animated video of the BNL explosion: 'Hot Quark Soup Produced at RHIC.'

For additional information on this exciting new development in particle physics, pleases read the Brookhaven National Lab article 'New Findings on Hot Quark Soup Produced at RHIC.'

The article states that the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory has produced ' '¦ collisions of gold ions traveling at nearly the speed of light [that] have created matter at a temperature of about 4 trillion degrees Celsius '” the hottest temperature ever reached in a laboratory, about 250,000 times hotter than the center of the Sun."

"This temperature, based upon measurements by the PHENIX collaboration at RHIC, is higher than the temperature needed to melt protons and neutrons into a plasma of quarks and gluons. Details of the findings will be published in Physical Review Letters.'

Page four concludes with even higher energies at another particle accelerator/collider that will create even higher temperatures in the very near future.

The collisions produced at Brookhaven National Laboratory will soon be reproduced at even higher energies (which will produce even higher temperatures) at CERN's 27-kilometer (17-mile) long Large Hadron Collider (LHC), located on the border of France and Switzerland.

The BNL press release states, 'Calculations of quantum chromodynamics now predict that as temperatures increase significantly, quark-gluon matter should slowly evolve from RHIC's perfect liquid to an ideal gas."

"The LHC will provide the first opportunity to observe this evolution as collision temperatures increase by a factor of 2 to 3 in its own heavy-ion experiments, set to begin in late 2010.'


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William Atkins

William Atkins completed educational degrees in science (bachelor’s in physics and mathematics) from Illinois State University (Normal, United States) and business (master’s in entrepreneurship and bachelor’s in industrial relations) from Western Illinois University






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