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Latest LHC experiments show early universe behaved like a liquid


November 28, 2010

Simulated lead-lead collisions in ALICE

Simulated lead-lead collisions in ALICE

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Physicists from the ALICE detector team have been colliding lead nuclei together at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in an attempt to recreate the conditions in the first few microseconds after the Big Bang. Early results have shown that the quark-gluon plasma created at these energies does not form a gas as predicted, but instead suggest that the very early universe behaved like a hot liquid.

The Large Hadron Collider enables physicists to smash together sub-atomic particles at incredibly high-energies, providing new insights into the conditions present at the beginning of the universe.

ALICE (an acronym for A Large Ion Collider Experiment) researchers have been colliding lead nuclei to generate incredibly dense sub-atomic fireballs – mini Big Bangs at temperatures of over ten million degrees.

Previous research at lower energies had suggested the hot fire balls produced in nuclei collisions behaved like a liquid, yet many still expected the quark-gluon plasma to behave like a gas at these much higher energies.

Additionally, it has been found that more sub-atomic particles are produced in the collision than some theoretical models suggested.

“Although it is very early days we are already learning more about the early Universe,” said Dr David Evans, from the University of Birmingham’s School of Physics and Astronomy, and UK lead investigator at ALICE experiment. “These first results would seem to suggest that the Universe would have behaved like a super-hot liquid immediately after the Big Bang.”

The ALICE experiment aims to study the properties of the state of matter called a quark-gluon plasma. The ALICE Collaboration comprises around 1,000 physicists and engineers from around 100 institutes in 30 countries. During collisions of lead nuclei, ALICE will record data to disk at a rate of 1.2 gigabytes (GB), equivalent to two CDs every second, and will write over two petabytes (two million GB) of data to disk. This is equivalent to more than three million CDs, or a stack of CDs without boxes several miles high!

To process this data, ALICE will need 50,000 top-of-the-range PCs, from all over the world, running 24 hours a day.

The research is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

All images courtesy CERN

Via University of Birmingham.


The energy equation applied in the Special Theory of Relativity leads to the Newtonian spacetime composed of tachyons. The four phase transitions of this spacetime, described in the Everlasting Theory, lead to the Einstein spacetime composed of the non-rotating binary systems of neutrinos but also to an atom-like structure of baryons and new cosmology. Inside the baryons, there is massive core and orbits produced by the strong interactions. High-energy collisions destroy the orbits. New theory of the weak interactions resulting from the theory of tachyons leads to the entanglement of photons but also shows that it is very difficult to destroy the cores of nucleons. The liquid-like plasma consists of the packed to maximum cores of nucleons. Within the Everlasting Theory, I calculated temperature, energy density of the liquid-like plasma and the NSD-fraction measured within the Compact Muon Solenoid in CERN. The theoretical results are consistent with experimental data.

Sylwester Kornowski

ALICE? Who the f*** is ALICE?


So \"Fluidic Space\" may have been real? Very cool!

Nick Huggins

Technically, they\'re not learning about \"the early universe\". They\'re strictly learning about how quark-gluon plasmas behave. Whether the early universe consisted of such plasmas is another unproven hypothesis altogether. It\'s a shame a scientist like Dr. Evan should be confusing an hypothesis with a fact, especially given that the current model has failed in almost every single prediction made and requires a host of adjustable parameters. Element abundance predictions for the standard Big Bang hypothesis require at least one adjustable parameter for each element (!!!) and the cosmic deceleration parameter requires mutually exclusive values to match different observations (!!!). I have no ability to gauge the merit of Mr. Kornowski\'s work above, but there is a lot of work being done by a limited number of scientists who find it untenable to treat as fact an hypothesis that so poorly fits the observational data, and only then by being so riddled with mathematical loopholes that it\'s incapable of making predictions. I believe Dr. Roger Penrose is going to advance some new ideas in his forthcoming two works (the first dealing with the origins of the universe and the second with particle physics), and he had some strong criticism in recent interviews for those areas of physics that seem to have departed entirely from observational reality and introduced a cornocopia of mathematical, yet unobserved, entities to support their models. Ironically, he\'s a mathematician and not a physicist. :-) Still, he embodies the spirit of Neils Bohr who once said \"It should be understood that every statement I make ends not with a period, but with a question mark.\"

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