Müller, Berndt Department of Physics, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
- Thermodynamics of plasma
- Experimental signatures and results
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A predicted state of nuclear matter containing deconfined quarks and gluons. According to the theory of strong interactions, called quantum chromodynamics, hadrons such as mesons and nucleons (the generic name for protons and neutrons) are bound states of more fundamental objects called quarks. The quarks are confined within the individual hadrons by the exchange of particles called gluons. However, calculations indicate that, at sufficiently high temperatures or densities, hadronic matter should evolve into a new phase of matter containing deconfined quarks and gluons, called a quark-gluon plasma when hot, or quark matter when cold and dense. Such a state of matter is thought to have existed briefly in the very early universe until about 10 microseconds after the big bang, and its cold form might exist today inside the dense cores of neutron stars. One important prediction is that the mechanism, called spontaneous chiral symmetry breaking, that is thought to be responsible for 98% of the mass of the nucleon under normal conditions is not operative in the quark-gluon plasma. See also: Big bang theory; Hadron; Neutron star; Quantum chromodynamics
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information