Relativistic heavy-ion collisions
Sorensen, Soren P. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee.
- Nuclear and hadronic matter
- Quark-gluon plasma
- History of experiments
- Time development
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Collisions between heavy atomic nuclei at relative velocities close to the speed of light. These high-energy nuclear collisions are usually divided into two different domains, relativistic and ultrarelativistic collisions, depending on whether the kinetic energy per nucleon (the generic name for protons and neutrons) is either close to the rest mass of the nucleon, about 1 GeV (relativistic collisions), or much larger than the nucleon rest mass (ultrarelativistic collisions). When two nuclei collide at these high energies, some of the nucleons in each nucleus, called spectators, will continue their motion unaffected, while other nucleons, called participants, will strike one or several nucleons in the other nucleus (see illustration). In the overlap region, a hot and dense fireball will develop. It is the properties of this fireball of nuclear matter that is the primary research goal of most experiments using high-energy heavy-ion collisions.
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 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 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