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LHC Spies Hints of Infant Universe

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the spoiler-alert dept.

Science 311

techbeat writes "The big bang machine may already be living up to its nickname, writes New Scientist. Researchers on the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland, have seen hints of what may be the hot, dense state of matter thought to have filled the universe in its first nanoseconds."

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This is why science rocks. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655310)

have seen hints of what may be the hot, dense state of matter thought to have filled the universe in its first nanoseconds.

It's truly remarkable that they can see how the universe was 5999 years, 11 months, 30 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59.9999999... seconds ago!

Re:This is why science rocks. (5, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655356)

It truly is my brother.

Praise Jebus!

Re:This is why science rocks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33655640)

Why is this flagged troll? It's in the exact same vein of humor as the parent?

Re:This is why science rocks. (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655666)

It's because I pissed off some new earth global warmingists AND some .NET fan bois.

O karma where art thou?

Re:This is why science rocks. (2, Funny)

Samalie (1016193) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655684)

If I had to guess, its that a Christian mod took offense to "Jebus".

Posting not-AC, so that I'm not mistaken for the Christian mod who doesn't find the Jebus joke funny.

Re:This is why science rocks. (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655562)

It's truly remarkable that they can see how the universe was 5999 years, 11 months, 30 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59.9999999... seconds ago!

It's older than that.

Didn't they tally up the numbers in 1650. So it's at LEAST 6360 years old now.

Re:This is why science rocks. (4, Funny)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655656)

I don't know about your universe, but mine is always exactly 6000 years old.

If it got older that implies it might die, and that gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Re:This is why science rocks. (5, Funny)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655842)

No it's getting reborn through the LHC when it becomes 6000 years old.

How else did you think that our universe was created? Our universe was of course created through someone else's LHC.

Re:This is why science rocks. (3, Insightful)

WeatherGod (1726770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656120)

Dammit, where is the 'hurts brain' moderation?

Re:This is why science rocks. (3, Informative)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656254)

Recursion: See Recursion

Re:This is why science rocks. (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656464)

Don't moderate this -1 Redundant, moderate it +1 Recursive.

Re:This is why science rocks. (1)

an unsound mind (1419599) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656414)

+1 Recursive

Re:This is why science rocks. (5, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655918)

Didn't they tally up the numbers in 1650. So it's at LEAST 6360 years old now.

Usher published his calculation the late 1648. Note that he gives the initial date of creation as 4004 BC, Sunday October 23rd. That makes the current year 6014. However, he's not the first person to make such a calculation. The traditional Jewish calendar which has been used for about 1500 years at minimum, puts the current year as 5771 since creation. Some Christian denominations with literalist leanings have gotten other numbers as well. In general, a literal reading of the Bible gets you an age somewhere between 5400 and 7000 or so but the exact time span is complicated. For example, the book of Judges has irregularities and vague parts so working out how much time it is supposed to be is difficult (most likely Judges is a compilation of different stories from each of the tribes in the pre-monarchical period that then became ascribed to leaders of the united tribes. Some of the stories in Judges explicitly have leaders who only control a handful of the Twelve tribes). There are other issues. For example, the sections in Kings and Chronicles have different chronologies, giving different lengths of reign for some kings. Also, working out the chronology from the end of the First Kingdom to the middle of the Second Kingdom is frat with difficulties, including serious contradictions between the Biblical text and other extant texts from that time period. This is annoying to not just Biblical literalists but also historians and archaeologists.

Re:This is why science rocks. (3, Insightful)

captaindomon (870655) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655988)

Thank you for this post. Although we can argue the validity of creation theory, I think it is important to give kudos and respect to serious historians, who have spent a lot of time and effort researching historical time lines. I think we can object to a certain theory without belittling the effort of people involved in the research of any certain subject.

Re:This is why science rocks. (2, Insightful)

Randy Jian (1016059) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656800)

But belittling the efforts of some people and their research is just one style of peer review... and insults are but another test to the validity of a theory...

Re:This is why science rocks. (1)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656454)

Kudos to a really informative reply.

What is really beginning to blow my mind is the theory that the Universe is the result of an experiment, and God is potentially our future selves who began it all; perhaps even with the LHC.

Especially if one expands on that theory with the theory that the future LHC is effecting the past in order to prevent us from finding the Higgs Boson, which perhaps would trigger a reoccurence of the ultimate result.

Even if that theory is hogwash, what is the first is true and we will eventually start the next instance of a never ending creation of universes.


Re:This is why science rocks. (1)

Mogster (459037) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656180)

Didn't they tally up the numbers in 1650. So it's at LEAST 6360 years old now.

Given all the monkeying around with the calendar over the years, taking into account leap second adjustments every-so-often and the uncertainty of when the year 0 was based on Jebus' actual DOB, etc

It's now roughly 6314.15926535897932384626433832795 years old

Re:This is why science rocks. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33655916)

What's remarkable is how little we know, putting aside the hubris of mankind. To me, science and religion are one in the same - each thinks it knows better than the other. Simple dogma.

Re:This is why science rocks. (1)

allusionist (983106) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656334)

What's remarkable is how you've found a way to feel superior to both.

Re:This is why science rocks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33656498)

What's remarkable is how you managed to pull information out of that post that was not present.

You are an information magician, sir!

Re:This is why science rocks. (5, Insightful)

feidaykin (158035) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656128)

While it can be funny to poke fun at Creationists, part of me doesn't find them funny at all. I've met some and they really, truly believe they are right, and that modern science is some evil hegemony determined to discredit religion. They believe it as strongly as say, extremists that believe they will meet 72 virgins if they die in a suicide bombing. I find that more frightening than amusing, especially since some of the Creationist folks have ventured into politics, like Christine O'Donnell, with her dismissal of evolution by calling it "only a theory." Gravity is also "only a theory" but that doesn't mean you can fly if you don't "believe" in it. I don't like the idea of people who have a fundamental flaw in their understanding of the universe making decisions that impact millions of people. That's more frightening than funny, so while I can still laugh at a Creationist joke like this, it's kind of a nervous laugh since there is this constant reminder that people exist who want to turn the clock on human knowledge back hundreds of years.

Re:This is why science rocks. (2, Interesting)

kesuki (321456) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656694)

i believe we were created. i am considered 'smart' by some. i know that i am important. i believe i am made immortal by jesus. i still believe in laws however, just as long as i don't make them and they aren't hundreds of lines of worthless text. i know a lot more now than i did before. i am having fun here again. and what is wrong living like the world hasn't moved on if you can afford it? the power bill? your children repeating mistakes?

i like technology. hackers were finding me anyways, so posting to /. is not as bad as it seems. i know now how hard the fight for freedom really is.

Re:This is why science rocks. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33656716)

When I went to school it was called "The Theory of Evolution." A quick google of the term "evolution theory" will show you TONS of websites that also say its a theory and have a heavy science slant. Just because most people believe it to be true doesn't make it so. A prime example of this is the old thought that the world is flat and one can fall off of it by walking too far. I'm not saying this to support the idea of Creation, but to simply say that a lot of people still consider it a theory. Until evolution can be proven conclusively (which I doubt will ever happen, same with Creationism), it's still a theory IMO.

Re:This is why science rocks. (5, Insightful)

Bootsy Collins (549938) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656802)

As soon as you say "Until _(insert any scientific theory at all here)_ can be proven . . .," you've demonstrated that you don't understand even the tiniest little bit of how science is done or what scientific understanding is.

Re:This is why science rocks. (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656746)

I need to clarify something for my own purposes. When folks talk about creationists here on Slashdot (or maybe in general, I don't know), is it automatically taken to mean young Earth creationists? I always thought creationist was a blanket term for someone who believes the the universe was created rather than having come into existence through chance, or Big Bang, or what have you. Nonetheless, on Slashdot I see it constantly referring to Young Earthers only...

God said "let there be light" (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656312)

And the infinitely dense primordial energy soup came into being. CERN has nearly recreated it.

Re:This is why science rocks. (1)

Sam36 (1065410) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656540)

na, it is older than that. There is at least 20,000 years worth of astro dust covering the moon.

Big Bang. (-1, Troll)

wed128 (722152) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655314)

This is the hot, dense state of a FIRST POST!

Re:Big Bang. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33655384)

looks like you need to do more research... :P

Serious question here (1)

Potor (658520) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656594)

As a non-physicist, I am trying to wrap my head around the article. Glad it was short!

With the presupposition that verything is caused, meaning everything is an effect, does this further mean that the LHR can sub-atomically trace back the chain of causality to the prime efficient cause (taking the Big Bang to be a causa sui)?

This is no troll - I am not trying to smuggle in any cosmological proofs for God. What I want to know is whether this provisional result is possibly a trace of the big bang itself, or a recreation of the conditions. Or, perhaps, if recreating the conditions is identical to witnessing it.

Hope my post is not nonsensical.

Nip THAT one in the bud (3, Funny)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655338)

Turn it off! Turn it off! Dude! Turn the fucking thing off!

Re:Nip THAT one in the bud (1)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655450)

...and you thought there would be no consequences for learning the horrible truth of Super-Science?

Re:Nip THAT one in the bud (5, Funny)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655658)

Unforeseen consequences.

Re:Nip THAT one in the bud (3, Funny)

Evil.Bonsai (1205202) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655792)

Dr Kleiner says it's well within parameters, nothing to worry about.

Re:Nip THAT one in the bud (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33656114)

Maybe we should tell them about the resonance cascade scenario?

Re:Nip THAT one in the bud (5, Funny)

Halifax Samuels (1124719) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655480)

No, it's cool. I'm actively [] monitoring [] this. We're still good.

Re:Nip THAT one in the bud (1)

slshwtw (1903272) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656296)

You may want to use the RSS feed [] then.

Re:Nip THAT one in the bud (2, Funny)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656528)

What the hell is all this for? (tag brackets replaced to survive /. mangling)

{style type="text/css"}
body {
background-color: #000;
color: #fff;
text-align: center;
#main {
margin: 0px auto;
margin-top: 150px;
width: 350px;
{title}Has the Large Hadron Collider destroyed the world yet?{/title}
{link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Recent Entries"
href="" /}
{div id="main"}
{script type="text/javascript"}
if (!(typeof worldHasEnded == "undefined")) {
} else {
{script type="text/javascript"}
var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." :
document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost +
"' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));

{script type="text/javascript"}
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-275043-3");
{!-- if the lhc actually destroys the earth & this page isn't yet updated
please email {snip}@{snip} to receive a full refund --}

Re:Nip THAT one in the bud (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656538)

... and seconds after I post this, I get it. Durr.

I love the if/else :D

Interesting note (1)

Burning1 (204959) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656720)

Until I observed those webpages, I thought that the answer was 'Maybe.'

Re:Nip THAT one in the bud (2, Funny)

toriver (11308) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655544)

If they turn it off it will release all the ghosts! Didn't you see Ghostbusters?

Re:Nip THAT one in the bud (1)

LostAlaska (760330) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655952)

Holy crap! It's not Shrodinger's Cat that's in the box... it's all of us! Don't open the Box!!!!

Wow! (4, Funny)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655342)

The LHC employs its own SPIES? That's... oh... that's not what it means. :(

Re:Wow! (3, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656242)

No, I think it's implying that the guys at CERN are pedophiles. I mean, who else would be spying on infants?

Universe Protection Services. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33655362)

LHC Spies Hints of Infant Universe

Won't someone think of the infant universe?

Re:Universe Protection Services. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655462)

The title of your post reminds me of Indigo Prime [] . Such an awesome series of stories.

"Indigo Prime itself is an extra-dimensional agency dedicated to the maintenance and repair of breaks and distortions across the multiverse."

I am glad (1)

KillaGouge (973562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655374)

I am glad they are finally up and running, they haven't killed us all, and are doing cool experiments. I really hope we can gain some new insight into our wonderful universe.

Re:I am glad (0)

sabs (255763) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655422)

They haven't killed us all /yet/

Re:I am glad (1, Flamebait)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655770)

They haven't killed us all /yet/

Yeah, I'm genuinely at least a tiny bit worried about that one. They're right there, in print, admitting they 'may' have 'accidentally' triggered a 'big bang'.

Genuine confidence builder, that. Oh, and they 'hope to track it down'.

This isn't the Millennium Falcon here, fellas, this is our one and only home. Maybe it is completely and totally safe. If it is, fire your PR guy.

Re:I am glad (1)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655930)

So long as the Universe is replaced with something identical, I won't care.

Re:I am glad (1)

aliddell (1716018) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656058)

Who the hell modded this flamebait? Slashdot, you fail.

Re:I am glad (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656108)

Meh, I've got foes. They seem to hate most anything I say, no matter what the actual content is, from time to time, anyway. Don't sweat it on my account.

Re:I am glad (1)

TheGothicGuardian (1138155) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656212)

Sure, Han Solo can go get another ship, but after all the hard work and love that he's put into it, another just couldn't compare.

Re:I am glad (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655854)

They are up and running for now. Expect a bird to drop toast in a critical spot, or an airplane to lose a chunk of blue ice at just the exactly wrong instant, or vibrations from a tunneling gopher to hit just the right frequency to cause sympathetic vibrations in a crucial component and shut it all down. It has happened before [] and it will happen again. The universe must protect itself from temporal paradox!

full article (-1, Redundant)

KillaGouge (973562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655410)

The cosmos was born in a churning fluid 300 million times hotter than the sun. We've recreated this hell, and it's not just hot, it is also very, very strange, says Amanda Gefter TO LOOK deep into the fundamental structure of matter is to look billions of years back in time, to the moment when matter first blinked into being. Recreating the conditions of that moment has long been an aim for physicists wanting to understand how the universe evolved from the cosmic fireball that existed a fraction of a second after the big bang. Now researchers at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, have, almost certainly, finally recreated the moments after creation. By colliding nuclei together at enormous speeds, RHIC experimenters were able to break down the structure of nuclear matter. This resulted, most experts agree, in the formation of a long-sought-after plasma that is believed to be the primal stuff of the cosmos, the state of matter at the beginning of time. It turns out, though, that the nature of matter is inextricably tied to the vacuum in which it resides. And the RHIC experiments have thrown up some surprises. They seem to show that the vacuum is a richer and more complicated place than was previously imagined. They suggest the boundary between something and nothing is more blurred than experts had predicted. The stuff made at RHIC is a plasma consisting of quarks and gluons, the most basic building blocks of everything we see around us. Quarks combine in threes to form the protons and neutrons that comprise the nucleus of every atom. But while we can observe a single proton or neutron, we cannot observe a single quark. Quarks are perpetually confined to group living. In fact, the harder you try to pull quarks apart, the stronger the force between them becomes. This is part of the theory of quantum chromodynamics (QCD), which describes how the force between the quarks is carried by the massless gluons. In QCD, it is the vacuum that imprisons the quarks. While it may sound like a barren place, the vacuum of QCD is a complex, dynamic arena. It writhes with virtual particles that appear in pairs, then annihilate and disappear again. It is haunted by strange creatures of various kinds, too, topologically complex knots and twists that are relatives of wormholes, places where space turns in on itself and seems treacherous. These knots and twists carve out paths for the gluons to travel along, thereby keeping the quarks together. These strange ideas have credence because of the success of QCD in predicting the reactions of fundamental particles. The only way to unglue quarks is to "melt" the vacuum between them. But the vacuum doesn't give in easily. To raze its jagged terrain requires enormous amounts of concentrated energy, found only in powerful nuclear collisions, or the fireball at the earliest moments of time. Melting the vacuum is like returning to the state of the universe at the time it first existed. The RHIC at Brookhaven was built to do just that, and its experiments were designed to allow physicists to study what happens when the vacuum is heated so much that quarks and gluons are freed and matter reverts to a fundamental state. Beginning in 2000, RHIC has repeatedly sent two beams of gold nuclei, each containing hundreds of protons and neutrons, speeding in opposite directions around a 4-kilometre track. Steered by superconducting magnets and achieving energies of 100 billion electronvolts, they collide, producing a fireball 300 million times hotter than the surface of the sun. Inside the fireball over a thousand quarks are unleashed. When, by chance, two quarks hit each other head on, the extreme energy of their collision is turned into matter. A pair of virtual particles from the vacuum are given enough energy that they become real, and fly apart in opposite directions. Each of them goes on to drag further pairs of particles out of the vacuum, and the process repeats again and again, creating streams of particles called jets. The jets rush out of the collision site and are eventually captured by detectors. These jets reveal the presence of the quark-gluon plasma. The plasma's lifetime is a mere fraction of an instant, roughly 10-23 seconds. But that is long enough for it to block particles from the jets as they stream out. Jets are always produced in pairs and stream off in opposite directions. But they rarely originate in the exact centre of the collision site, so one jet usually has further to go before it hits the detector than the other. If the quark-gluon plasma has formed, it gets in the way of particles from one jet more than from the other. So when researchers on all four of the RHIC's detectors saw uneven jets emerging, they knew immediately that the quark-gluon plasma could be causing this effect. A further experiment provided more evidence for this idea, yet RHIC as a whole has held off making an official announcement. "Many theoretical physicists, and some number of the experimenters, say it's pretty clear to us that this is the discovery," says Thomas Kirk, the associate laboratory director for high energy and nuclear physics at Brookhaven. But some experimenters at the laboratory remain wary of claiming it for certain. This is partly because of a controversy that erupted in 2000 when researchers at CERN, the European centre for particle physics in Geneva, claimed (many experts said wrongly) to have seen a hint of the quark-gluon plasma there. But Brookhaven's case is far stronger, and most researchers tend to refer to the RHIC quark-gluon plasma as fact. "There's no doubt. It is quite evident," says University of Arizona and CERN physicist Johann Rafelski. Much of the reason for Brookhaven's hesitancy is to be found in the bizarre and perplexing effects they have seen in their quark-gluon plasma. "It is different than we thought it was going to be," says Kirk. "It's brand new." Prior to the RHIC experiments, researchers had assumed that the vacuum structure would melt away easily once the energy exceeded 170 million electronvolts — the energy at which the plasma forms. At this energy, calculations suggested the plasma would be like a weakly interacting gas, with quarks and gluons floating haphazardly about, barely bothering each other. The researchers had figured that the jets streaming through the fireball would encounter only mild resistance on their way out. But measurements confirmed last year shocked experimenters. Not only were the jets uneven, but their absorption by the plasma was 10 times as high as anyone had expected. "Because the quark-gluon plasma is so opaque, these quarks simply can't get through to make a jet," explains Kirk. The jet particles appear to be getting stuck in the plasma like flies trapped in honey. This means the quark-gluon plasma is extremely dense — 30 to 50 times as dense as predicted — which suggests the quarks in the plasma are exhibiting incredibly synchronised group behaviour and interacting strongly with each other and the surrounding gluons. This makes the plasma more similar to a liquid than a gas. "Instead of flying past each other, as in a gas, the whole liquid moves more coherently," says physicist Edward Shuryak, director of the Center for Nuclear Theory at Stony Brook University, New York. In fact, the strength of interactions in the quark-gluon plasma make it the most ideal liquid ever observed -10 to 20 times as liquid-like as water. "That was surprising," says Shuryak. "If you could take a few thousand water molecules, make a tiny drop and let it explode, they would not flow, they would kind of move individually. But these thousands of particles actually move coherently." It seems that from the time of the big bang until 10 microseconds later, the universe was liquid. Armed with this knowledge, Shuryak and others have run new computer simulations of the gold-nucleus collisions, superseding previous calculations that suggested the quark-gluon plasma would be only weakly interacting. Their results suggest that bound quark states are persisting in the quark-gluon plasma even at energies twice as great as 170 million electronvolts, where no particles had been expected to remain bound together. One such bound particle is called charmonium, because it is made of a charm quark and an anti-charm quark. "It seems like charmonium can physically survive in the quark-gluon plasma in RHIC conditions," says Shuryak. "That led to a complete revelation, and the question, are there other particles surviving? And the answer seems to be yes." It is the vacuum that holds quarks together to form particles, so the survival of particles in the plasma, as well as its liquid-like nature, reveals the unexpected resilience of the vacuum — a tendency not to give up, but to linger, and structure matter more strongly than researchers thought it could. What's more, the vacuum seems to create a whole variety of new particles built of different combinations of quarks in the plasma. None could ever exist in our everyday world, but they can exist in the quark-gluon plasma at RHIC — and may well have been around in the early universe, too. As the collision fireball quickly expands and cools, the vacuum "freezes out", going from the less-structured state of the plasma to the intricate vacuum structure of our cooler world, like amorphous water freezing into orderly ice crystals. As this happens, the vacuum grabs hold of the quarks, locking them into the familiar protons and neutrons of our world. This entire sequence of events from the hot plasma to the formation of ordinary matter replicates the formation of the universe from the fireball that followed the big bang. Figuring out exactly how the quark-gluon plasma turns into the low-energy world in which we live is crucial if we are to answer some of the fundamental questions about the history of the universe. It will almost certainly shed light on one of the biggest mysteries in cosmology: why it is that our universe seems to be expanding faster and faster as it ages. The expansion of the universe is driven by some kind of repulsive energy, or "dark energy", lurking throughout space. Its origin may well be within the vacuum itself. "The physical vacuum is not empty by any means," says Kirk. "It is a complicated structure, and I'm not sure theorists or experimenters are far enough along to know what it is like." This is how large the discrepancy between our theoretical understanding of the vacuum and our observations of it is: the repulsive energy of the vacuum as calculated from theory is as much as 10120 times as large as the energy needed to produce the observed acceleration of our universe's expansion. The gulf is a source of serious dismay for physicists. "I have called it the biggest fudge factor in the history of science," says physicist Murray Gell-Mann, who won the 1969 Nobel prize for the development of QCD theory and coined the name quark. Experimenters at RHIC hope to try and bridge the gap between theory and observation by measuring the properties of the quark-gluon plasma more carefully. One important quantity to pin down is its latent heat. This is the amount of energy it takes to dissolve the vacuum and create the plasma. "The universe came out of the quark-gluon plasma into our current vacuum," Rafelski says. "So at some early time, at 10 microseconds, the universe was in a melted state. At that time, the cosmological constant was maybe 1080 times bigger than today. And then the vacuum froze. When the vacuum froze, for some miraculous reason the cosmological constant went down by 80 orders of magnitude." The secret to dark energy probably lies somewhere in the transition between the quark-gluon plasma and ordinary matter. "The discovery of the quark-gluon plasma is evidence for a change in the vacuum," says Rafelski. Because the vacuum is more robust at higher temperatures than anyone had thought it would be, the plasma too is a much more complicated place than expected — a highly organised, dense liquid in which strange new particles swim about. To summarise the situation physicists now find themselves in, Shuryak draws a comparison to Columbus's discovery of America. "Columbus had a correct theory that if you go west you get to India. But he made an accidental discovery along the way that in the middle something else exists. We had the correct theory that if you increase temperature, you get a very dilute and simple gas of quarks and gluons. But it turns out that before you get there, when you cross the phase boundary, you again get something complicated." It's this unexpected middle ground that provides tantalising clues to the history and construction of the universe. Continuing experiments at RHIC and future experiments at the Large Hadron Collider which is being built at CERN should be able to measure the latent heat of the plasma, and help us learn more about its behaviour. For now one thing is certain: the plasma is not the simple, easygoing place it was once thought to be, and that's all down to the vacuum. In the end, it seems we can't know everything about something until we know more than a little about nothing. "The vacuum is haunted by strange creatures, complex knots and twists, where space seems treacherous" "Particles appear to be getting stuck in the plasma like flies trapped in honey" "It now seems that for 10 microseconds after the big bang the universe was liquid" Read previous issues of New Scientist at [] PHOTO (COLOR): RECREATING CREATION: Experiments at Brookhaven National Laboratory seem to have successfully broken the vice-like grip of the vacuum on nuclear matter, releasing free quark and gluons PHOTO (COLOR) PHOTO (COLOR) ~~~~~~~~ By Amanda Gefter

Re:full article (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33655506)


Re:full article (2)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655522)

Did the parent just violate a copyright? I'm not trying to be a troll. I genuinely wonder if wholesale copy/paste of articles would be considered copyright infringement.

Re:full article (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655602)

I genuinely wonder if wholesale copy/paste of articles would be considered copyright infringement.

It's useful, so probably yes. After all, the purpose of copyright law is to inconvenience people as much as possible so that "copyright holders" get more opportunities to exctract profit.

Then again, who cares?

Re:full article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33655856)

I can you insensitive clod!

Now excuse me while I scrape some of the crust off the bottom of my scrotum.

Re:full article (1)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656136)

The Purpose is to FUCK US ALL. Nothing else.

Oh, and protect their rights, or something.

Re:full article (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655606)

From underneath the article:

If you would like to reuse any content from New Scientist, either in print or online, please contact the syndication department first for permission. New Scientist does not own rights to photos, but there are a variety of licensing options available for use of articles and graphics we own the copyright to.

So the definitive answer is: yes, maybe.

Re:full article (1)

KillaGouge (973562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656084)

Since when does Slashdot care about giving information that is behind a paywall out? I thought the general consensus was that paywalls are bad?

Re:full article (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656236)

I don't think the paywall was really the issue, merely the copying and pasting of an entire article.

Not that it matters, nobody is going to come after you for copying and p(a|o)sting on a comment thread. I would hope not anyways.

Re:full article (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656762)

nobody is going to come after you for copying and p(a|o)sting on a comment thread

Maybe my sarcasm meter is in need of some maintenance, but this happens all the time. Just check out the Righthaven [] /LVJR [] lawsuits for a small sampling.

Let's build an accelerator that circles the earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33655440)

With such a large accelerator, they will be able to see hints of what may be the hot, dense state of matter thought to have filled the universe in its first PICOSECONDS.

Re:Let's build an accelerator that circles the ear (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655630)

Sounds like a good project to unite humanity. However theres too many fault lines, its gonna break at the first quake. (continental drift etc.

Re:Let's build an accelerator that circles the ear (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655680)

Not if you build it at high enough latitude!

Or better yet... in space!

Re:Let's build an accelerator that circles the ear (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655822)

... except that time probably doesn't flow the same way under those conditions, and even the smallest asymmetry makes a difference (and since we're seeing it through the lens of our own perception and current state of time, it's inaccurate at best). Or do we now want to have people claim that time is not (a manifestation of) one (or more) of the dimensions?

I know - I'll just go back in time and find o ...

Hey, Fermilab.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33655582)

...put that it your pipe and smoke it!

Mmmmmm (0)

jewishbaconzombies (1861376) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655650)

How does it taste?

Re:Mmmmmm (1)

jewishbaconzombies (1861376) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656440)

So how does it taste?

False claim (correction below) (0)

KiwiCanuck (1075767) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655690)

It's turns out that the hot dense matter observed was in fact a picture of Paris Hilton.

Misleading title (5, Informative)

BobGod8 (1123841) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655694)

They have spied indications of conditions such as those postulated to exist during the beginning of OUR universe.

Sadly, they have NOT seen indications of a NEW infant universe.

Re:Misleading title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33656130)

yeah that's how i read it, too.

hot, dense state of matter??? (5, Funny)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655716)

Big deal, I create a hot, dense state of matter every time I nuke a Hot Pocket.

Re:hot, dense state of matter??? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656586)

Man, you kids these days have really funky sexual innuendos.

Quark gluon plasma? (5, Interesting)

jmizrahi (1409493) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655720)

The article seems to say that sufficiently high energy density results in free quarks. I was under the impression that the theory of the strong nuclear force demanded that all observable particles are "colorless," i.e. quarks are never free, but only appear in colorless combinations of mesons and hadrons. Could someone more knowledgeable clarify whether this phenomenon is a violation of the "nature is colorless" law, or whether the article simply does a poor job of explaining a quark-gluon plasma?

Re:Quark gluon plasma? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33655794)

Quarks are often free and full of color.

Re:Quark gluon plasma? (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655886)

Colorless green quarks spin charmingly!

Re:Quark gluon plasma? (2, Informative)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655938)

I am not an expert on this matter, but perhaps Wikipedia can help. Apparently,

Under sufficiently extreme conditions, quarks may become deconfined and exist as free particles. [] In the course of asymptotic freedom, the strong interaction becomes weaker at higher temperatures. Eventually, color confinement would be lost and an extremely hot plasma of freely moving quarks and gluons would be formed. This theoretical phase of matter is called quark-gluon plasma [] .

I built the gluon gun (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656398)

But I just can't bring myself to use it on another living creature.

You don't look as if you have any trouble killing things.

Disappointing Article (1)

Obble (1680532) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655724)

Detecting a new form of plasma has nothing to do with the fantasy of the big bang. The reason this was published was because they dropped the BB name in it.
Don't get me wrong, the finding of super hot plasma gluttons is a cool thing, (err hot?) but trying to push the unrelated big bang with it is not (Although it does it work to get published).

OK, I'll bite... (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655984)

the fantasy of the big bang

Just what do you mean by that?

Re:OK, I'll bite... (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656288)

In his fantasies, some chick bangs him.

Re:OK, I'll bite... (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656404)

You have proof that the big bang is anything more than fantasy?

I'm not saying it's necessarily false, but it certainly is still far from being proven fact. It's not like he said the "fantasy of Maxwell's Equations"

Re:OK, I'll bite... (1)

Obble (1680532) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656704)

Wow, my first post reads like I was a troll. oops. I post was about using a unrelated theory to advertise this article. (Which I think needs more technical details)

The big bang is a theory which relies on many assumptions which work against it. The more science you apply to it the more assumptions you have to make. Every theory you have to start with at least 1 assumption so lets give the BB the credit of the doubt and say it's did came from a singularly. just off the top of my head I can think of these problems:
  1 - Where did a singularity come from?
                    Problem, you can't rely on any matter or energy because they didn't exist yet.
  2 - A singularity is a black hole? all the matter of the universe is compressed into a theorized pinhead that means the atoms can not move, therefor the matter is in a thermodynamic dead end. it can not change state.
3- How long in time was the singularity stayed the way it was? (Does time stop in a black hole?, I dont know.)
4 - What mystical force caused the explosion / expansion of the singularity?
5 - I might be wrong on the name here but the hubble's constant of the expanding universe combiend with the gravity of the matter of the universe force would have to match to a accuracy ratio of 1 to 1 million million million in relation to each other otherwise the universe will
              A - collpase on itself.
              B - explode.
6 - With the BB I read you only get hydrogen / heiliem atoms. This means you should get a steady cloud of gas expanding at 10^70 the speed of light
                A - What causes the cloud to condense into galixies at the gas is uniformed.
                B - Why wouldn't the gas collapse back to the sigularity?

Do you want me to go on about how gas clouds can't form galaxies because they require a working super nova / sun to compact them enough for gravity to hold them?

Anyway, People have to use the BigBang theory because they have no other way to explain the universe and how they exist. And the other explanation they refuse to accept. So funding goes mainly/only? to such "research" hindering science other possibilities.
  Enhance funding == more popular.
More popular == getting chance at being read / publish.
Therefor when I stick my fork into the power socket and see sparks flying, that must be something to do with how the early big bang worked. (I am now moderated up).

I hope this brief posting enlightens some people but I gotta work now. I do recommended for anyone to read a book "Dismantling the Big Bang". It does a much better job at ripping to pieces then what I can remember.



This just in... (1)

Dialecticus (1433989) | more than 4 years ago | (#33655884)

...have seen hints of what may be the hot, dense state of matter thought to have filled the universe in its first nanoseconds.

Scientists are quoted as saying "My's full of FAIL."

Rumors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33655970)

If someone said there were rumors that monkeys were flying out of their butts at the LHC would that be front page news at Slashdot too?


didn't come from monkeys? raise your mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33655996)

after the creators' big flash culmination to their wwwildly popular patentdead planet/population rescue initiative/mandate, there'll be no doubt where we came from, or where we're going. see you there.

the search continues;

meanwhile (as it may take a while longer to finish wrecking this 'universe'); the corepirate nazi illuminati is always hunting that patch of red on almost everyones' neck. if they cannot find yours (greed, fear ego etc...) then you can go starve. that's their (slippery/slimy) 'platform' now. see also:

never a better time to consult with/trust in our creators. the lights are coming up rapidly all over now. see you there?

greed, fear & ego (in any order) are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of our dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children. not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one, & the terminal damage to our atmosphere (see also: manufactured 'weather', hot etc...). see you on the other side of it? the lights are coming up all over now. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be your guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. we now have some choices. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on your brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

"The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."--

"The wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born." --emerson

no need to confuse 'religion' with being a spiritual being. our soul purpose here is to care for one another. failing that, we're simply passing through (excess baggage) being distracted/consumed by the guaranteed to fail illusionary trappings of man'kind'. & recently (about 10,000 years ago) it was determined that hoarding & excess by a few, resulted in negative consequences for all.

consult with/trust in your creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." )one does not need to agree whois in charge to grasp the notion that there may be some assistance available to us(

boeing, boeing, gone.

Re:didn't come from monkeys? raise your mouse (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656422)

Erm, what?

I think something might have just whooshed over me, but I'm really not sure.

Re:didn't come from monkeys? raise your mouse (1)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656496)

I'm thinking it is more likely that several things are constantly whooshing around the OP...

Parallel Discovery (1)

carrier lost (222597) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656006)

...of what may be the hot, dense state of matter...

Wow. Just like the last time I used a microwave!

Yawn. (1)

chrylis (262281) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656116)

Hooray! LHC has "discovered" "hints" of what the experiments at RHIC found several years ago [] ...

what if they create another universe (2, Funny)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656244)

and it destroys our universe in the process, and after a few billion years another planet revolving around a insignificant sun in an insignificant galaxy evolves life forms advanced enough to learn technology high enough to make another LHC type device and they accidentally create another universe while simultaneously destroying their own universe (which we created when we destoryed our universe), and it just keeps going like that forever & ever & ever.

Re:what if they create another universe (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656328)

That'd be awesome!

Re:what if they create another universe (2, Funny)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656448)

I guess it's Large Hadron Colliders all the way down after all...

Title fail (2, Insightful)

Anomalyx (1731404) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656352)

The title is total fail.
The correct summary would be: "Scientists aren't sure, but they think they've detected a quark-gluon plasma. They aren't sure if this plasma even really exists, but it happens to be the same stuff that they think existed in the instants after the big bang"

if only... (1)

olborro (1684086) | more than 4 years ago | (#33656624)

Researchers on the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN's Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland, have seen hints of what may be the hot, dense state of matter thought to have filled the universe in its first nanoseconds."

if only i could get a penny every time i read this in a news article mentioning LHC

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