CERN physicists break record for hottest manmade material

Aug 16, 2012 by Bob Yirka report

(Phys.org) -- Apparently discovering a Higgs-like particle isn’t enough for the physicists working at the CERN facility, now another team working with the LHC has broken the record for the hottest manmade material ever. The old record was about four trillion degrees Celsius, the new one appears to be in the range of five and a half, a bump up of some thirty eight percent.

The three teams working at , ATLAS, CMS and ALICE are all working on the same basic problem, figuring out what existed just after the Big Bang so as to better understand how matter works at the subatomic level. ATLAS and CMS were recently in the news of course for finding evidence of particles that strongly resemble the notorious boson. Meanwhile the ALICE team has been hard at work smashing lead ions into one another creating quark-gluon plasma, material that is being described as a primordial soup, because it is believed to be similar to the stuff that came about right after the Big Bang, and because unlike protons and neutrons, they are believed to move around freely, rather than existing as a bound material.

The prior temperature record was held by researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory who got a nod from the Guinness Book of Records for their feat. The new team won’t be getting their listing just yet, because their findings have yet to be finalized. In announcing their results at this year’s Quark Matter conference, they said they won’t have any official numbers for several weeks, though they do expect it to be approximately thirty eight percent hotter than what BNL recorded, which would take it from just over seven trillion degrees Fahrenheit, to almost ten.

The team at BNL isn’t sitting on their hands of course, though they can’t compete with the CERN facility in reaching ever hotter temperatures, they have found evidence to suggest that under certain conditions, quark-gluon plasma, which has been observed to behave as a frictionless gas, may morph into a hadron gas, which is considered to be normal matter, similar to the way water morphs into ice or steam, depending on conditions.

The ALICE team, who don’t see breaking temperature records as one of their goals, will continue to study the conditions under which quark-gluon plasma comes to exist in hopes of better understanding its properties. The overall plan is that all of the work being done at CERN by the three teams will eventually come together to clear the picture of not just what went on shortly after the Big Bang, but of the very nature of matter.

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JGHunter
1.4 / 5 (14) Aug 16, 2012
I could understand if they were heating up to replicate the intense energy at the moment the expansion started, but what does using manmade materials achieve? If they're not natural, then what does it prove?
dawkinsisgod
5 / 5 (7) Aug 16, 2012
@ JGHunter.
Since when was lead a man made material?
Also, everything in the universe is a natural material by the very fact that it is in the universe, regardless of wether it was processed in a factory, dug up out of the ground or grown.
Uldis_Steinbergs
5 / 5 (3) Aug 16, 2012
Well, manmade or not, but when exploring the subatomic level all you really want to see is the behaviour of the substance in such high vibes.
panorama
5 / 5 (3) Aug 16, 2012
Is there a theoretical maximum temperature?
Uldis_Steinbergs
4.8 / 5 (8) Aug 16, 2012
There is no known maximum temperature. However, vibrations of particles take place in three dimensional space and could not reach speeds higher than speed of light in any direction. I would say there is an 'absolute high'.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (12) Aug 16, 2012
, but what does using manmade materials achieve

As they said: Getting high temperatures is just a byproduct of their research.
The collisions that happen at these temperatures dismantle the atoms into their subcomponents (actually subsubcomponents). So what type of atom is used initially is really not important to what comes out.
The importance lies in how often atoms hit in the collider/accelerator. You want to use an atom with a large 'effective area' (i.e. a large chance of hitting it). Lead has been shown to be very good for that (another one is gold). The more hits you get the more data you get.

Is there a theoretical maximum temperature?

1.41 times 10 to the power of 32 Kelvin (Planck temperature) is one answer.
There are other possible answers. Here's a short list of them:
http://www.wisege...ture.htm
DarkHorse66
4.4 / 5 (7) Aug 16, 2012
Is there a theoretical maximum temperature?

Here are several possibilities:
http://www.pbs.or...hot.html
note that this site also allows the viewing of various science doco's online. I'm bookmarking this one! :] Cheers, DH66
panorama
5 / 5 (4) Aug 16, 2012
Thanks Uldis_Steinbergs, antialias_physorg and DarkHorse66! I appreciate it!
Mike_Massen
2 / 5 (8) Aug 16, 2012
YAY !?!

@ DarkHorse66
..note that this site also allows the viewing of various science doco's online. I'm bookmarking this one! :] Cheers, DH66
Ah a collector of docos great to hear !
Any chance you have come across one about rats adapting to Warfarin, would have been about 15 to 20 years ago or so... ?

Essentially the doco offered an example of evolutionary selection pressures. Warfarin used to be an effective rat poison but began losing its effectiveness. The doco showed that it only took approx 25 generations of rats to be fed increasing amounts of Warfarin until the point was reached where a single rat could be put in a cage with only water and raw (orange) Warfarin crystals and eat the 'poison' to the point of actually putting on weight - ostensibly before various mineral deficiencies (etc) set in !

Would probably only be in VHS or even Beta format, saw it on public tv in Australia ages ago, looking for it online ever since, no luck :-(

Feeble request for help please ?
JGHunter
2.3 / 5 (6) Aug 16, 2012
Jeez what's with the downrating, I was just asking a question. Are you so critical of all people who ask questions?
DarkHorse66
1.5 / 5 (2) Aug 16, 2012
Hi Mike
Sorry, not quite YAY, but considering the length and breadth of what is constantly being loaded onto Youtube now, this might be your best bet; also you might not find the actual doco that you are looking for, but you may well find that someone else has made a similar one. Here is a reasonable starting point for trawling: http://www.youtub...GI1jsbdY
The alternative would be to try and remember which TV station it was (there were probably fewer then too)and search their site/archives. Or email them. Sometimes not everything is stored online either, esp if it is that old. :)
Hope you find what you are looking for (eventually), cheers, DH66
PS :]
Man might not be biting the dog, here, but the rat is attacking the cat: http://www.youtub...=related
antialias_physorg
3.5 / 5 (2) Aug 16, 2012
Essentially the doco offered an example of evolutionary selection pressures. Warfarin used to be an effective rat poison but began losing its effectiveness.

When I went to "google scholar" the search term "rats warfarin" coughed this one up as first hit:
http://bloodjourn...96.short

In the subsection "Articles citing this reference" on that page, the second one seems to be close to what you are looking for (it in turn again cites numerous papers dealing with the rat/warfarin issue)
http://heart.bmjj...91/5/563
geokstr
1 / 5 (7) Aug 16, 2012
"...dismantle the atoms into their subcomponents (actually subsubcomponents)."

Eventually, we'll discover that the "subsubcomponents" themselves are made up of subsubsubcomponents that are made up of subsubsubsubcomponents, and on and on, ad infinitum.
Mike_Massen
1.7 / 5 (7) Aug 16, 2012
When I went to "google scholar"..
hrrrm , yes thanks, many aspects in pharmacology sure, though looking for the video doco which was either pbs, or nat geo or some other usa or uk producer, partly to show my boys (17 & 19) and also for some friends unclear about some of the complex aspects of evolution & for simplicity tending to gravitate to the creationist issue, much like the potential dogma here re 'gee whiz we all know that gravity plays no role in atomic nuclei, its negligible' yet the wider view is where an unknown/unclear quantum effect offers the possibility of force transposition which hasnt been looked at much at all as the experimental evidence in conjunction with a mature theory is lacking and the claim that atomic relativistic effects have been predicted and observed hasnt been met with any effective corroboration (as far as I can see) in ref. But I digress, I'm really looking for the doco video to prepare & offer discussion re food adaptability :-)
hyongx
2 / 5 (6) Aug 16, 2012
CERN physicists break record for hottest manmade material

Personally, I think the hottest 'manmade' material is Gemma Atkinson.
sirchick
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 16, 2012
"...dismantle the atoms into their subcomponents (actually subsubcomponents)."

Eventually, we'll discover that the "subsubcomponents" themselves are made up of subsubsubcomponents that are made up of subsubsubsubcomponents, and on and on, ad infinitum.


On what grounds do you believe this ?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Aug 16, 2012
There's probably some limit (at the very least at the Planck scale/Planck time level).

Anyhow: the idea of 'distinct components' is already pretty iffy at the quark level - and that iffyness is only going to increase.
The further down we go the less we have to do with particles but more and more with geometry, topology, statistical fields, probability distributions, and wavefunctions.
Feldagast
2.6 / 5 (10) Aug 16, 2012
"...dismantle the atoms into their subcomponents (actually subsubcomponents)."

Eventually, we'll discover that the "subsubcomponents" themselves are made up of subsubsubcomponents that are made up of subsubsubsubcomponents, and on and on, ad infinitum.

Perhaps we are part of a larger picture, could this planet be a electron in the orbit of a giant atom?
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (10) Aug 16, 2012
Perhaps we are part of a larger picture, could this planet be a electron in the orbit of a giant atom?

Nope. There'd be some serious charge issues which we definitely would have noticed by now.
Mike_Massen
1.7 / 5 (12) Aug 16, 2012
antialias_physorg mumbled
Perhaps we are part of a larger picture, could this planet be a electron in the orbit of a giant atom?
Nope. There'd be some serious charge issues which we definitely would have noticed by now.
Although you claim/imply to know physics passable well, you do seem to make arbitrary dogmatic like guesses (with minimal bra like support) or leaps of incredible faith of certainty (remember heisenberg ?) - are you wearing robes, a funny hat and prostrating & calling on a catholic pope or even Krishna ?..

Well isnt our sun 'sol' sending out billions of protons ( ve remember) and not having this charge balanced (and if so how)? whats the charge on our home nuclear fusion reactor and when will it 'flash over' ?
Osiris1
1 / 5 (3) Aug 16, 2012
Like the commenter about the Russian Doll theory of the ultimate structure of matter. However, the smaller the unit, the closer it acts. And with each layer smaller there will be an associated group of forces and elementary particles. Bear in mind that these forces if liberated, will be orders of magnitude stronger than those associated with the next larger units. We will probably find that 'black holes' are just stars made up of the next lower subunits lower than quarks. This layer may not agree with Einstein. Further advances into knowledge of this could yield technology capable of destroying black hole with a bomb analogous to the present 'hydrogen' bomb that uses an atom bomb trigger. Da A bomb triggers da H bomb triggers da quark bomb triggers da black hole bomb triggers the minimatter bomb. The resulting explosion will be VERY violent and faster than speed of light no matter what Einstein says.....like as in 'laws of physics break down..in black holes'.
Osiris1
1 / 5 (3) Aug 16, 2012
Like the commenter about the Russian Doll theory of the ultimate structure of matter. However, the smaller the unit, the closer it acts. And with each layer smaller there will be an associated group of forces and elementary particles. Bear in mind that these forces if liberated, will be orders of magnitude stronger than those associated with the next larger units. We will probably find that 'black holes' are just stars made up of the next lower subunits lower than quarks. This layer may not agree with Einstein. Further advances into knowledge of this could yield technology capable of destroying black hole with a bomb analogous to the present 'hydrogen' bomb that uses an atom bomb trigger. Da A bomb triggers da H bomb triggers da quark bomb triggers da black hole bomb triggers the minimatter bomb. The resulting explosion will be VERY violent and faster than speed of light no matter what Einstein says.....like as in 'laws of physics break down..in black holes'.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 16, 2012
@ Mike_Massen:

"Although you claim/imply to know physics passable well, you do seem to make arbitrary dogmatic like guesses".

Those aren't "dogmatic like guesses", those are reasonable estimates that you learn to do in physics (and engineering), or you can never do any reasonable research (or constructions). It is a trick of the trade, but you start to learn it in high school.

There are other more fundamental reasons why you can't do Russian Dolls, called infrared and ultraviolet catastrophes in analogy of energy of photons. That is why you have a Planck scale in the first place, because as you go to high energy or small scales the physics we see breaks down. Enter string theory which tells us how nature gets around that. (By "wrapping around" to larger scales again by way of dualities.)

Then again, I don't think anyone knows why the Planck scale appears, only that physics without it doesn't work. Maybe that is reason enough.
Infinion
2.1 / 5 (11) Aug 16, 2012
@ Mike_Massen:

"Although you claim/imply to know physics passable well, you do seem to make arbitrary dogmatic like guesses".

Those aren't "dogmatic like guesses", those are reasonable estimates that you learn to do in physics (and engineering), or you can never do any reasonable research (or constructions). It is a trick of the trade, but you start to learn it in high school.



uh, no. That's called The Bandwagon Effect http://en.wikiped...n_effect
Osiris1
1 / 5 (3) Aug 16, 2012
the farther we go into the research of the ultra small, the more new physics we will uncover. It may well be that we will discover work arounds to many if not most of conundrums we face. Planck scale may well fall as one 'doll' after another is uncovered, with unimaginably high energies, new forces appearing one after another to fill in the real new 'standard model' with a new model for each new Russian Doll we unmask. Our physics works with our 'engineered guesses. I know! I AM an engineer and HAVE to guess, as many problems do not yield to test tube measurements. I want to see the new physics, only know that at some level, working with these forces, blindly because that is so new to us, it will become so dangerous that we will have to conduct our experiments outside our solar system, not just off our planet. We Dooo want to keep our home! For that we need good, cheap, reliable, non-'fossil' fuels with a much better specific impulse! Like fusion!
Osiris1
2.4 / 5 (5) Aug 16, 2012
The new physics we will in the future discover may not be 'liked' by all people, just like we have prefs in politics. However, these new principles and facts we will discover...will not go away simply because some do not 'like' them. So go ahead and post me a '1' here if you please, whoever you are. I stand my ground and know it is sound. Like I said, I AM an engineer with physics, math, and chem minors and some grad work. And I know that academics are almost never accepted with open arms by all, as many have their own conflicting ideas too. In the democracy of the idea marketplace, I welcome this, as it is democracy in action. Often messy, but eventually good answers come out.
Walter_Mrak
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 16, 2012
Do we still really beleive that the universe exploded from an infintesimally small point into what is now recognized as an apparently expanding collection of innumerable galaxies? Just because this was the initial hypothesis because nobody understands why or how all galaxies seem to be moving away from one another and moving away from some central point, does not make it so. It sounds goofier than 99.99% of the wacky religeous explanations for existential reality!
Noumenon
1.6 / 5 (7) Aug 16, 2012
The lesson of modern physics is that just because a hypothesis sounds goofy to a mind evolved to operate on the macroscopic scale of things, does not make it so wrt reality itself.
Silverhill
5 / 5 (2) Aug 16, 2012
@Walter Mrak
Do we still really beleive that the universe exploded from an infintesimally small point into what is now recognized as an apparently expanding collection of innumerable galaxies?
There is a lot of evidence for this picure.

...all galaxies seem to be moving away from one another and moving away from some central point...
There is no (3-space) center to the expansion; no central point. It may sound goofy, but it's what we have to work with.
(J.B.S. Haldane) The universe is not only queerer than we imagine, it is queerer than we *can* imagine.

Infinion
1 / 5 (2) Aug 16, 2012
There's really no point in arguing with someone who only interprets information that confirms their own beliefs or hypothesis. That goes for both sides, just that one is more ignorant of this fact than the other
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
not rated yet Aug 16, 2012
@ Infinion:

What has a tool set, such as approximations, dimensional analysis, extrapolation to extremes, heuristics or Fermi problems http://en.wikiped..._problem , that all scientists and engineers early learn to do with sociological effects in politics and economics?

Allow me to speak whereof I know, I _do_ have a higher education than high school. These are not difficult or uncommon concepts, of course estimation is important as I said before.
Caliban
not rated yet Aug 17, 2012
Let's not forget the idea of "dimension loss" that was featured here in an article a while back...which theorized that there may have been additional dimensions at play prior to and just after the big bang itself, and that we are currently in a universe that may well have condensed down to the accepted 4D condition as the primordial energy density has been "diluted" into an increasingly large volume of space.

Perhaps they are somewhat accounted for in string theory. The idea is appealing, though...

borc
not rated yet Aug 17, 2012
Wait, so is this guy legitimately arguing in favor of the Men in Black hypothesis of the universe being a marble in a bag in some giant aliens toy chest? Hang on a sec guys, gota go get my foil hat.
K- set. Where were we?
BTW I had this conversation just a few min ago on another page. Dogma is, by definition, something that is incontrovertibly true. (google it). You can't claim something is dogma when it is activly being researched. Incase you weren't quite clear on the whole reality thing... We do research to do 1 of two things 1) confirm our theorized hypothesis which we have yet to make valid, and this do not believe is "incontrovertibly true". or 2) to disprove something someone else believes is true, and to purpose our own solution to a problem. Again, the very act of doing so eleminates the idea that we see it as incontrovertibly true, and thus dogma.
vacuum-mechanics
1 / 5 (3) Aug 17, 2012
@Walter Mrak
Do we still really beleive that the universe exploded from an infintesimally small point into what is now recognized as an apparently expanding collection of innumerable galaxies?
There is a lot of evidence for this picure.


Yes it is, but there are other theories (not only the big bang) which also have inflation scenario, but have no such thing as A BIG FREE LUNCH! One which could not difficult to understand is as below.
http://www.vacuum...mid=7=en
hcnap
2.5 / 5 (2) Aug 17, 2012
Atoms are accelerated to near light speed I presume to be relative to the collider in opposite direction. I am wondering at what speed would the atoms smash relative to each other? It couldn't be near twice the speed of light.
Mike_Massen
1.7 / 5 (6) Aug 18, 2012
vacuum-mechanics offered this link
http://www.vacuum-mechanics.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=7=en
This says nothing about electrostatic repulsion, care to elaborate ?

@ hcnap

Correct its not twice the speed, best to get a grounding in the postulates of Special Relativity, see here:- http://en.wikiped...lativity
Caliban
5 / 5 (1) Aug 18, 2012
Atoms are accelerated to near light speed I presume to be relative to the collider in opposite direction. I am wondering at what speed would the atoms smash relative to each other? It couldn't be near twice the speed of light.


I think what you have in mind is that driving school bit about two cars colliding head-on with the force equivalent to a single collision(at the combined speed) with a stationary object.

You're thinking of the total FORCE of the collision between the two particles, which is additive --not the velocities of the two particles.