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Scientists recreate ‘mini Big Bangs’
London, Dec 5 (IANS):
Published on 6 Dec. 2010 12:32 AM IST
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Scientists have again recreated the primordial soup that existed in the galaxy just moments after the Big Bang using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The super-hot ‘quark-gluon plasma’ is believed to have been the entire cosmos only for a split second after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago - the event which many scientists say was the beginning of the universe.
For the first time, activity of the two elementary particles within the plasma was clearly tracked and a phenomenon called ‘jet quenching’ was observed, giving hints on how matter evolved into stars, planets and eventually life on Earth, reports the Daily Mail.
“There is a big window for new discoveries opening up and we want to ensure the momentum of these past few months is maintained,” said CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) director general Rolf Heuer, who overseas the centre’s LHC experiments.
“We have confirmed this year all that we thought we knew about the physical universe, and now we are moving into new territory,” his deputy, research director Sergio Bertolucci added.
The results were achieved only days after colliding lead ions in the LHC at ultra-high energies, producing temperatures some 500,000 times hotter than the core of the sun.
The ‘mini Big Bangs’ created were of even greater intensity than the collisions of hydrogen protons of the LHC’s first seven months of operation.
New data on the origins of the universe is pouring in so quickly that physicists may extend the current opening phase of their ‘Big Bang’ project to the end of 2012.
An extension could lead to an early discovery of the elusive Higgs boson, which is believed to have turned an amorphous mass of particles into solid matter at the birth of the cosmos.

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