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Quark-Gluon Plasma and the Size of the Nucleons

By Amal Pushp, Affiliate Physicist at the Resonance Science Foundation  

The atomic nucleus of an atom consists of protons and neutrons bound together via strong nuclear interaction. Due to this, protons and neutrons are also called nucleons. Furthermore, protons and neutrons have inner substructure and consist of a combination of up and down quarks as well as gluons, which are particles mediating the strong force. Physicists usually probe the structure of nucleons with particle collisions in accelerators. Specifically, the development of the quark model in particle physics emerged by investigating the deep inelastic scattering of electrons on protons and bound neutrons for which the investigators were also awarded a Nobel prize back in 1990.  

What happens when we heat atomic nuclei at high temperatures? We eventually achieve a new state of matter called quark-gluon plasma. Quark-gluon plasma may be defined as a state of matter in which the elementary...

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