Tuesday, August 14, 2012

LHC Breaks Another Record?

Not satisfied with passing the Tevatron for the highest energy collider, the ALICE detector at the LHC may soon snatch another world record from Brookhaven's RHIC for creating the highest manmade temperature.

The results come from the ALICE heavy-ion experiment (at right) — a lesser-known sibling to ATLAS and CMS, which produced the data that led to the announcement in July that the Higgs boson had been discovered. ALICE physicists, presenting on Monday at Quark Matter 2012 in Washington DC, say they have achieved a quark gluon plasma 38% hotter than a record 4 trillion degree plasma achieved in 2010 by a similar experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, which had been anointed the Guinness record holder.
This isn't that much of a surprise, though, since the LHC is significantly more powerful than RHIC. It's a terrific use of the facility (LHC) in that it isn't just a high energy physics facility, but also a nuclear physics facility. One wonders if the life of the Tevatron would have been extended even longer had someone the insight to incorporate nuclear physics experiments as part of the facility.


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