Things are to be discussed, but it looks like scientists from the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, using their Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), created a symmetry-breaking bubble of space where parity, one of nature’s fundamental concepts, no longer existed for a tiny fraction of a second.
Jack Sandweiss, one of the researchers, has been studying how gold nuclei collide, when working at the STAR experiment in the RHIC accelerator. This led him finding our how the law of parity behaved under extreme conditions.
The scientists created a “quark-gluon plasma”, which is the result of applying energy at levels high enough to break up protons and neutrons into their constituent quarks and gluons, the fundamental building blocks of matter. They think that this kind of quark-gluon plasma, having a temperature of four trillion degrees Celsius, existed just after the moment of Big Bang, when the universe was only a microsecond old.
The plasma “bubble” created in the collisions at RHIC lasted for a mere millionth of a billionth of a billionth of a second, yet the team hopes to use it to learn more about how structure in the universe , from black holes to galaxies, may have formed out of the quark-gluon soup.
When the gold nuclei, traveling at 99.999% of the speed of light, smashed together, the plasma that resulted was so energetic that a tiny cube of it with sides measuring about a quarter of the width of a human hair would contain enough energy to power the entire United States for a year.
It was the huge magnetic field produced by the quark-gluon plasma, the strongest ever created, that alerted the physicists that one of nature’s laws might have been broken.
The team wants to tinker with this experiment and see if their results still occur at lower collision energy levels, and to see if the violation dissapears in lack of the extreme conditions.
If the scientists prove their experiment to be real, and unequivocally correct, then they may have found an immense, technically infinite source of energy, that would take mankind into a new era. I don’t know what that would be, but I humbly wait to see.
“Laws are meant to be broken”. I always thought that this was a law for people, but it seems that the laws of nature are also only valid until you break them one way or another.