Department of Energy Announces $11.24 Million for Research on Nuclear Theory Topical Collaborations

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $11.24 million for five topical theory collaborations in nuclear physics (NP). These projects bring together leading nuclear theorists to collaboratively focus on solving challenging problems central to advancing knowledge in nuclear physics.

Study Reveals How Some High-Energy Particle ‘Jets’ Lose Energy

Scientists studying particle collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) have revealed how certain particle-jets lose energy as they traverse the unique form of nuclear matter created in these collisions. The results should help them learn about key transport properties of this hot particle soup, known as a quark-gluon plasma (QGP).

Measuring the Speed of Sound in Dense Nuclear Matter

Theoretical physicists have proposed a new method to measure the speed of sound in quark-gluon plasma. The speed of sound is determined by a material’s properties, so measuring it helps scientists understand that material. These studies reveal the way quarks and gluons interact with each other and offers new insights on matter in the early Universe.

Results from Search for ‘Chiral Magnetic Effect’ at RHIC

Physicists from the STAR Collaboration of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science user facility for nuclear physics research at DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, presented long-awaited results from a “blind analysis” of how the strength of the magnetic field generated in certain collisions affects the particles streaming out.

Searching for Signs of ‘Glueballs’ in Proton-Proton Smashups

In principle, the universe should contain objects composed only of gluons in a sea of quark-antiquark pairs. However, scientists’ experiments have never definitively confirmed these hypothetical objects, called “glueballs.” Now, scientists are using the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider to search for signs of these glueballs.

Tantalizing Signs of Phase-change ‘Turbulence’ in RHIC Collisions

A new analysis of collisions conducted at different energies at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) shows tantalizing signs of a critical point—a change in the way that quarks and gluons, the building blocks of protons and neutrons, transform from one phase to another. The findings will help physicists map out details of these nuclear phase changes to better understand the evolution of the universe and the conditions in the cores of neutron stars.

Supercomputers Aid Scientists Studying the Smallest Particles in the Universe

Using the nation’s fastest supercomputer, Summit at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a team of nuclear physicists developed a promising method for measuring quark interactions in hadrons and applied the method to simulations using quarks with close-to-physical masses.

RHIC Run 21: Pushing the Limits at the Lowest Collision Energy

Accelerator physicists are preparing the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a DOE Office of Science user facility for nuclear physics research at DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, for its 21st year of experiments, set to begin on or about February 3, 2021. Instead of producing high-energy particle smashups, the goal for this run is to maximize collision rates at the lowest energy ever achieved at RHIC.