How does quark-gluon plasma work

Quark-Gluon Plasma

A fraction of a second after the Big Bang, no atoms existed, and therefore no matter as we know it. Instead, the elementary components of matter moved around freely - in addition to quarks, electrons and neutrinos, so-called gluons. In this episode of the podcast, Hannah Petersen from the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Frankfurt and the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research tells what physicists have known so far about this quark-gluon plasma and how they are researching it.

The universe and all the matter it contains was formed 13.82 billion years ago. Most scientists agree on this. What is less clear is what happened after that.

Hannah Petersen

Hannah Petersen: “What came after the Big Bang is still a big question. We don't know exactly what happened there. But we do know that a millionth of a second after the Big Bang, the universe was filled with a quark-gluon plasma. The big difference to today's universe was that it was extremely hot and extremely dense. "

At that time, no atoms existed, and therefore no matter as we know it. Instead, the elementary components of matter moved around freely, in addition to quarks, electrons and neutrinos, so-called gluons. These elementary particles ensure the bond between two or more quarks - and are thus indirectly responsible for the attraction of protons and neutrons in an atomic nucleus. More on this in the 255th episode of our podcast.