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Physicists say early universe like liquid

Nov. 24, 2010 at 7:31 PM   |   Comments

GENEVA, Switzerland, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- European researchers at CERN's Large Hadron Collider say experiments show the very early universe was not only very hot and dense but behaved like a hot liquid.

By smashing lead nuclei together at high energies, they've generated incredibly hot and dense sub-atomic fireballs, recreating the conditions that existed in the first few microseconds after the Big Bang, ScienceDaily.com reported.

Scientists say temperatures of over 10 trillion degrees are being created in these mini big bangs.

At these temperatures, normal matter is expected to melt into an exotic, primordial 'soup' known as quark-gluon plasma.

And scientists say their results suggest "melt" is the right word.

"These first results would seem to suggest that the universe would have behaved like a super-hot liquid immediately after the Big Bang," David Evans of the University of Birmingham's School of Physics and Astronomy in the United Kingdom says.

This contradicts a number of theoretical physics models that predicted the quark-gluon plasma created at these energies would behave like a gas.

"Although it is very early days we are already learning more about the early universe," Evans says.

Topics: David Evans
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