Quark Gluon Plasma and the Early Universe

Saturday, 14 February 2015: 1:00 PM-2:30 PM
Room LL20D (San Jose Convention Center)
Peter Jacobs, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA
For one month each year the LHC collides beams of lead nuclei. Such violent collisions of massive nuclei briefly generate a fireball in the laboratory with conditions of temperature and density approaching those of the early universe, a few microseconds after the Big Bang. In this state of matter, called the Quark-Gluon Plasma, quarks and gluons are de-confined, rather than bound within hadrons as in the matter we see around us. Experimental study of the Quark Gluon Plasma has revealed surprising features of hot matter governed by the strong force, including its ability to flow with the lowest specific viscosity allowed by Nature. I will discuss LHC Run 2 prospects for exploring this unique state of matter and measuring its properties precisely.