Recent results of a joint experiment conducted by 460 physicists from 57 research institutions in 12 countries strongly indicate that the scientists have succeeded in reproducing matter as it first appeared in the universe; this matter is called the quark-gluon plasma. The experiment, called PHENIX and conducted at the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, New York, has brought together physicists from Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Sweden and the United States. The Israeli team is led by Prof. Itzhak Tserruya, head of the Weizmann Institute’s Particle Physics Department. Tserruya and his colleagues have designed and built unique particle detectors that are a central part of PHENIX’s detecting system.
Scientists have recreated a temperature not seen since the first microsecond of the birth of the universe and found that the event did not unfold quite the way they expected. The interaction of energy, matter, and the strong nuclear force in the ultra-hot experiments conducted at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) was thought to be well understood, but a lengthy investigation has revealed that physicists are missing something in their model of how the universe works.