Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider Contact

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Description

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider is the first and one of only two operating heavy-ion colliders, and the only spin-polarized proton collider ever built. Located at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in Upton, New York, and used by an international team of researchers, it is the only operating particle collider in the US. By using RHIC to collide ions traveling at relativistic speeds, physicists study the primordial form of matter that existed in the universe shortly after the Big Bang. By colliding spin-polarized protons, the spin structure of the proton is explored.RHIC is now the second-highest-energy heavy-ion collider in the world. As of November 7, 2010, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has collided heavy ions of lead at higher energies than RHIC. The LHC operating time for ions (lead-lead and lead-proton collisions) is limited to about one month per year.In 2010, RHIC physicists published results of temperature measurements from earlier experiments which concluded that temperatures in excess of 345 MeV (4 terakelvins or 7 trillion degrees Fahrenheit) had been achieved in gold ion collisions, and that these collision temperatures resulted in the breakdown of "normal matter" and the creation of a liquid-like quark–gluon plasma.

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