PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Super strong magnetic fields leave imprint on nuclear matter

Data from heavy ion collisions give new insight into electromagnetic properties of quark-gluon plasma

Super strong magnetic fields leave imprint on nuclear matter
2024-02-23
(Press-News.org) UPTON, NY—A new analysis by the STAR collaboration at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a particle collider at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, provides the first direct evidence of the imprint left by what may be the universe’s most powerful magnetic fields on “deconfined” nuclear matter. The evidence comes from measuring the way differently charged particles separate when emerging from collisions of atomic nuclei at this DOE Office of Science user facility.

As described in the journal Physical Review X, the data indicate that powerful magnetic fields generated in off-center collisions induce an electric current in the quarks and gluons set free, or deconfined, from protons and neutrons by the particle smashups. The findings give scientists a new way to study the electrical conductivity of this “quark-gluon plasma” (QGP) to learn more about these fundamental building blocks of atomic nuclei.

“This is the first measurement of how the magnetic field interacts with the quark-gluon plasma (QGP),” said Diyu Shen, a STAR physicist from Fudan University in China and a leader of the new analysis. In fact, measuring the impact of that interaction provides direct evidence that these powerful magnetic fields exist.

More powerful than a neutron star Scientists have long believed that off-center collisions of heavy atomic nuclei such as gold, also known as heavy ions, would generate powerful magnetic fields. That’s because some of the non-colliding positively charged protons—and neutral neutrons—that make up the nuclei would be set aswirl as the ions sideswipe one another at close to the speed of light.

“Those fast-moving positive charges should generate a very strong magnetic field, predicted to be 1018 gauss,” said Gang Wang, a STAR physicist from the University of California, Los Angeles. For comparison, he noted that neutron stars, the densest objects in the universe, have fields of about 1014 gauss, while refrigerator magnets produce a field of about 100 gauss and our home planet’s protective magnetic field measures a mere 0.5 gauss. “This is probably the strongest magnetic field in our universe.”

But because things happen very quickly in heavy ion collisions, the field doesn’t last long. It dissipates in less than 10-23 seconds—ten millionths of a billionth of a billionth of a second—making it difficult to observe.

So instead of trying to measure the field directly, the STAR scientists looked for evidence of its impact on the particles streaming out of the collisions.

“Specifically, we were looking at the collective motion of charged particles,” Wang said.

Detecting deflection It is well known that magnetic fields can affect the movement of charged particles and even induce electromagnetic fields in conductive forms of matter such as metals. That’s the same thing that’s happening here, but on a much smaller scale.

“We wanted to see if the charged particles generated in off-center heavy ion collisions were being deflected in a way that could only be explained by the existence of an electromagnetic field in the tiny specks of QGP created in these collisions,” said Aihong Tang, a Brookhaven Lab physicist and member of the STAR collaboration.

The team used STAR’s sophisticated detector systems to track the collective motion of different pairs of charged particles while ruling out the influence of competing non-electromagnetic effects. They were most interested in ruling out deflections caused by charged quarks transported along as part of the colliding nuclei. Fortunately, those “transported quarks” produce a pattern of deflection opposite to that triggered by the magnetic-field-induced electric current, known as Faraday induction.

A clear signal “In the end, we see a pattern of charge-dependent deflection that can only be triggered by an electromagnetic field in the QGP—a clear sign of Faraday induction,” said Tang.

The scientists saw this strong signal not only in off-center collisions of two gold nuclei at high energy—gold-gold at 200 billion electron volts, or GeV—but also in off-center collisions of smaller nuclei—ruthenium-ruthenium and zirconium-zirconium, both at 200 GeV.

“This effect is universal. It happens not just in a big system but also in a smaller system,” said Shen.

The scientists saw an even stronger signal when they analyzed data from gold-gold collisions at a relatively low energy—27 GeV. This finding provides more supporting evidence that the particle-deflecting electromagnetic field was induced by the powerful magnetic fields generated by off-center collisions.

That’s because Faraday induction occurs as the magnetic field dissipates. In lower-energy collisions, that happens more slowly.

“This effect is stronger at lower energy because the lifetime of magnetic field is longer at lower energy; the speed of the nuclear fragments is lower, so the magnetic field and its effects last longer,” said Wang.

Implications Now that the scientists have evidence that magnetic fields induce an electromagnetic field in the QGP, they can use the induction to probe the QGP’s conductivity.

“This is a fundamental and important property,” said Shen. “We can infer the value of the conductivity from our measurement of the collective motion. The extent to which the particles are deflected relates directly to the strength of the electromagnetic field and the conductivity in the QGP—and no one has measured the conductivity of QGP before.”

Understanding the fundamental electromagnetic properties of the QGP could offer insights into important questions in physics. For one thing, the magnetic fields that induce the electromagnetic effects may contribute to an interesting separation of particles according to their “handedness,” or chirality.

“This study gives strong evidence of the magnetic field, which is one of the preconditions for this ‘chiral magnetic effect,’” Shen said.

The magnetic field and electromagnetic properties of the QGP also play a role in determining the conditions under which free, deconfined quarks and gluons coalesce to form composite particles called hadrons—such as the protons and neutrons that make up ordinary nuclei.

“We want to map out the nuclear ‘phase diagram,’ which shows at which temperature the quarks and gluons can be considered free and at which temperature they will ‘freeze out’ to become hadrons. Those properties and the fundamental interactions of quarks and gluons, which are mediated by the strong force, will be modified under an extreme electromagnetic field,” said Wang. With this new probe of the QGP’s electromagnetic properties, he added, “we can investigate these fundamental properties in another dimension to provide more information about the strong interaction.”

For now, the scientists pointed out, theorists will be looking at these results to help refine the interpretations.

This research was funded by the DOE Office of Science, the U.S. National Science Foundation, and a range of international organizations and agencies listed in the scientific paper. The STAR team used computing resources at the Scientific Data and Computing Center at Brookhaven Lab, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Open Science Grid consortium.

Brookhaven National Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit science.energy.gov.

Follow @BrookhavenLab on social media. Find us on Instagram, LinkedIn, X, and Facebook.

END

[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Super strong magnetic fields leave imprint on nuclear matter Super strong magnetic fields leave imprint on nuclear matter 2 Super strong magnetic fields leave imprint on nuclear matter 3

ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

TMEM208 variants cause a new developmental disorder

2024-02-23
A recent study conducted in the lab of Dr. Hugo J. Bellen, distinguished service professor at Baylor College of Medicine and principal investigator at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, has discovered a biological role of a specific transmembrane protein called TMEM208.  The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that a majority of fruit flies lacking this gene do not survive, and the few that do survive have many developmental defects. Similarly, a child with variants ...

Researchers explore whether gut microbes cause some COVID-19 patients to have higher blood clot risk

2024-02-23
A gut microbial metabolite called 2-methylbutyrylcarnitine (2MBC) plays a role in exacerbating thrombosis -- the formation of blood clots – researchers report February 23rd in the journal Cell Metabolism. The results also revealed that 2MBC is accumulated in individuals with COVID-19, potentially explaining why these patients are at increased risk of thrombosis. “Our study provides mechanistic insight by implicating 2MBC as a metabolite that links gut microbiota dysbiosis to elevated thrombotic ...

Childhood factors associated with unnatural death through midadulthood

2024-02-23
About The Study: In this urban population-based cohort study of 2,180 participants, no modifiable risk factors of mortality at the level of the individual (e.g., depression or anxiety and substance use) or the family (e.g., household education level) were identified. However, the degree of neighborhood poverty in early childhood was significantly associated with death by unnatural causes (death due to unintentional injury, suicide, and homicide) in early adulthood, suggesting that economic policies are needed to advance health equity in relation to premature mortality.  Authors: Holly C. Wilcox, Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg ...

Severe COVID-19 in vaccinated adults with hematologic cancers in the Veterans Health Administration

2024-02-23
About The Study: In this case-control study including 6,122 patients with hematologic cancers and SARS-CoV-2 infection, odds of severe COVID-19 remained high through mid-2022 despite vaccination, especially in patients requiring treatment.  Authors: Paul A. Monach, M.D., Ph.D., of the VA Boston Cooperative Studies Program in Boston, is the corresponding author.  To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this link https://media.jamanetwork.com/  (doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.0288) Editor’s Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions ...

Recreational marijuana legalization and workplace injuries among younger workers

2024-02-23
About The Study: In this study, recreational marijuana laws that allow recreational marijuana sales were associated with a 10% increase in workplace injuries among individuals ages 20 to 34. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that recreational marijuana impedes cognitive function and care among younger workers.  Authors: Joseph J. Sabia, Ph.D., of San Diego State University, is the corresponding author. To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this ...

New study identifies 13 strategies for advancing racial and ethnic equity in the academic health sciences

2024-02-23
BOSTON - Amid continued debate over how to advance diversity and equity in higher education following the Supreme Court’s decision striking down affirmative action, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Northeastern University today issued a “roadmap” of strategies to help academic health institutions maintain their commitments to racial and ethnic diversity among their students, staff, and faculty in academic health sciences. Their recommendations, published in JAMA Health Forum, outline 13 evidence-based strategies for increasing racial and ethnic equity in graduate-level health programs. “This ...

School focus on grades, test scores linked to violence against teachers

2024-02-23
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Violence against teachers is likely to be higher in schools that focus on grades and test scores than in schools that emphasize student learning, a new study has found. Researchers surveyed over 9,000 U.S. teachers shortly before and during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic about their perception of the instructional emphasis in their schools. Participants also reported whether they had been subjected to physical, verbal or property violence – by students, parents, colleagues and/or administrators. Results ...

Genetic signature may predict response to immunotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer

2024-02-23
A new study identified a set of 140 genes that may help predict enhanced disease-free survival in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with a combination of immunotherapy and low-dose radiation. The results, published in Cell Reports Medicine on Feb. 23, suggested that this “gene signature” could be used to identify a subclass of lung tumors that is more likely to be eradicated by immunotherapies. Immunotherapy has saved countless lives but only 20 to 25 percent of patients respond to this treatment that activates a person’s ...

A study by the UMA and the University of California analyzes how lies affect economic decisions

A study by the UMA and the University of California analyzes how lies affect economic decisions
2024-02-23
Psychology and Economics come together in a recent line of research, led by Ismael Rodríguez-Lara, Professor at the University of Malaga, who studies how lies affect economic decisions. It is a study developed together with the Professor at the University of California (Santa Barbara, USA) Gary Charness, considered one of the most influential economists in the world within the experimental area, that has analyzed the way in which morality influences the degree of lying in certain economic situations. The results of this research have been published in the scientific journal Economics ...

Navigating the depths: Exploration in underwater navigation using acoustic beacons

Navigating the depths: Exploration in underwater navigation using acoustic beacons
2024-02-23
New exploration  in underwater navigation, a team from the Naval University of Engineering in Wuhan, China, has created novel algorithms that rectify inertial errors using sparse acoustic signals. This exploration offers novel method for the  issue of underwater navigation , where traditional satellite systems are ineffective due to their signals' inability to penetrate water effectively. The increasing demand for precise underwater Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) due to expanding marine exploration and activities highlights the limitations of traditional Global Satellite Navigation Systems (GNSS) ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Echidnapus identified from an ‘Age of Monotremes’

Semaglutide may protect kidney function in individuals with overweight or obesity and cardiovascular disease

New technique detects novel biomarkers for kidney diseases with nephrotic syndrome

Political elites take advantage of anti-partisan protests to disrupt politics

Tiny target discovered on RNA to short-circuit inflammation, UC Santa Cruz researchers find

Charge your laptop in a minute? Supercapacitors can help; new research offers clues

Scientists discover CO2 and CO ices in outskirts of solar system

Theory and experiment combine to shine a new light on proton spin

PKMYT1, a potential ‘Achilles heel’ of treatment resistant ER+ breast cancers with the poorest prognosis

PH-binding motifs as a platform for drug design: Lessons from protease-activated receptors (PARs)

Virginia Tech researcher creates new tool to move tiny bioparticles

On repeat: Biologists observe recurring evolutionary changes, over time, in stick insects

Understanding a broken heart

Genetic cause of rare childhood immune disorders discovered

With wobbling stars, astronomers gauge mass of 126 exoplanets and find 15 new ones

High H5N1 influenza levels found in mice given raw milk from infected dairy cows

Study finds discreet shipping used to sell e-cigarettes to minors

African scientists call for equitable research partnerships to advance microbiome research

How COVID-19 'breakthrough' infections alter your immune cells

Virginia Tech entomologist sheds light on 250-year-old mystery of the German cockroach

Advancing skin science: explore Skin Ageing & Challenges 2024 Strategic Topics in Malta this November

Controlling water, transforming greenhouse gases

MSK Research Highlights, May 24, 2024

ASCO: Large precision oncology study identifies differences in prostate cancer genomics among a racially and ethnically diverse cohort of U.S. veterans

ASCO: Combination therapy significantly improves outcomes for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer

Euclid space mission releases first scientific results and new images of the cosmos

Sociodemographic heterogeneity in the associations of social isolation with mortality

COVID-19 admission rates and changes in care quality in us hospitals

Preterm and early-term delivery after heat waves in 50 US metropolitan areas

Research spotlight: Virtual scribes reduced physicians’ time spent on electronic health records

[Press-News.org] Super strong magnetic fields leave imprint on nuclear matter
Data from heavy ion collisions give new insight into electromagnetic properties of quark-gluon plasma