News of the WeekHigh-Energy Physics

Atom Smasher Probes Realm of Nuclear 'Gas'

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Science  25 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5555, pp. 603-604
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5555.603a

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Strange as it may seem, atomic nuclei sometimes act like liquids, and when blasted apart at high enough energies they can sizzle into gas. Now scientists have charted the conditions under which gold nuclei make that leap, information that might help unravel the secrets behind the birth of a neutron star.