LHC simulates the epic hotness of colliding neutron stars

Want to know what's hot? I'll tell you what's hot. CERN's Large Hadron Collider has smashed lead ions together so fast that they generated temperatures 100,000 times hotter than the center of the Sun. Burnt s'mores, anyone?

This quark gluon plasma that the LHC created is not only the hottest and densest soup of subatomic particles ever seen on Earth, it's also the same kind of stuff that existed just a few milliseconds after the Big Bang and helped kick-start the entire universe.

That's all pretty impressive, I know, but I imagine by this point you're probably wondering what quark gluon plasma has done for you lately.

The only other place that you're likely to find matter such as this is in between two colliding neutron stars, and until someone volunteers to stand in the middle of an event like that with a thermometer, this is is going to be one of the best ways to investigate what actually happens when a star collapses. The collisions in the LHC are also generating antimatter, which might provide clues as to why our universe isn't busily annihilating itself in a matter versus antimatter deathmatch of death.

See? Physics isn't all fun and games (despite what CERN might want you to think), and this $9 billion project is definitely starting pay off.

LHC, via ABC

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