NUCLEAR COLLISIONS AT VERY HIGH ENERGY

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What do we know about nuclei? The literature of the last 20 or 30 years contains a wealth of fascinating detail about their structure, their energy levels and single particle aspects, their collective motion, and the way they interact with each other in collisions. Both the quantity and detail of the experimental data, and the sophistication of some of the theory is impressive. Yet what we know about nuclei concerns their properties at only one point on the graph of the equation of state of nuclear matter which is illustrated in Fig. 1. Aside from the trivial point at the ... continued below

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28 p.

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Glendenning, N.K. August 1, 1977.

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What do we know about nuclei? The literature of the last 20 or 30 years contains a wealth of fascinating detail about their structure, their energy levels and single particle aspects, their collective motion, and the way they interact with each other in collisions. Both the quantity and detail of the experimental data, and the sophistication of some of the theory is impressive. Yet what we know about nuclei concerns their properties at only one point on the graph of the equation of state of nuclear matter which is illustrated in Fig. 1. Aside from the trivial point at the origin, and the energy per nucleon at normal density, the curve drawn is a guess. The point where it crosses the axis at {rho}/{rho}{sub 0} {approx} 2 is based on nuclear matter calculations. We do not even know the curvature (compressibility) at normal density. Virtually everything we know about nuclei concerns their normal state. Some interesting possibilities for the state of nuclear matter at high density are illustrated in Fig. 1. The Lee-Wick super dense state is illustrated, as is the effect of a phase transition, corresponding to a situation where a state of special correlation having the quantum numbers of the pion (pion condensate) becomes degenerate with ground state. Perhaps the ultimate goal of research with relativistic energy nuclei is to study nuclear matter under abnormal conditions of high particle and energy density. This is a break from the past. Nuclear physicists have concentrated on studying nuclei under normal conditions of low energy and temperature. High energy physicists have concentrated on putting higher and higher energy into a small volume. We do not know what surprises await us, but several possible rewards are mentioned in this paper. To make it plausible why we expect to encounter new and interesting phenomena it is useful to examine Fig. 2, prepared by Swiatecki. There the projectile mass for a symmetric collisions is plotted on one axis, and a bombarding energy per nucle on the other. The shaded areas indicate thresholds where qualitatively new physical features take over. The low energy region is the domain of conventional nuclear physics, and is being intensively studied at many laboratories. The region immediately adjacent to the x-axis extending to very high energies is the domain of particle physics, studied at the very large accelerators. Most of the plane is completely unknown territory. We discuss briefly the thresholds following the subsonic region of conventional nuclear physics.

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28 p.

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  • Symposium on Future Accelerators, Bombay, India, September 19, 1977

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  • Report No.: LBL-6597
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1009513
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc846276

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • August 1, 1977

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • June 15, 2016, 9:02 p.m.

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Glendenning, N.K. NUCLEAR COLLISIONS AT VERY HIGH ENERGY, article, August 1, 1977; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc846276/: accessed October 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.