A hypothetical, highly energized form of matter that contains unbound quarks and gluons, believed to have been present ten millionths of a second after the Big Bang.
- In theory, very hot, dense matter can dissolve into a mass of loosely associated quarks and gluons known as a quark-gluon plasma, or QGP, where particles would behave differently than they do in normal nuclei.
- That is, the energy of the collisions was predicted to be sufficient to ‘melt’ the protons and neutrons and produce a hot ‘soup’ of free quarks and gluons, dubbed the quark-gluon plasma.
- The universe was very likely such a quark-gluon plasma for a brief moment after the Big Bang.
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Syllabification: quark-glu·on plas·ma
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