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C. Physicists Aim to Create a Primordial State of Matter

Narrator: This is Science Today. Physicists are using huge ion colliders to reproduce the state of matter following the Big Bang, the explosion that gave rise to the universe. Daniel Cebra, a physicist at the University of California, Davis, took part in an earlier experiment that recreated hints of this primordial, plasma-like state. Now, a facility at the Brookhaven National Laboratory aims to create large enough chunks of this plasma, so physicists can better study its properties.

Cebra: Not just to know where the transition was, but to also know what the compressibility of the plasma is, the way the plasma behaves in its hot, dense stage. This will give us an idea of how the universe behaved at those brief moments - just following the Big Bang.

Narrator: Cebra says physicists hope to create definitive evidence of this plasma.

Cebra: By understanding this transition, it allows us to really understand a lot of where some of the initial, non-uniformities might have come from. What was the very early nature of the universe and those first couple of microseconds?

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.