Strange Matter: A New Domain of Nuclear Physics
Perhaps the only unambiguous way to detect the transient existence of a temporarily created quark gluon plasma (QGP) might be the experimental observation of exotic remnants, like the formation of strange quark matter (SQM) droplets 1. First studies in the context of the MIT-bag model predicted that sufficiently heavy strangelets might be absolutely stable 2 or smaller ones at least metastable 1. The reason for the possible stability of SQM lies in introducing a third flavour degree of freedom, the strangeness, where the mass of the strange quarks is considerably smaller than the Fermi energy of the quarks, thus lowering the total mass per unit baryon number of the system. According to this picture, SQM should appear as a nearly neutral and massive state because the number of strange quarks is nearly equal to the number of massless up or down quarks and so the strange quarks neutralize that hypothetical form of nuclear matter.
KeywordsNuclear Matter Quark Gluon Plasma Baryon Number Strange Quark Baryon Density
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