60,000 Antelopes Died In 4 Days Is “CERN” Large Hadron Collider The Culprit?
could it be ? the veterinarians do not know what the causes ,
read the page see for yourself make your own determination:
Researchers at the University of Kansas working with an international team at the Large Hadron Collider have produced quark-gluon plasma — a state of matter thought to have existed right at the birth of the universe — with fewer particles than previously thought possible.
The material was discovered by colliding protons with lead nuclei at high energy inside the supercollider’s Compact Muon Solenoid detector. Physicists have dubbed the resulting plasma the “littlest liquid.”
“Before the CMS experimental results, it had been thought the medium created in a proton on lead collisions would be too small to create a quark-gluon plasma,” said Quan Wang, a KU postdoctoral researcher working with the team at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Wang performed key analysis for a paper about the experiment recently published in APS Physics.
“Indeed, these collisions were being studied as a reference for collisions of two lead nuclei to explore the non-quark-gluon-plasma aspects of the collisions,” Wang said. “The analysis presented in this paper indicates, contrary to expectations, a quark-gluon plasma can be created in very asymmetric proton on lead collisions.”
The unexpected discovery was said by senior scientists associated with the CMS detector to shed new light on high-energy physics.
“This is the first paper that clearly shows multiple particles are correlated to each other in proton-lead collisions, similar to what is observed in lead-lead collisions where quark gluon plasma is produced,” said Yen-Jie Lee, assistant professor of physics at MIT and co-convener of the CMS heavy-ion physics group. “This is probably the first evidence that the smallest droplet of quark gluon plasma is produced in proton-lead collisions.”
The KU researcher described quark-gluon plasma as a very hot and dense state of matter of unbound quarks and gluons — that is, not contained within individual nucleons.
“It’s believed to correspond to the state of the universe shortly after the Big Bang,” Wang said. “The interaction between partons — quarks and gluons — within the quark-gluon plasma is strong, which distinguishes the quark-gluon plasma from a gaseous state where one expects little interaction among the constituent particles.”
While high-energy particle physics often focuses on detection of subatomic particles, such as the recently discovered Higgs Boson, the new quark-gluon-plasma research instead examines behavior of a volume of such particles.
Wang said such experiments might help scientists to better understand cosmic conditions in the instant following the Big Bang.
“While we believe the state of the universe about a microsecond after the Big Bang consisted of a quark-gluon plasma, there is still much that we don’t fully understand about the properties of quark-gluon plasma,” he said. “One of the biggest surprises of the earlier measurements at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory was the fluid-like behavior of the quark-gluon plasma. Being able to form a quark-gluon plasma in proton-lead collisions helps us to better define the conditions needed for its existence.”
Wang continues his research at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, performing analysis and working on the operations of a Zero Degree Calorimeter maintained by KU.
“You have to see the apparatus,” he said. “It is amazing.”
The KU group at CERN, together with researchers from Rice and Vanderbilt universities, played a leading role in the analysis published by APS Physics. The group is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Measurements from high-energy collision experiments have led to a better understanding of why meson particles disappear.
For several years, physicists at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), USA, have studied an unusual state of matter called the quark-gluon plasma, which they believe mimics the hot, dense particle soup that existed immediately after the big bang. Now, the PHENIX collaboration at RHIC reports findings about a particle called the J/ψ meson that will help physicists distinguish the properties of the quark-gluon plasma (QGP) from those of normal matter.
To create a QGP, physicists crash gold nuclei together at close to the speed of light. This provides enough energy to break apart the protons and neutrons in the nuclei into their constituent quarks and gluons, which mediate the force between quarks. In this energetic mash up, a host of short-lived particles can form, including mesons, which are made up of a quark and an anti-quark.
When collisions of gold nuclei yield fewer J/ψ mesons than expected from theoretical predictions, it indicates that a QGP has formed. Suppressed meson production can occur because the QGP weakens the binding force between the two quarks in the J/ψ particle. The PHENIX collaboration’s detector counts the number of J/ψ mesons created in collisions by detecting the electrons and muons — particles with the same charge, but more mass, than electrons — produced from J/ψ decays.
Effects other than the formation of the QGP, however, can also suppress the yield of J/ψ particles, which makes interpreting gold-gold collisions “ambiguous,” says Yasuyuki Akiba, a scientist at the RIKEN BNL Research Center and a member of the PHENIX collaboration.
To isolate these other effects, the PHENIX team analyzed data taken in 2003 and 2008 from collisions between deuterium — a proton and neutron — and gold, since these collisions cannot form a QGP. Even in the absence of a QGP, the team found the production of J/ψ particles was more suppressed than expected at the highest relative velocities between the deuterium and the gold collisions. “Conventional models cannot describe the data,” says Akiba.
The team thinks the unexplained suppression may be related to how the apparent density of gluons in the gold nuclei, which determines the rate of J/ψ production, varies with the speed of the deuterium.
More analysis is needed to determine whether this explanation is correct, but this work “gives a precise baseline that will be very useful for separating the quark-gluon plasma effects in gold-gold collisions,” says Akiba.
Four days is all it took for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operations team at CERN to complete the transition from protons to lead ions in the LHC. After extracting the final proton beam of 2010 on 4 November, commissioning the lead-ion beam was underway by early afternoon. First collisions were recorded at 00:30 CET on 7 November, and stable running conditions marked the start of physics with heavy ions at 11:20 CET tod
“The speed of the transition to lead ions is a sign of the maturity of the LHC,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. “The machine is running like clockwork after just a few months of routine operation.”
Operating the LHC with lead ions — lead atoms stripped of electrons — is completely different from operating the machine with protons. From the source to collisions, operational parameters have to be re-established for the new type of beam. For lead-ions, as for protons before them, the procedure started with threading a single beam round the ring in one direction and steadily increasing the number of laps before repeating the process for the other beam. Once circulating beams had been established they could be accelerated to the full energy of 287 TeV per beam. This energy is much higher than for proton beams because lead ions contain 82 protons. Another period of careful adjustment was needed before lining the beams up for collision, and then finally declaring that nominal data taking conditions, known at CERN as stable beams, had been established. The three experiments recording data with lead ions, ALICE, ATLAS and CMS can now look forward to continuous lead-ion running until CERN’s winter technical stop begins on 6 December.
“It’s been very impressive to see how well the LHC has adapted to lead ions,” said Jurgen Schukraft, spokesperson of the ALICE experiment. “The ALICE detector has been optimised to record the large number of tracks that emerge from ion collisions and has handled the first collisions very well, so we are all set to explore this new opportunity at LHC.”
“After a very successful proton run, we’re very excited to be moving to this new phase of LHC operation,” said ATLAS spokesperson Fabiola Gianotti. “The ATLAS detector has recorded first spectacular heavy-ion events, and we are eager to study them in detail.”
“We designed CMS as a multi-purpose detector,” said Guido Tonelli, the collaboration’s spokesperson, “and it’s very rewarding to see how well it’s adapting to this new kind of collision. Having data collected by the same detector in proton-proton and heavy-ion modes is a powerful tool to look for unambiguous signatures of new states of matter.”
Lead-ion running opens up an entirely new avenue of exploration for the LHC programme, probing matter as it would have been in the first instants of the Universe’s existence. One of the main objectives for lead-ion running is to produce tiny quantities of such matter, which is known as quark-gluon plasma, and to study its evolution into the kind of matter that makes up the Universe today. This exploration will shed further light on the properties of the strong interaction, which binds the particles called quarks, into bigger objects, such as protons and neutrons.
Following the winter technical stop, operation of the collider will start again with protons in February and physics runs will continue through 2011.
60,000 antelopes died in 4 days – and no one knows why
It started in late May.
When geoecologist Steffen Zuther and his colleagues arrived in central Kazakhstan to monitor the calving of one herd of saigas, a critically endangered, steppe-dwelling antelope, veterinarians in the area had already reported dead animals on the ground.
“But since there happened to be die-offs of limited extent during the last years, at first we were not really alarmed,” Zuther, the international coordinator of the Altyn Dala Conservation Initiative, told Live Science.
But within four days, the entire herd — 60,000 saiga — had died. As veterinarians and conservationists tried to stem the die-off, they also got word of similar population crashes in other herds across Kazakhstan. By early June, the mass dying was over.
Now, the researchers have found clues as to how more than half of the country’s herd, counted at 257,000 as of 2014, died so rapidly. Bacteria clearly played a role in the saigas’ demise. But exactly how these normally harmless microbes could take such a toll is still a mystery, Zuther said.
“The extent of this die-off, and the speed it had, by spreading throughout the whole calving herd and killing all the animals, this has not been observed for any other species,” Zuther said. “It’s really unheard of.”
Crucial steppe players
Saigas play a critical role in the ecosystem of the arid grassland steppe, where the cold winters prevent fallen plant material from decomposing; the grazing of the dog-size, Gonzo-nosed antelopes helps to break down that organic matter, recycling nutrients in the ecosystem and preventing wildfires fueled by too much leaf litter on the ground. The animals also provide tasty meals for the predators of the steppe, Zuther said. [Images: Ancient Beasts of the Arctic]
“Where you find saiga, we recognize also that the other species are much more abundant,” Zuther told Live Science.
Saigas, which are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, live in a few herds in Kazakhstan, one small herd in Russia and a herd in Mongolia. The herds congregate with other herds during the cold winters, as well as when they migrate to other parts of Kazakhstan, during the fall and spring. The herds split up to calve their young during the late spring and early summer. The die-off started during the calving period.
Die-offs of saigas, including one that felled 12,000 of the stately creatures last year, have occurred frequently in recent years. But the large expanse of the country affected by last year’s die-off meant veterinarians couldn’t get to the animals until long after their deaths. The delay hindered any determination of a cause of death, and researchers eventually speculated that an abundance of greenery caused digestion problems, which led to bacterial overgrowth in the animals’ guts.
This time, field workers were already on the ground, so they were able to take detailed samples of the saigas’ environment — the rocks the animals walked on and the soil they crossed — as well as the water the animals drank and the vegetation they ate in the months and weeks leading up to the die-off. The scientists also took samples of the ticks and other insects that feed on saiga, hoping to find some triggering cause.
The researchers additionally conducted high-quality necropsies of the animals, and even observed the behavior of some of the animals as they died. The females, which cluster together to calve their young, were hit the hardest. They died first, followed by their calves, which were still too young to eat any vegetation. That sequence suggested that whatever was killing off the animals was being transmitted through the mothers’ milk, Zuther said.
Tissue samples revealed that toxins, produced by Pasteurella and possibly Clostridia bacteria, caused extensive bleeding in most of the animals’ organs. But Pasteurella is found normally in the bodies of ruminants like the saigas, and it usually doesn’t cause harm unless the animals have weakened immune systems.
Genetic analysis so far has only deepened the mystery, as the bacteria found were the garden-variety, disease-causing type.
“There is nothing so special about it. The question is why it developed so rapidly and spread to all the animals,” Zuther said.
A similar mass die-off of 400,000 saigas occurred in 1988, and veterinarians reported similar symptoms. But because that die-off occurred during Soviet times, researchers simply listed Pasteurellosis, the disease caused by Pasteurella, as the cause and performed no other investigation, Zuther added.
So far, the only possible environmental cause was that there was a cold, hard winter followed by a wet spring, with lots of lush vegetation and standing water on the ground that could enable bacteria to spread more easily, Zuther said. That by itself doesn’t seem so unusual, though, he said.
Another possibility is that such flash crashes are inevitable responses to some natural variations in the environment, he said. Zuther said he and his colleagues plan to continue their search for a cause of the die-off.
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