The figure represents and schematic description of the phases
of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD). QCD is the theory of strong interactions.
It deals with two kinds of particles: quarks, which are the constituents of
hadrons, and gluons, which are the mediators of the strong interactions
between quarks. The region of low temperatures and low density is the hadron
phase, where all quarks are confined to the interior of hadrons. At very high
temperature the hadrons “melt” forming a plasma of quarks and gluons, a state
that existed in the first few microseconds after the Big Bang and that might
be reproduced in relativistic heavy-ion collision experiments at CERN and RHIC.
At very high density and relatively low temperature quarks pair to form the
phase of color superconductivity. This phase may be present in the core of
compact stars. Notice that this phase diagram assumes zero external magnetic
field. The new superconducting MCFL phase proposed by the authors would occur
in the region of low temperatures and relatively high densities if a strong
magnetic field is incorporated into the physical scenario.
Reported by: Ferrer, de la Incera, and Manuel in the 7 October 2005
issue of Physical Review Letters
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