ATLAS Live talk: How to study matter at a trillion degrees with Dr. Anne Sickles

5 June 2021 | By

Soon after the Big Bang, the Universe was too hot for normal matter to exist. Instead, it was made up of an extremely hot liquid of quarks and gluons: the quark-gluon plasma (QGP). In this live talk, Dr. Anne Marie Sickles explains how physicists at the ATLAS experiment are studying the QGP and what they've have learned.

As the Universe cooled, these quarks and gluons combined into protons and neutrons, and formed atomic nuclei. Those nuclei are at the centre of the atoms that make up the matter around us today. To learn about the QGP, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN are smashing together nuclei at nearly the speed of light. Each collision has enough energy to melt the protons and neutrons inside the nuclei and create a tiny droplet of the QGP. Dr. Sickles describes how ATLAS physicists study this matter to reveal new insights into the beginnings of our Universe.

Dr. Sickles received her undergraduate degree at Gonzaga University. For her Ph.D at Stony Brook University, she worked on the PHENIX experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Lab. Following that, she was a postdoc and then a staff scientist at Brookhaven. Dr. Sickles joined the ATLAS Collaboration in 2014, as she moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a faculty member. Dr. Sickles was the convener of the ATLAS Heavy Ion Group from 2018 to 2020.

This event is part of a series of ATLAS Live Public Talks held on YouTube. You can watch more in the dedicated YouTube playlist.