In “Big-bang soup wins hotness record” (MSNBC, June 26, 2012 ), Alan Boyle tells us,
What’s hotter than Justin Bieber and Emma Stone put together? Guinness World Records says the hottest stuff made by humans is the multitrillion-degree quark-gluon plasma that was produced two years ago at the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, or RHIC. The plasma, also known as big-bang soup, reached a temperature of 4 trillion degrees Celsius (7.2 trillion degrees Fahrenheit), which is 250,000 times hotter than the center of the sun.
Why so hot? RHIC’s physicists were seeking to duplicate the conditions that existed just an instant after the big bang that kicked off the universe’s expansion 13.7 billion years ago. At that temperature, the quarks and gluons that are almost always bound together in protons, neutrons and the like are jumping around in a free, soupy state. Studying that soup could reveal how the universe is put together at its most fundamental level.
Anyway, it is one wicked toy.