Physics to Go!
part 3 - quarks, gluons, and all that
Play around with quarks and study the
quantum theory of quarks and gluons -
QCD - in a lattice simulation
choice 1 quark and gluon gas
put a bunch of quarks, anti-quarks, and
gluons in a box, pick a type of interaction
and watch them form baryons, mesons
(like protons and pions), and glueballs.
choice 2 lattice simulation
solve the exact quantum equations of the
gluons and observe the transition from a
color-confined state of hadrons to a
deconfined phase of free colored objects
as they existed shortly after the big bang.
These two simulations are quite close to
actual theoretical research in high-energy
physics. The choice 1 is a pretty intuitive
simulation, whereas choice 2 is more
advanced, but includes some intriguing
features like the "live" display of picking
out very important (quasi-)classical gluon
states from the intricate quantum
fluctuations of QCD.