How did quarks group together at the start of the universe?

  • Thread starter Coolamebe
  • Start date
  • #1
13
1

Main Question or Discussion Point

I know that quarks can never exist in isolation, and also group up so that they have a net neutral colour charge. But I am wondering at the start of the universe, or under very, very extreme conditions (such as the start of the universe) would quarks have been able to exist by themselves. I have this question because I've seen that quarks came before atomic nuclei (and therefore protons) in the big bang. So does this mean that before protons, there were some quarks by themselves, or did every single quark form another type of hadron or meson or something else? Would pentaquarks and other large groups of quarks have been common at the start?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Vanadium 50
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
2019 Award
24,736
7,708
At the beginning of the universe, things were so dense that statements like "that quark pair up with that one" are meaningless.

You can see a similar (but not identical) phenomenon in salt - things are so dense that you can't say that sodium atom pairs up with that chlorine atom.
 
  • Like
Likes Coolamebe
  • #3
34,455
10,569
The very early universe had a quark-gluon plasma, where quarks were not bound to hadrons. We can recreate this state in today's colliders.
 
  • Like
Likes vanhees71 and Coolamebe

Related Threads on How did quarks group together at the start of the universe?

Replies
6
Views
5K
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
3K
Replies
8
Views
2K
Replies
17
Views
4K
Top