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It’s the hottest temperature ever achieved in a laboratory: 250,000 times hotter than the heart of the sun. Three Vanderbilt physicists are members of the scientific team that has reported creating an exotic state of matter with a temperature of 4 trillion degrees Celsius. The new temperature measurement has strengthened the physicists’ conviction that they have managed to recreate the quark-gluon plasma (QGP), a state of matter that may have existed fractions of seconds after the Big Bang.

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