A dense quark liquid is distinct from a dense nucleon liquid

Protons and neutrons, which are also composed of quarks, are examples of nucleons, which make up atomic nuclei. High densities cause nuclei to dissolve into a liquid of nucleons, while even higher concentrations cause the nucleons to dissolve into a liquid composed of quarks.

In a recent study, the subject of whether the liquids of quarks and nucleons are fundamentally different was examined. The results were published in the journal Physical Review B.

It appears from their theoretical computations that these liquids are distinct. When rotating, both kinds of liquids create vortices; but, in quark liquids, the vortices contain a "color-magnetic field," which is comparable to a regular magnetic field. In nucleon liquids, this phenomenon does not exist. These vortices so drastically separate nuclear liquids from quark liquids.

Strong nuclear force is the means by which quarks and nucleons within nuclei interact with one another. One interesting characteristic of this force is confinement. This implies that quarks alone cannot be observed by physicists; instead, they can only witness groupings of quarks bonded together. Quarks are therefore said to be "confined." Furthermore, utilizing theoretical instruments to properly define or even characterize confinement is challenging.

This study solves a longstanding issue by separating quark liquids from nucleon liquids using vortex characteristics. It implies that there is a certain sense in which nuclear liquids are restricting while dense quark liquids are not.

The subject of whether nuclear matter and quark matter are different, or separated by a phase transition, has long been debated in the field of strong interactions, notably in the context of quantum chromodynamics (QCD). Scientists have also questioned whether a precise definition of confinement can be given.

Previous research on each of these issues has been done using an antiquated viewpoint known as the Landau paradigm for phase transitions. It is suggested by the Landau paradigm that quark matter and nuclear matter are not separate entities. It also suggests that in QCD confinement cannot be precisely specified.

Using new methods found by physicists in the last 40 years, our work questions these results. These instruments identify topological transitions in non-traditionally classified materials. They show that quark matter and nuclear matter are different when used in QCD research. Scientists must compare the vortex features of quark matter and nuclear matter in order to distinguish the two types of matter. A straightforward computation indicates that a color-magnetic field, lacking in nuclear matter, is trapped by the vortex in quark matter. Furthermore, this conclusion implies that confinement in dense QCD may be precisely determined.