• John
  • Felde
  • University of Maryland
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • USLHC
  • USLHC
  • USA

  • James
  • Doherty
  • Open University
  • United Kingdom

Latest Posts

  • Andrea
  • Signori
  • Nikhef
  • Netherlands

Latest Posts

  • CERN
  • Geneva
  • Switzerland

Latest Posts

  • Aidan
  • Randle-Conde
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Belgium

Latest Posts

  • TRIUMF
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Canada

Latest Posts

  • Laura
  • Gladstone
  • MIT
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Steven
  • Goldfarb
  • University of Michigan

Latest Posts

  • Fermilab
  • Batavia, IL
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Seth
  • Zenz
  • Imperial College London
  • UK

Latest Posts

  • Nhan
  • Tran
  • Fermilab
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Alex
  • Millar
  • University of Melbourne
  • Australia

Latest Posts

  • Ken
  • Bloom
  • USLHC
  • USA

Latest Posts

Brookhaven | Long Island, NY | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

Quark Matter at RHIC: It’s in the Cards

Quark Matter game cards

Want to “play” with subatomic particles? You could work at Brookhaven Lab’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) or the LHC — or you could play a new card game invented by a group of Hungarian students and RHIC/PHENIX collaborator Tamás Csörgő.

The students — Csaba Török and his friend Judit Csörgő (Tamás’ daughter) — invented the game as an entertaining way to learn about subatomic particles and their interactions, inspired by physics presentations in the science club at their secondary school, where Tamás was a frequent presenter.

The game, now available for purchase in both Hungarian and English, “provides a great opportunity for all people — not just physicists — to get acquainted with some of the elementary particles and concepts of the Standard Model,” said Csaba.

The deck consists of cards that represent particles and anti-particles from neutrinos, to electrons, positrons, muons, and quarks, which can be used for four different games. In “Quark Matter,” a game that models RHIC physics, the cards are mixed face up on a table, packed closely together to represent matter at the instant of collision — a quark-gluon plasma (QGP). The object for each player is to quickly extract particles as they would emerge from the collision, in order: non-interacting neutrinos and antineutrinos first, followed by electron/positron and muon/anti-muon pairs, and then quarks and anti-quarks as they hadronize, or freeze out, to form mesons, baryons, and anti-baryons — all while maintaining a neutral color charge.

Brookhaven's Educational Programs staff introduced the card game to students at Rocky Point Middle School.

As players race to extract cards, the “system” expands just as it does in a real RHIC collision. Players score points for each correct particle pick. More sophisticated players can name the particles as they extract them. Additional games teach and reinforce deeper concepts, such as weak decays and several laws of conservation.

For more information, visit particles card game.

-Karen McNulty Walsh, BNL Media & Communications

Share

Tags: , , ,