Quote of the Moment

Jacques Distler:

The quark gluon plasma studied at RHIC is the least viscous fluid known to man.

Just how non-viscous is it? Well, the folks in the STAR Collaboration tell us that for the quark-gluon plasma, the ratio of shear viscosity to entropy density, [tex]\eta / s[/tex], is more than one hundred times smaller than that of water.

Barton Zwiebach has some videos on this subject which may serve as a good introduction for those with a moderate physics background.

4 thoughts on “Quote of the Moment”

  1. In response to your exchange with “PatF in Madison” at Pharyngula: I’m inclined to think that there are several good reasons to be angry (though PatF is probably right that it’s not good for our hearts and chi and stuff):

    The one that I think is worth mentioning is the mind-boggling arrogance that someone would have to have to write something like this and publicly post it — and not just on a personal blog as “here’s something I thought of, what do you think?” but in something pretending to be a newspaper, as “I have some truth that you should be aware of.” It’s not itself a sin to be ignorant; everyone starts out that way. But being ignorant and *pretending* to be wiser than Einstein, all working physicists in the world today, and all working physicists of the past century — that’s arrogance bordering on madness.

    I’d make a substantial wager that Williams doesn’t know tensor calculus (even though he’s supposed to have a math background), he probably can’t even write down the Lorentz transformations. Yet somehow he thinks he can offer a correction that physics researchers somehow “missed”? This guy needs to learn the meaning of Socratic humility.

    Thanks again for your efforts. Ask for a spectacle and ye shall receive, eh?

  2. (And this is the same arrogance that we see in the creationists, which is why ERV and PZ and all sane well-informed people get outraged at the creationists.)

  3. And just to add a third comment on the wrong thread: the above was supposed to be on the following post; I clicked on the wrong “comments” button — not accustomed to scrolling up to comment.

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