WSU physics research hailed as one of top 100 Science Stories of the Year by Discover Magazine

Professor Sergei Voloshin
Wayne State University Physics Professor Sergei Voloshin

The research of a team of Wayne State physicists has been listed as one of the top 100 Science Stories of the Year by Discover Magazine.

The WSU team, led by physics professor Sergei Voloshin, helped reveal that quark-gluon plasma (QGP) - a concoction of protons and neutrons melted to a super hot state - is the least viscous and fastest-spinning fluid ever created. The molten goop set a new record for "vorticity" by swirling ten trillion times faster than the most powerful tornado.

According to Voloshin, the data collected from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility for nuclear physics research at Brookhaven National Laboratory

helps us learn more about the origins and evolution of our Universe as it was in a state of QGP microseconds after the Big Bang.

"This discovery opens a new direction in the study of the nature and internal structure of such building blocks of matter as protons and neutrons," says Voloshin.

Additional differential studies are under way and in preparation for publication, including research on the swirly structures of QGP droplets.

Wayne State professors William Llope and Joern Putschke also contributed to this important research. Voloshin is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a scholar of the Wayne State Academy of Scholars. The discovery of the most vortical fluid, published in Nature, and for which Voloshin was one of the principal authors, was also as a theme for its cover page.

This discovery was the result of the STAR collaboration a network of hundreds of scientists and engineers from the U.S. and abroad. For more on the STAR collaboration, visit

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