College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Tuesday, October 16 Science Cafe Focuses on ‘The Little Bang’ Theory

A hot, dense form of nuclear matter called the quark-gluon plasma is the focus for a monthly public science forum organized by the UM Department of Physics and Astronomy.

The fall semester’s third meeting of the Oxford Science Cafe is set for 6 p.m. Oct. 16 at Lusa Pastry Cafe, 1120 North Lamar Ave. in Oxford. Christine Nattrass, an assistant professor in relativistic heavy ion physics at the University of Tennessee, will discuss “The little bang: Understanding the quark-gluon plasma.” The program is free and open to the public.“This phase of matter is believed to have been created shortly after the big bang and may exist today in the cores of neutron stars,” Nattrass said. “Physicists create it in the laboratory at high-energy colliders such as the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider on Long Island and the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland.”

Nattrass’s 30-minute presentation will detail what is known about the quark-gluon plasma and how researchers study its properties. The talk will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

A graduate of Colorado State University and Yale University, Nattrass’s research interest is the analysis of particles produced by high-powered atomic collisions.

For more information about Oxford Science Cafe programs, go to For more information about the Department of Physics and Astronomy, go to or call 662-915-5311.