Actually, glass does not flow.
At normal temperatures, silicate glasses do not flow on ANY time scale.
Is there any phrase in science more exciting than “that’s odd”? MIT researchers right now would probably say “no”, since they suspect that LHC collisions may have yielded a previously-unobserved state of matter. The unusual particle patterns turned up in what was meant to be a “reference run” of the Compact Muon Solenoid …
"I wonder if they used the word "glass" because the explanation they gave is convenient, despite being incorrect, or whether there's actually some other explanation?"
IME in physics 'glass' is typically used just to indicate an amorphous solid phase of something, rather than anything specifically related to 'normal' lime/silicate glass.
If you want to be picky (and I do :), theoretical calculations suggest that flow might occur over a period of 10^32 years, but I guess that's close enough to 'never' for most purposes. There's certainly no evidence of its having flowed in any man-made glass object (or even volcanic obsidian that is hundreds of millions of years old, but still retains its edge).
I don't see anywhere in the article where it states that their refering to "normal temperatures".
IIRC, the LHC is a bit chilly (i.e. near 0K), but I would imagine that at impact equivalent to a warship crashing might generate significant heat in the immediate vicinity.
I thought gluons were the quantum expression of a field/force (in the way that photons are the quantum expression of a field) and so, as you say, had to be regarded as point-like particles. Maybe the gluons 'localise' on the flattened disc of 'proper matter'?
We need a serious physicist to talk us through this.
Well, their probability density wavefunction has extension, so that one gets flattened (the peak is compressed, their location in 3-space is less fuzzy).
Same with photons - a gamma quantum of the photon field has a very short probability density function wavelength. Gamma radiation also has short wavelength in the classical Maxwell equation description, but that's something else gain.
That must be impressive from close up, to see a solid tsunami of gluons coming at you at close to the speed of light. Or not see it, as the case may be.
The thought that at relativistic velocity particles come apart is intriguing. It reminds me of the comment about the Avro Shackleton as being “10,000 rivets flying in loose formation”. I don’t think that flattened is the right description but the gluon assembly might be disk shaped.
It's the cluster that gets flattened, not the gluons. However, I do have problems with the explanation offered here.
"At relativistic speeds, matter compresses along its length; [...] The effect of this could be to create a “wall” of flattened gluons, and entanglement between the gluons explains how particles created by the collision can “share” direction information."
My problem with this is that the gluons are *relative to each other* not moving at relativistic speeds at all. Therefore *they* see no flattening. Presumably the explanation offered here is a crude attempt at hand-waving for the benefit of people who want to know but lack the necessary theoretical background. The problem is that it only works for those in the target audience who don't think it through. Those that do simply hit the next conceptual problem and need the next (slightly more detailed) hand-waving explanation, and so on until you've actually explained the whole theory.
It follows that any attempt to make science accessible to the lay public only works for those members of the lay public who weren't interested in the first place.
Are not the shifting sands of deserts not a basic flow of glass? It is probably why the desert dweller is agile of mind and careful with thought ..... for Mother Nature Never Ever Loses and does Battle with Nothing, for Life Springs from Everywhere in Lazy Timeless Cycles.
Sure we even have Servers Feeding and Seeding AI to Virtual Machinery for a whole new fundamentally different series of Augmented Reality Worlds for the agile of mind and careful of thought to Mentor and Monitor ....... Existentially Guide and AIMaster Pilot Faultlessly for Realisation of a Parallel Physical Proxy Role Mirroring Virtual Developments available for Playing in the First Person on Earth Base. ...... Fab Fabless Cyber Immersed Pioneers dealing in everything that is true and not false and crooked. There's no point in building on something or anything that you cannot fully share, for in those shadows lurk catastrophic flaws and convenient vulnerabilities for exploit and export/pump and dump/novel use and unwelcome abuse.