Our research group at Técnico-Lisboa (IST) is dedicated to fundamental and applied research in sub-atomic physics, in particular to studies of the strong interaction.
This interaction involves scales where matter exists in complex quantum-mechanical states under extreme conditions of mass, density and spin.
Our research program contributes to the knowledge of the inner structure of the particles building the nuclei of atoms, the core of stars and cosmic rays around us. Those particles are usually called hadrons.
What is common to all hadrons is that they are formed by quarks. Quarks are confined in hadrons by the so-called strong interaction, which is mediated by particles known as gluons. Gluons are similar to photons, with the great distinction of being self-interacting.
This feature causes an emergent collective behavior in hadrons quark systems, which we call confinement, not yet explained from first principles.
Our research program on extreme matter states aims to contribute to a better understanding of the workings of the strong interactions and its main consequence, confinement.