A first-order QCD phase transition that occurred reversibly in the early universe would lead to a surprisingly rich cosmological scenario. Although observable consequences would not necessarily survive, it is at least conceivable that the phase transition would concentrate most of the quark excess in dense, invisible quark nuggets, providing an explanation for the dark matter in terms of QCD effects only. This possibility is viable only if quark matter has energy per baryon less than 938 MeV. Two related issues are considered in appendices: the possibility that neutron stars generate a quark-matter component of cosmic rays, and the possibility that the QCD phase transition may have produced a detectable gravitational signal.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)