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In , the flux-tube model is shown to lead toward a density dependent deconfinement of the quarks. This leads to a swelling of the nucleons, a frequent interpretation of the EMC effect.
The quarks in a nucleus are usually regarded as being in a gaseous state. Do they form a liquid or solid phase when when the quarks are ``cooled''? Another possibility is that they enter a liquid-crystal-like state. This state would be characterized by a definite corollation distance between quarks, but the flux tubes would continue to flip.
 presents the results of a simulation that suggest that, quantum mechanically at least, there is a liquid crystal phase.