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Atom Smashers

  1. Jul 5, 2010 #1
    What happens to the atoms when they collide in CERN? They break down into their smaller parts I believe like glueons and other pieces, but do they stay that way or do they then recombine or what? Also do the same atoms, like 2 gold atoms, when smashed together always produce they same particles in the same number? or do the types and number vary as long as the total energy/mas of all the particles are equal to the mass/energy of the 2 original smashed together particles?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2010 #2


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    Currently at CERN (LHC), they are not smashing atoms, but rather, protons. You cannot accelerate neutral atoms in a particle accelerator.

    At RHIC, they accelerate and smash nuclei, such a gold.

    There are plenty of threads on what the LHC at CERN are up to in the High Energy Physics forum.

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