# Do Particles at LHC Travel Near Light Speed?

• Benplace
In summary, particles traveling at near the speed of light experience time dilation and do not add velocities like in Newtonian mechanics. This is why objects in motion will continue along their path unless acted on by an outside force. In relativity, velocities do not add like intuition suggests and instead, the other car may appear to be going 99.9999999 mph instead of 100. This is due to the effects of relativity at high speeds.
Benplace
If particles at the LHC are traveling very near the speed of light, are they affected by the slowness of time?
Also, how can they travel near the speed of light when the planet is rotating around the sun and the solar system is traveling around the galaxy and the galaxy is moving through space, wouldn't those put the particles over the universal speed limit?

Yes, time will go slower for the particles (this can be seen because particles that are going at such speeds decay slower than if they were at rest).

And no, a consequence of relativity is that velocities do NOT add like intuition suggests: 0.9c + 0.9c =/= 1.8c.

Is that why when traveling on a train and you jump in the air you don't get slammed into the car behind you?

No, that's just a consequence of Newton's first law. In the case of the train, you and the train both have the same velocity. When you jump, there's no horizontal force on you that would slow you down, so you keep going horizontally with the same velocity (objects in motion will continue along their path unless acted on by an outside force).

What I mean is, in Newtonian mechanics, if I'm traveling in a car at 50 mph, and another car is traveling in the opposite direction going 50 mph, then we can add velocities directly and say that in my reference frame, I am at rest, and they're traveling at 100 mph. In relativity, however, velocities do not add like this. It just doesn't show for velocities low compared to the speed of light. Taking relativity into account, if I declare that I am at rest, the other car actually looks like it's going 99.9999999 mph as opposed to 100--in other words, velocity addition doesn't work the same in relativity.

## 1. How fast do particles at the LHC travel?

Particles at the LHC, or Large Hadron Collider, travel at speeds very close to the speed of light. The exact speed depends on the type of particle and the conditions of the experiment, but they can reach speeds up to 99.9999% of the speed of light.

## 2. Why do particles at the LHC need to travel near light speed?

Particles at the LHC need to travel near light speed in order to create high-energy collisions. The higher the speed of the particles, the more energy is released upon collision, allowing scientists to study the fundamental building blocks of matter and the forces that govern them.

## 3. How are particles accelerated to near light speed at the LHC?

Particles at the LHC are accelerated using a series of powerful magnets. These magnets create a strong magnetic field that pushes the particles to higher speeds as they travel through the circular accelerator. The particles are then guided into collision points where they collide with other particles at nearly the speed of light.

## 4. What happens to particles as they approach the speed of light at the LHC?

As particles at the LHC approach the speed of light, they gain more and more energy. This energy can be converted into mass, causing the particles to become heavier. Additionally, time dilation occurs, where time appears to slow down for the particles as they move closer to the speed of light.

## 5. Are there any potential risks associated with particles traveling near light speed at the LHC?

While there are potential risks associated with high-energy collisions at the LHC, the speed of the particles themselves is not a major concern. The particles are very small and do not pose a threat to safety. However, precautions are taken to ensure the safety of the experiments and the surrounding areas, such as shielding and monitoring for any potential hazards.

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