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Maximal velocity of atoms

  1. Nov 2, 2011 #1
    I am looking what maximal velocity was reached for some atoms
    which have at least 1 electron.
    It can be ionized atoms, but still must have at least one electron.
    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2011 #2
    Very close to the speed of light, but I don't know how close.
  4. Nov 2, 2011 #3
    Thank you for your answer and sorry for my English.
    But I still doubt it was ever exceeded 0.1 - 0.5 c.
    Maybe I am wrong. Could you support with some sources?
    Thank you.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
  5. Nov 2, 2011 #4
    It would first help to know if you are looking for a velocity achieved here on earth or if astronomical sources count.

    I don't know if they are the fastest ions on earth, but beam injection linacs at CERN or Fermilab routinely use beams of negative hydrogen ions in the hundreds of MeV range before stripping all the electrons off for acceleration to High Energy. (see e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tevatron) That only corresponds to a gamma of about 1.5, or about 0.7 times the speed of light. It's quite possible that someone has run an experiment with faster ions, I just don't know of one off the top of my head.
  6. Nov 2, 2011 #5
    Yes, on Earth. But if you have astronomical data it would be interesting also.
    Thank you
  7. Nov 3, 2011 #6
    I forget to ask about why atoms lost electrons?
  8. Nov 3, 2011 #7
    I don't think the number of electron would effect the velocity of atom. Did you mean this way?

    Any way, high energy "atoms" were observed on earth. Also, the only cosmic moving atoms were known to be alpha rays.(we can accelrt our atom far more faster than cosmic alpha ray :D)
  9. Nov 3, 2011 #8
    No, but if we have only 0.7c atoms with at least one electron
    must be some mechanism/reason why or how they lost electrons for future acceleration?
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