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Neutron-Antineutron pair production

  1. Mar 8, 2012 #1
    I think its true that you cannot use a bubble chamber to identify the pair production of a neutron-antineutron pair, but how (maybe if) is that studied? Is that reaction common in a proton collider?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2012 #2
    Nobody used bubble chambers anymore, particle tracking is all done electronically these days. Anyway, sure, you can't track the neutrons because they are uncharged, but you can measure the energy they deposit in a material when they hit it and where they deposit it. Detectors at colliders are made up of several portions which serve different functions, only the inner-most of which is devoted to tracking charged particles. Outside of this tracking chamber somewhere there are generally several different sorts of calorimeters, which measure the energy of the produced particles, one of which is devoted to hadronic calorimetry. It is this device that I expect is the most important for studying neutrons. I imagine it is hard to identify a neutron though; I don't know much about how particle discrimination works in these detectors. It is a complicated process, involving neural nets and other sophisticated tools.

    Certainly though at places like the LHC they would never look for just neutrons. Generally one looks for 'jets', which are a whole mess of hadrons that get produced together during the hadronisation of a quark or gluon, only some portion of which are neutrons. These are the things that can tell you something about potential new high-energy physics that might exist.
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