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Particle Collider Question

  1. Jul 22, 2011 #1

    Drakkith

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    Random question. Would shining a laser at a collision between particles let you observe anything you wouldn't be able to otherwise? For example, would any of the created particles absorb or reflect this light enough to be observable before decay?

    I'm assuming that it would be, at best, of only limited use. Possible reasons include: Size of particles making them difficult to detect, some particles not interacting with EM radiation, detectors being drowned out by radiation from the collision, damage to detectors from high energy particles, required wavelength probably being in the x-ray to gamma range, and similar difficulties.
     
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  3. Aug 1, 2011 #2

    Bill_K

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    Plus you'd already have to know where the particle was to aim your laser.

    As a related note, they have seriously considered "photon linear colliders", in which you aim two lasers at each other.
     
  4. Aug 2, 2011 #3

    Drakkith

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    Interesting...

    Also, I don't see why you couldn't shine a beam that covers the entire collision area before it happens. Unless the density of the photon beam would need to be phenomonaly high to see anything.
     
  5. Aug 5, 2011 #4
    The beams at the LHC are ultimately going to reach 7 TeV so in a collision between two beams the energy we are observing is on the order of 1.4 x 10^13 eV. (14 TeV) A laser even made of the maximum energy X-Rays can only reach 1.2 x 10^6 eV which would be negligible for an interact 7 orders of magnitude higher. Even the energy levels of the lasers being worked on at NIF, do not come close to energy levels probed at accelerators. Moral of the story, hitting particles with lasers is old news we are now studying reactions of higher energy in particle physics.
     
  6. Aug 5, 2011 #5

    Drakkith

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    The laser would only be to illuminate the particles, not to influence them. I don't think this would really do anything anyways, but I thought I'd ask.
     
  7. Aug 6, 2011 #6
    You might be interested by this brief summary that Matt Strassler wrote about "How We Learn What Happened in a Proton-Proton Collision".

    In particular, we track the particles produced in collisions through their interactions with the surrounding environment (the detector). Since we don't actually look at the particles themselves, adding a laser to "illuminate" them wouldn't help.
     
  8. Aug 14, 2011 #7
    im new to this whole particle accelerator idea. but has any one thought about using a device similar to accelerate multiple particles, like maybe a lot of them. and would forcing many particles in a certain direction against other more dense particles, create enough force to hover something, and could a we create something compact enough to lift itself by forcing particles down. floating on particles instead of on air currents. o and on second thought could we heat the particles so they rise back up right away. and help to replenish the displaced particles??
    like i said im new to this but i had this idea the other day after talking about particle accelerators with my family.
     
  9. Aug 14, 2011 #8

    Drakkith

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    Air currents ARE particles! A simple fan accelerates particles in a net direction. That is how propellers airplanes in flight and rotors keep helicopters in the air. Please note that particle accelerators themselves are used for a very specific purpose. Accelerating subatomic particles to VERY high speeds and (usually) collide them with a target, whether it is stationary or also more moving particles. A fan uses its own momentum to transfer energy into the particles of air and give them a velocity in a net direction. An accelerator uses magnetic and electric fields to focus and accelerate particles. A device called an Ion Drive uses the same means to accelerate a spacecraft, however the thrust from the drive is very small compared to something like a jet engine, so it is not useful in the atmosphere. Its benefit is that it is much more efficient than a normal rocket, meaning we can use less fuel and save weight, allowing a heavier payload for the spacecraft or cheaper launches.
     
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