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Protons as ray in vaccum

  1. Jan 27, 2013 #1
    can proton particle like alpha particle travel as rays in space?if yes, how are this rays produced in nature and artificially by man?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 27, 2013 #2


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    Protons like alpha particles can travel in space. The 'ray' is probably a poor choice, if one is thinking in the context of photons or gamma rays.

    A proton is the nucleus of hydrogen, and the alpha particle is the nucleus of a helium atom. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, and helium the second.

    Stars are mostly hydrogen, which in a star is in the form of a plasma - protons and electrons are more or less free. The protons fuse through a process to form helium (alpha particles). Other fusion reactions occur to form heavier elements.

    Star eject amounts of hydrogen and helium from their surface, and the radiation and strong magetic fields can push the hydrogen/helium in the form of protons and alpha particles (and electrons) out at high energies. Certain objects produce extraordinarily strong magnetic fields and can produce high energy TeV and >>> TeV protons, alpha particles and high energy nuclei.

    Alpha particles occur naturally on earth by virtue of 'alpha-decay' of heavy elements - heavier than bismuth/lead. For transuranics, alpha energies are on the order of a few MeV.

    Protons and helium nuclei can be accelerated in particle accelerators. Protons and alpha particles can also be generated in fusion reactions.

    In nature, protons (and anti-protons) can be produced by collision of cosmic rays and solar protons with nuclei of atoms (spallation reactions) in the earth's atmosphere.
  4. Jan 27, 2013 #3


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