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Quantium Physics or Theorectial Physics?

  1. May 6, 2003 #1
    Beta particles can be targeted at a alpha target (negative vs positive). I was wondering that this can be done using a Particle accelerator. This guy i saw working on this was working with sub atomic particles quarks etc if im correct? I was wondering what would be the reason this was being done? in physics terms of course
  2. jcsd
  3. May 6, 2003 #2


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    Sure, you could smash alpha particles and beta particles together, but since the two particles have radically different masses, you wouldn't use a collider. You'd instead just direct an electron beam (beta ray) at a stationary sample of helium ions.

    Particle physics is largely done with electron-positron colliders (LEP @ CERN) and proton-antiproton colliders (Tevatron @ Fermilab) these days.

    The reason we collide particles is because the energy is manifested in lots of new particles -- say you smash a proton and an antiproton together -- you get out huge jets of (sometimes) thousands of particles. We sift through all the debris from hundreds of thousands of interactions to find the particles we want to find -- for example, a particular quark or meson resonance.

    - Warren
  4. May 6, 2003 #3
    Don't forget new heavy ion colliders, like RHIC at Brookhaven.
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