# Understanding Proton Collisions in Particle Accelerators

In summary, the conversation discusses the use of a particle accelerator, specifically the LHC, which produces an estimated 1 billion collisions per second between beams of protons. The question is raised about how we know the results recorded are the makeup of protons, given the high number of collisions and the possibility of new particles being created. The discussion also touches on the role of math in predicting results and the challenges of studying quantum physics in relation to the constantly moving nature of the world. The conversation ends with a statement about the use of discrete units and clean slices of time in mathematical modeling and the potential existence of math that deals with the constantly moving field of reality.
In a particle accelerator I.e. LHC a beam of protons are moving past each other and produce an est 1billion collisions per sec. Here's a question about that and the result of such collisions. please bear with me as this may seem a simple question. how do we know exactly that the results recorded are indeed the sub-level make up of protons?

with the increased energy of the proton and the 'head-on' or possible 'off-set' collisions wouldn't that be a creation of 'new' particles not the constituents of a single proton? given the high number of collision per second how is it determined what interacts with what? a proton hits another proton then the resultant creation of a particle hits another proton -> then what? or two particles from adjacent collisions run into each other?

lastly, these are really 'energy' signatures right? the math predicts that with certain interactions we should get a specific result. a 'particle' with certain properties. is the math dealing with particles or fields? a little of both an est.

This may stray a bit here, with this field being explored and the math predictions tested how are we to know which is correct or which is leading? if the experiment is setup based on the math being tested then isn't the math leading the result to a certain extent? but without having the math how would we be able to to test it?

I've read through Penroses last tomb. a fair amount of it does go sailing past me, however I do grasp enough of it to wonder if we are doing the proper research in quantum physics. discrete units and clean slices of time are easier to mathematically model but the reality of the world is a constantly moving field, I haven't run into math that deals with that level, does it exist? have I just not gotten far enough?

The LHC uses beam bunches ~7 cm long with ~ 1 x 1011 protons per bunch. The counter-rotating bunches are nominally about 150 nanoseconds apart. There is very roughly < 1 "head-on" collision with detectable secondaries per crossing (bunch-bunch collision, 1011 on 1011). With a beam energy of 3.5 TeV, the proton rest mass represents less than 0.1% of the total collision energy. So most of the secondary particles detected per collision are created from kinetic energy ("out of the vacuum"), not from proton mass. Interesting collisions have ~hundreds of secondary particles.

Bob S

## 1. What is a particle accelerator?

A particle accelerator is a scientific instrument that accelerates charged particles, such as protons, to extremely high speeds using electric fields. This allows scientists to study the behavior of these particles and the effects of high-energy collisions.

## 2. Why do scientists study proton collisions in particle accelerators?

Proton collisions in particle accelerators can provide insights into the fundamental building blocks of matter and the nature of the universe. By studying these collisions, scientists can test theories and gain a better understanding of the world around us.

## 3. How do proton collisions occur in particle accelerators?

Proton collisions in particle accelerators are achieved by accelerating two beams of protons in opposite directions and then colliding them at high energies. These collisions produce a large amount of energy, which can create new particles and interactions for scientists to study.

## 4. What is the purpose of understanding proton collisions?

The purpose of understanding proton collisions in particle accelerators is to gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental laws that govern our universe. This knowledge can lead to advancements in various fields, such as medicine, technology, and energy production.

## 5. How are the results of proton collisions in particle accelerators analyzed?

The results of proton collisions in particle accelerators are analyzed using various detectors and instruments to measure the particles and energy produced. These measurements are then compared to theoretical predictions and other experimental data to validate and refine our understanding of particle interactions.

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