When 2 particle beams meet head on

  • Thread starter Masafi
  • Start date
  • #1
65
0
When 2 particle beams meet head on, more energy is avaliable than when the particle beam is directed at a fixed target. Why is this?

My textbook gives an explanation which I dont understand, involving rest mass energy. Any alternate explanation or explaining the one given will be great.

Thank you
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
mathman
Science Advisor
7,942
496
To understand it, first look at the low speed case. When two things going at speed x, the relative speed is 2x, so the energy involved is larger than an object hitting a fixed target at speed x.
In particle accelerators, the particles are going close to the speed of light, so the relationship between the particles involves adding energy by adding mass using the Lorentz transformation.
 
  • #3
4,662
5
Look at Eq 38.3 in
http://pdg.lbl.gov/2009/reviews/rpp2009-rev-kinematics.pdf
This equation converts energy in the center of mass system (colliding beams) to fixed target beams. This equation can be derived from either Eq 38.1 or 38.2.

Bob S
 

Related Threads on When 2 particle beams meet head on

Replies
10
Views
1K
Replies
5
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
5
Views
604
Replies
4
Views
7K
  • Last Post
Replies
19
Views
4K
Top