Particle Physics

A:

An atom smasher is a large installation commonly referred to as a particle accelerator. It works by accelerating electrons to a significant fraction of the speed of light and then crashing them into the nuclei of atoms. The resulting debris can then be searched for otherwise elusive particles that can shed light on theories of physics.

See Full Answer
Filed Under:
  • What percentage of his brain did Einstein use?

    Q: What percentage of his brain did Einstein use?

    A: Einstein used 100 percent of his brain just as all people do. The contention that humans use only about 10 percent of their total brain capacity is a myth that is sometimes attributed to Einstein.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is the God particle?

    Q: What is the God particle?

    A: The so-called "God particle" is more properly known as the Higgs boson. This particle was isolated for the first time at the Large Hadron Collider in a discovery announced on July 4, 2012. According to HowStuffWorks, this particle is fundamentally responsible for giving other particles their mass and might be responsible for the effects of gravity.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Where can nuclear energy be found?

    Q: Where can nuclear energy be found?

    A: According to the World Nuclear Association, as of April 2014, 31 countries derive some of their electrical power from nuclear energy. Furthermore, 56 countries have nuclear reactors dedicated to scientific research. All total there are 430 commercial power-generating nuclear plants, 240 research reactors and 180 nuclear power plants providing electricity for ships at sea.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is nuclear force?

    Q: What is nuclear force?

    A: Nuclear force is the force that holds the particles of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons, together. It is a fundamental force able to overcome the electric force that would otherwise force the nucleus apart within extremely small distances. Unlike the electrical force, the nuclear force reduces extremely quickly with distance, dropping to zero before it interacts with the atom's own electrons.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is the force of gravity on Mercury?

    Q: What is the force of gravity on Mercury?

    A: According to NASA, the surface gravity of Mercury is 12.1 feet per second squared. In comparison with Earth, this means that a person weighing 100 pounds on Earth would only weigh 38 pounds on Mercury.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is the particle theory of matter?

    Q: What is the particle theory of matter?

    A: The particle theory of matter states that all matter is made up of tiny particles, specifically atoms and molecules, and that these particles have inherent characteristics. A major part of the theory is the belief that all particles in a single pure substance are the same and are different from particles of other substances.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is the space-time continuum?

    Q: What is the space-time continuum?

    A: In physics and mathematics, the space-time continuum is a model of understanding space and time in a way that emphasizes their geometric qualities and views them as parts of a single concept that spans multiple dimensions, including time. This concept was developed as a means of describing space and time as physical constructs that are closely related to each other. Albert Einstein and other scientists following him developed this concept.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is gene cloning?

    Q: What is gene cloning?

    A: Gene cloning occurs when a specific gene from a strand of DNA has been extracted and copied from an organism. Nearly any tissue source can be used for cloning, as long as there is not widespread degradation. DNA can also be extracted from RNA using a process called reverse transcription.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is an atom smasher?

    Q: What is an atom smasher?

    A: An atom smasher is a large installation commonly referred to as a particle accelerator. It works by accelerating electrons to a significant fraction of the speed of light and then crashing them into the nuclei of atoms. The resulting debris can then be searched for otherwise elusive particles that can shed light on theories of physics.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Who discovered nuclear fusion?

    Q: Who discovered nuclear fusion?

    A: Robert d'Escourt Atkinson and Friedrich George "Fritz" Houtermans first discovered the origins of nuclear fusion in 1929. They are credited with discovering that the fusing of nuclei creates energy by following Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What does "E=mc²" mean?

    Q: What does "E=mc²" mean?

    A: In the equation E=mc², e stands for energy, m stands for mass and c² stands for the speed of light squared. First proposed by Albert Einstein, this equation demonstrates that energy and matter are interchangeable.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What are the building blocks of matter?

    Q: What are the building blocks of matter?

    A: The fundamental building blocks of matter are particles called quarks and leptons. There are six different types of quarks and six different types of leptons. Scientists classify the various types of quarks and leptons into different generations. Each generation contains two quarks and two leptons. The lightest and most stable particles form the first generation, and each subsequent generation contains heavier and less stable particles.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Q: What is the maximum number of electrons an orbital may contain?

    A: Orbitals may contain only two electrons each. Electrons move around in orbitals, which are areas where electrons have a high possibility of being found. Orbitals are grouped together into energy levels.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Q: Which atomic particle has the least mass?

    A: Hydrogen is the atomic particle that has the least mass. An atom is made of a combination of subatomic particles known as protons, neutrons and electrons. The combined mass of these particles determines the mass of the atom. Hydrogen has the least number of subatomic particles, thus the least mass.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Q: What are some negative effects of gamma rays?

    A: Depending on the types of exposure, the negative effects of gamma rays vary from skin rashes to cancer. High doses of gamma rays can cause death.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Q: What is the definition of "beta particle"?

    A: A beta particle is an electron emitted from the nucleus of an atom that has undergone beta decay. The electron is called a beta particle as a way of distinguishing it from the electrons present in the atom's shell.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Q: What is the smallest unit of matter?

    A: The smallest unit of matter is the atom. In the fifth century B.C., Democritus proposed that matter can only be cut up to a certain point. At that point, that smallest particle still retains the properties of that substance.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Q: What happens during radioactive decay?

    A: Radioactive decay is the process by which a radioactive atom emits particles and energy to reach a more stable configuration. Atoms may emit alpha or beta particles from the nucleus or may spontaneously split into different isotopes, producing gamma or neutron radiation.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Q: What is the conversion of a substance from one physical form to another?

    A: Scientists typically refer to a substance changing its physical form as a changing state of matter. These changes to the state of matter are from changes in temperature and air pressure, which affect the density of solids, liquids and gases by either pushing the particles closer together, producing a denser state or pulling them further apart.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Q: How many neutrons does aluminum have?

    A: Aluminum has 14 neutrons, 13 electrons and 13 protons. Aluminum is a silvery-white metal. Its density is 2.70 grams per cubic centimeter. Its boiling point is 4,566 degrees Fahrenheit, and its melting point is 1,220.58 degrees Fahrenheit.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Q: What are some ionosphere facts?

    A: The ionosphere is located between 46 and 621 miles above the Earth's surface and is composed of plasma, a state of matter that is a combination of free electrons and ionized atoms. The ionosphere contains the thermosphere and portions of the exosphere and the mesosphere.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under: