Particle Physics

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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.

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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • Q: Do X-ray glasses really work?

    A: X-ray glasses are a novelty or gag product that do not work. They came out in the 1940s around the time that the X-ray machine was becoming prominent.
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  • Q: How much heavier is a proton than an electron?

    A: A proton is approximately 2,000 times heavier than an electron. Protons and electrons, along with neutrons, are the principal sub-atomic particles that make up an atom.
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  • Q: What is an alpha particle made of?

    A: An alpha particle is made up of two protons and two neutrons. An alpha particle is common in the field of nuclear physics because it is one of the three particles emitted during radioactive decay. The three particles emitted during radioactive decay are alpha, beta and gamma.
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  • Q: What is CERN's Large Hadron Collider?

    A: The Large Hadron Collider is the biggest and most powerful particle accelerator in the world. The LHC consists of a ring of superconducting magnets 27 kilometers in length. This ring accelerates beams of protons and ions to velocities approaching the speed of light. These beams are then collided, and the results are studied and recorded.
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  • Q: What is cosmic background radiation?

    A: Cosmic microwave background radiation can be thought of as the echo of the Big Bang. It is the residual energy from the first few hundred-thousand years after the beginning of the universe. According to Universe Today, this radiation fills the entire universe.
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  • Q: What did Einstein discover?

    A: Albert Einstein used mathematics and physics to prove properties of physics about which he and other scientists theorized. For instance, his work on Brownian motion, which involved vibrations caused when atoms collide with one another, proved that atoms and molecules actually exist.
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  • Q: What is superstring theory?

    A: Superstring theory is an attempt to unite the various string theories that have been suggested since the 1960s in a single, comprehensive explanation of observed phenomena in physics. String theories assume that, in place of elemental particles, the matter in the universe is made up of one-dimensional strings that are very short and carry high values of energy.
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  • Q: What do particles of matter do according to the kinetic molecular theory?

    A: According to the kinetic molecular theory, particles in a gaseous state, whether in the form of molecules or atomic gases, are in constant, straight-line motion, occasionally bouncing off each other in perfectly elastic collisions which change their direction without slowing them down. It depends on a number of assumptions, such as the idea that the particles are very small compared to the space between them.
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  • Q: What is the amount of matter in an object called?

    A: The amount of matter in an object is referred to as its mass. Although the mass of an object is one of the factors that determines its weight, it is a different property. An object's weight is affected by gravity and can vary depending upon its location relevant to another object exerting a gravitational pull on it; however, an object's mass remains constant, even when there is no gravity acting upon it, such as in space beyond the Earth's gravitational field.
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