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 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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  • 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 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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  • 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 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 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 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 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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  • 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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  • 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 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 history of Disney World?

    Q: What is the history of Disney World?

    A: When Walt Disney couldn't expand Disneyland in California, he started buying up land in the Orlando area using dummy corporations. For a while, no one took notice, but eventually the creator of Mickey Mouse had 27,000 acres under his control. A reporter uncovered the story and the resort's history began.
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  • Q: Who invented the string theory?

    A: String theory developed over several decades through the combined efforts of multiple scientists; no one scientist invented it. However, in 1943, Werner Heisenberg started the original research program that led to the development of the theory.
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  • Q: What are some easy ways to explain quantum physics?

    A: Quantum physics is, by nature, counterinuitive and illogical, so there is no easy way to fully explain the concepts that underpin it. Some of the more famous concepts are wave-particle duality, superposition and the uncertainty principle.
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  • 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.
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  • Q: What is a Bohr diagram?

    A: A Bohr diagram shows the distribution of an atom's electrons among different energy levels, or electron shells. Each diagram also features the number of protons and neutrons in the atom's nucleus.
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  • Q: What is the wavelength of the photon emitted when a hydrogen atom goes from the second energy level to the first energy level?

    A: For hydrogen, an electron jump from the second energy level down to the first emits a photon within the ultraviolet range of the spectrum at a wavelength of 1.21 x 10-7 meters, or 121 nanometers. The emitted photon has exactly 10.2 electron volts of energy.
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  • What is the difference between the apical and radial pulse?

    Q: What is the difference between the apical and radial pulse?

    A: The apical pulse is assessed through a stethoscope placed over the heart, while the radial pulse is typically taken by applying finger pressure to the inner wrist and counting the number of heartbeats. They are the most-common forms of checking a pulse.
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  • What is simplified string theory?

    Q: What is simplified string theory?

    A: Simply put, string theory is an approach to modeling the four fundamental interactions of physics and resolving the conflict that they cause between classical and quantum physics. The four interactions that string theory models include gravitation, electromagnetism, strong nuclear force and weak nuclear force.
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  • 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.
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  • Q: Does air pressure increase with altitude?

    A: Air pressure decreases with altitude. The combined weight of air molecules at increasing altitude decreases. Air pressure is greatest at the Earth's surface, because the surface air molecules bear the combined weight of all the air molecules above.
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