Particle Physics

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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 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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  • 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 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 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 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 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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  • 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 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 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 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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  • 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 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 is particle theory?

    Q: What is particle theory?

    A: Particle theory, also referred to as the kinetic theory of matter, is a theory in science that describes all forms of matter as being composed of tiny particles that are always in a constant state of motion. The theory also states that the degree to which these particles move around depends on the amount of energy that is present in the matter and what the nature of the relationship is between the various particles.
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  • Q: How many atoms are in Ca(NO3)2?

    A: The compound calcium nitrate consists of a total of nine atoms, including one atom of calcium, two of nitrogen and six of oxygen. Calcium nitrate has the molecular formula Ca(NO3)2 and a molecular weight of 164.08 grams per mole.
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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 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.
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  • Q: How do icicles form?

    A: Icicles form on sunny days when the ambient temperature is below freezing. Heat from the sun melts ice or snow on surfaces to form water drips. A few drops refreeze to begin the base of the icicle, and as water continues to drop, the icicle grows in length.
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  • Q: What is negative entropy?

    A: Entropy means an increase of disorder or randomness in natural systems, and negative entropy means an increase of orderliness or organization. Negative entropy is also known as negentropy. Individual systems can experience negative entropy, but overall, natural processes in the universe trend toward entropy,
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  • Q: How was radiation discovered?

    A: According to the Nobel Foundation, Henri Becquerel discovered radiation in 1896 while experimenting with uranium salts. He believed the uranium absorbed energy from sunlight, since the salts fluoresced in the sun, and then radiated that energy out over time. An accident disproved his hypothesis, and proved to Becquerel that the energy the uranium salts released needed no external stimulus.
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  • Q: What is the difference between a sensor and a transducer?

    A: A sensor is a device that can read and measure input, such as heat, motion, pressure and moisture, from its physical environment and output the results as readable data. Transducers, such as antennas, stereo speakers and thermostats, convert one kind of energy to another. Some devices have both sensors and transducers.
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  • Q: Are matter and antimatter equal in quantity?

    A: The observable universe seems to consist of almost nothing but matter. It isn't clear why because models of the early universe generally predict that matter and antimatter were created in exactly equal quantities.
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