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.

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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 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 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 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 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 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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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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  • Q: Which energy level transition results in the highest frequency photon being emitted?

    A: An electron jump from an outermost energy level to the innermost or ground level would emit the highest frequency photon. A greater the drop in energy levels results in a higher frequency of the emitted photon.
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  • Q: Which halogen has the least negative electron affinity?

    A: The halogen with the least negative electron affinity is astatine, which has an electron affinity of -270 kilojoules per mole. The lower electron affinity is related to the larger atomic size of astatine. In larger atoms, electrons will not be as attracted to the nucleus.
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  • Q: How are spectator ions identified?

    A: Identify spectator ions by writing ionic compounds in an aqueous solution as their dissolved species, and then look for the cations and anions that remain in aqueous form throughout the reaction. According to Chemlab, spectator ions remain in solution and do not change ionic charges.
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  • Q: What did Stephen Hawking discover?

    A: Stephen Hawking is responsible for the discovery of black hole radiation, which is often referred to as Hawking Radiation. Hawking has played a part in many scientific fields and has collaborated with a number of other scientists to work on various theories and projects all over the world.
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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 is the difference between plutonium and uranium?

    A: Plutonium has 94 protons in its nucleus, compared to the 92 in uranium, and is typically produced in nuclear reactors as a byproduct. Although both plutonium and uranium are rare, naturally occurring elements, plutonium is no longer found in the earth's crust, but uranium is actively mined. There is enough uranium inside the Earth that its radioactive decay is believed to heat the Earth's core.
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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: Who was Charles Coulomb?

    A: Charles de Coulomb was a French physicist and scientist who contributed greatly to modern physics' understanding of certain forces of attraction and repulsion. He was born in 1736 and made several pioneering discoveries about the nature of forces and of friction. Coulomb is perhaps most famous for the law named after him, Coulomb's Law, which describes the electrostatic interaction between different charged particles using mathematical expressions such as inverse squares.
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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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