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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  • 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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  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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  • Q: What is linear expansivity?

    A: Linear expansivity is a material's tendency to lengthen in response to an increase in temperature. Linear expansivity is a type of thermal expansion. It is described by a fraction that represents the fractional increase in length of a thin beam of a material exposed to a temperature increase of one degree Celsius. The fraction is called the linear expansion coefficient of the material.
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  • Q: Why is nuclear fusion important?

    A: Nuclear fusion plays a vital role in the continuance of life on Earth because it is the means of energy production employed the sun. If the sun was unable to fuse lighter elements into heavier elements through the thermonuclear fusion occurring within its core, there would be no light and heat traveling across space to Earth. The nuclear fusion taking place in the sun's core results in a core temperature of about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit.
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  • Q: What are microwave measurements and how are they used?

    A: Microwave measurements determine the frequency of a signal between approximately 1 and 100 gigahertz, which is the microwave range on the electromagnetic spectrum. Microwave measurements have a broad range of applications that include wireless communication and broadcasting (radio, television, Internet and satellite), ovens, radar and scientific research.
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  • Q: How did Marie Curie change the world?

    A: Marie Curie changed the world by advancing science and the study of radiation and by creating a place for women in the scientific community. She is often viewed as the mother of modern physics, and she was also the first woman in Europe to receive a PhD in research science.
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  • Q: What is the relative mass of an electron?

    A: Electrons have a relative mass of 9.1 x 10^-31 kilograms, or 0.51 megaelectron volts. They are a lot smaller than protons and neutrons; and, an electron is roughly 0.054 percent of the mass of one neutron.
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  • Q: How to make homemade super glue?

    A: To make homemade super glue, gather the proper ingredients, which includes milk, baking soda, white vinegar and water, heat the milk mixture until it begins to curdle, and add baking soda and water until you arrive at the desired consistency. Let the mixture cool.
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  • Q: What did Niels Bohr discover?

    A: Niels Bohr discovered that the energy levels of electrons distinct and that they revolve in orbits around the nucleus. Additionally, he discovered that the electrons could jump from one orbit to another.
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  • 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.
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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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