Archive
Tag "particle accelerators"
Scientists Finally Find Long-Sought “Ghost” Particle Inside Atom (Jul, 1954)

This piece is talking about is the Cowan–Reines neutrino experiment which  garnered a Nobel prize in 1995.

It’s almost right. Neutrinos have zero electric charge, not practically none. They’re called neutrinos because they are electrically neutral. It means little neutral ones. There are actually three different types and although it was not proven until the late 1990′s, neutrinos do have a very, very small mass. Scientist know this because of  a process called neutrino oscillation (rather complex explanation). Unfortunately this process also makes it very hard to determine the masses of individual neutrinos.

There is an excellent episode of Nova called The Ghost Particle about the search for neutrinos. You can view a low-res version online here.

Scientists Finally Find Long-Sought “Ghost” Particle Inside Atom

At last scientists have trapped an atomic “ghost” particle that has eluded them for years. The particle is the neutrino. The chase began 20 years ago when scientists were forced to acknowledge the existence of the particle if their atomic theories were correct. Neutrinos are so small that they have practically no mass or electric charge. No direct evidence of the neutrino was found until the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory devised a scintillation counter that was thousands of times more sensitive than any other device to reactions caused by neutrinos.

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These Fabulous Tools Unlock the Atom’s Secrets (Aug, 1953)

Scientists are still building ever more powerful particle accelerators. The Large Hadron Collider is supposed to come online this year and is expected to make some major discoveries. For comparison the most powerful accelerator at the time of this article was about 6 bev. Or 6 billion electron volts. The LCH will collide two beams each with 7 tev (trillion electron volts) making it about 20,000 times more powerful.

If you haven’t seen pictures of the ATLAS detector yet, you really should check them out. It really is an engineering marvel. Plus when it was being built it looked like some kind of trans-dimensional portal.

These Fabulous Tools Unlock the Atom’s Secrets

By Thomas E. Stimson, Jr.

THE RESEARCH TEAMS that discovered atomic energy are probing deeper into the heart of the atom today and there’s a good chance that other exciting, though unpredictable, discoveries will be made.

Basically, the physicists are trying to find the true fundamental particles of which the atom (and hence the universe) is composed.

Once it was thought that the atom itself answered this definition; now it is known that the atom contains a bundle of assorted particles or bits of energy in its structure.

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Columbia Gets Cyclotron (May, 1939)

And just last month, Columbia decided to get rid of the cyclotron.

Columbia Gets Cyclotron

Shown above is Columbia University’s new 150,000-pound cyclotron, the huge electrical apparatus which fires atomic “bullets” at a 25,000-mile-per-second speed to perform modern alchemy by changing one chemical element into another. Detailed study of nuclear forces, which are the ultimate forces that hold the materials of the universe together, will be one of the first tasks undertaken by Columbia physicists with the cyclotron.

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