How to Make a Particle Accelerator, In Under 5 Minutes
An under-5-minute explanation of how you make a particle accelerators.
When we read about the latest in physics, we’re so excited by some strange new particle that we may take for granted the high-tech device that allowed physicists to make their discovery. We know vaguely what the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), for example, is — a particle accelerator — and we know where it is — beneath the France/Switzerland border near Geneva — and we know it smashes atoms after spinning them around a 27-kilometer ring. But how do they get those atoms moving? Do they just pour them into one end and shout, “go?”
In less than five minutes, one of the people who designs particle accelerators, Suzie Sheehy, explains how these amazing beasties work and how you build one. Well, not you, or me, but a team of very smart people like her.
The LHC is the largest machine in the world. Here’s just a bit about the thousands of magnets it contains to give you a sense of the collider’s scale, and of the tech involved. The LHC has 1232 15-meter dipole magnets to bend its particle beams, and 392 5-7-meter quadrupole magnets to focus them. Another kind of magnet pushes them together to increase their chances for a productive collision. Oh, also, the magnets have to be cooled down to ‑271.3°C, which is colder than outer space.
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China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.
- China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
- In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
- The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.
In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.
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