Particle Accelerators

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  • The Story of Particle Accelerators By. Luis Elizondo
  • A particle accelerator is a machine designed to accelerate particles to near the speed of Light.
  • They later collide with each other creating massive explosions that reveal what are inside those particles. In the late 1800's, their only function was to reveal the structure of the nucleus of an atom
  • The first were made in the 1890's, and they were used to measure the weight of particles. They also helped the development of X rays. 40 years later, they were powerful enough to create nuclear reactions. Some were built with the sole purpose of smashing particles into targets. They could achieve the energy of 800 kilovolts = 2,666 light bulbs.
  • Modern accelerators are either round, or a straight line. If you join many accelerators into one, the forces it can create will be more powerful than just one big accelerator.
  • Currently, the CERN accelerator can reach energies of 4,000,000,000,000 Electron Volts. This energy has never been crated before, and has set a new world record. It takes more than 20 days to cool down the LHC to -271ºC, and 20 minutes to start up the machine and prepare the particles in order to reach their highest energies. Then, at collision the temperature can reach up to 10 Trillion degrees Fahrenheit.
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