Superconducting Magnets Inside Large Hadron Collider - 1

Particle accelerators help scientists to investigate the infinitely large by examining the infinitely small.  What, exactly, goes on inside the collider? 

Bundles of electrons and positrons collide, and the results are "not just debris but particles that are born from the transformation of energy at the moment of collision."  The great the energy available, the greater the mass of the new particles.

Detectors check-out what happens, at various depths.  Resulting images are then analyzed by physicists and computers.  However ... the faster the particles travel, en route to their collision point, the more they generate their own breaking system ("by imaging light").

To work within these various parameters, CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) created a new machine—the LHC (Large Hadron Collider)—which began its operations in 2008.  This atom smasher, however, accelerates PROTONS, not electrons and positrons.  

What happens in the LHC occurs with the help of superconducting magnets.  An animation, explaining this process, begins at 3:00 in this video clip.  

A circular tube contains the accelerating particles (colliding protons), and a powerful magnetic field develops around the circulating route. This CERN-copyrighted image depicts an actual reconstructed 7-TeV proton-proton collision in the ALICE detector (at CERN) from the April 2010 running period.

To see an animation of this magnetic field in operation, move the video forward to 4:45.  

At 6:55 in the clip, look for a superconducting phenomenon:  electrons gathering in pairs (in place of their natural tendency to repel each other).  When this happens, electrons can flow freely ... a truly amazing scientific event.

See, also:

Superconducting Magnets - Part 2

Superconducting Magnets - Part 3

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 11, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Oct 06, 2015

Media Credits

Video clip produced by, and online courtesy of, CERN.



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"Superconducting Magnets Inside Large Hadron Collider - 1" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 11, 2013. Jan 20, 2020.
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