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161

Things are not empty space. Our classical intuition fails at the quantum level. Matter does not pass through other matter mainly due to the Pauli exclusion principle and due to the electromagnetic repulsion of the electrons. The closer you bring two atoms, i.e. the more the areas of non-zero expectation for their electrons overlap, the stronger will the ...


48

Amazingly this actually happened to a Russian scientist called Anatoli Bugorski (WARNING: this is pretty gruesome). The beam basically just killed all the tissue it passed through. The symptoms were the relatively mundane ones expected from tissue death. The LHC has a much, much greater energy than the one that struck Bugorski, so it would cause a lot more ...


44

Is it even possible to hit 350Gs of force to a hard drive? Sure is. Drop it on the floor. You are thinking about sustained forces. 350g sustained won't happen even in rocket launches. But momentary forces can easily peak at this level. Note that the G limit on the drive is for when it's not running. No spinning drive will like 350g, except maybe in ...


43

The assumption that you are making here is that with the same motion of a punch, that you are applying $\text{100 N}$ of force to both a wall and to the air. However, you should think about the most fundamental equation of Newton's laws, namely, $F=ma$ The most important part of this in relation to what you are talking about is that the force applied, ...


42

The notion of soft or hard object depends on the velocity of interaction. Water can be soft or hard as rock depending on how fast you fall in (or surf upon). For a shock, the main thing that matter is momentum. In space, where relative speeds can be very high, a simple bolt can cause serious damage to the ISS, and simple flakes of paint cause deep ...


35

A charged particle will create charge separation (ionization) along its path. This will cause harmful chemical reactions to occur in the body, including DNA damage. The effects of these chemical reactions depend on their amount. The body can heal from a low amount on its own, while a high amount will cause radiation sickness and probably death. This can be ...


33

At high speeds the structure of the material becomes far less important than it is at low speeds. At high enough speeds, the issue is not whether the tomato can retain structure during the impact (it wont), but rather the issue becomes one of sheer mass. The issue is easiest to see in the tomato's reference frame, where one treats the tomato as holding ...


32

Look at it this way: Suppose you are in a train travelling at 10 m/s. Somebody inside the train throws a ball at you in the opposite direction at 10 m/s. You feel the pain belonging to your first experiment. However, somebody looking at this experiment from outside the train would say that the ball is standing still and you are travelling towards the ball ...


29

This is actually a really good question. (And I'm not one of these people who insists that there's no such thing as a dumb question; I just think we shouldn't be embarrassed to ask dumb questions. Anyway, this isn't a dumb question.) As you may know, collisions between two protons (like those the LHC usually does) can produce many different types of ...


25

While everyone agrees that jumping in a falling elevator doesn't help much, I think it is very instructive to do the calculation. General Remarks The general nature of the problem is the following: while jumping, the human injects muscle energy into the system. Of course, the human doesn't want to gain even more energy himself, instead he hopes to transfer ...


24

It would work in a vacuum, so I'll simplify by assuming no air resistance. When the ball is hit, it spins in a certain direction, for example to hit the ball so that it would follow this path: requires the ball to be hit along the red arrow, but spinning in the direction of the blue arrow: The red arrow here is pointing the same way as the initial ...


23

I don't think any of the other answers have made the following point clear enough, so I am going to give it a try. Both scenarios are very similar before the collision, but they differ greatly afterwards... From a stationary reference, you see the cars driving towards each other at 50mph, but of course if you choose a reference frame moving with the first ...


20

Contrary to what is stated in many textbooks, energy-momentum conservation alone cannot explain the behavior of Newton’s cradle. For N balls we have two equations and N final velocities to calculate. Hence, conservations laws can do the job only for N=2. This means that if we want to give an explanation of the cradle behavior based on conservation laws, we ...


20

It is a standard exercise in quantum electrodynamics to find the angular dependence of the differential cross section. Which more or less means how probable it is for the photons to scatter at a certain angle, given the energy of the incident particles. So assuming the spins of the electron-positron pair is averaged, and that you don't care about the photon ...


18

First of all -- it wouldn't be called "the Large Hadron Collider", right? Looks like one would rather call it something like "Large Electron-Positron Collider". In that case one definitely would need another abbreviation for it. Something like "LEP" instead of "LHC"... Now, guess what was there in the same tunnel before? Edit: since my shenanigan got ...


17

You should be able to use energy conservation to write down the velocities of the bodies as a function of time. $$ \textrm{Energy conservation (KE = PE): } \frac{p^2}{2}\left( \frac{1}{m} + \frac{1}{M} \right) = GMm\left(\frac{1}{r} - \frac{1}{r_0}\right) $$ And $$ \frac{dr}{dt} = -(v + V) = -p\left( \frac{1}{m} + \frac{1}{M} \right) $$ Momentum ...


17

Here's an application where an ability to withstand high shock is important. Explosions. In the mid 1980s I did work for a mining company's research laboratory (BHP Research, now defunct like all Australian corporate research). We would lower data-logging computers into boreholes to set up a grid of dataloggers, then detonate a charge of known energy at a ...


16

We do. The LHC accelerates two protons, each with 3.5 TeV of energy, giving a total of 7 TeV in the CoM frame (The energies are from the initial phase of the previous LHC run. Later in the run this was increased to 8 TeV and the combination of the two dataset was what discovered the Higgs boson. The energies are roughly doubling now for Run II, to 13 TeV). ...


15

If it were possible for one object to pass through another object, then it would be possible for one part of an object to pass through a different part of the same object. Therefore the question asked here is equivalent to the question of why matter is stable. See this question on mathoverflow. That question was more about the stability of individual atoms, ...


14

Perhaps the simplest and most intuitive approach is to regularize the hard wall potential $$V_0(x)~=~\left\{ \begin{array}{rcl} 0 &\text{for}& x<0 \cr\cr \infty &\text{for}& x>0\end{array}\right. $$ as $$ \lim_{\varepsilon \to 0^+} V_{\varepsilon}(x) ~=~V_0(x).$$ For instance, one could choose the regularized potential as $$ ...


14

Elastic collisions do happen at the LHC. The TOTEM experiment measures the differential cross section (rate as a function of angle) for proton-proton elastic scattering at the LHC. Here is their latest result. They don't publish an estimate of the elastic cross section, but according to their data it must be at least 25 mb (millibarns) (my first version of ...


13

Nothing happens obviously, when one high energy particle penetrates flesh as cosmic rays continuously impinge on us and some have the energies of the LHC. The cosmic rays reaching us are mainly muons and the damage they do is with electromagnetic scatters/ionisations in their path. The mean energy of muons reaching sea level is about 4 GeV. Muons, being ...


13

I think the other two answers may have overlooked the source of your confusion, which is quite simple. The $F$ in $F=ma$ is the force being exerted on the object of mass $m$ to give it the acceleration $a$, not the force that that object will exert when it hits something. In the case of your example, the force of gravity on the basketball is independent of ...


13

First, you state a few things that aren't quite right in your question. While the view that's generally talked about is that Phobos and Deimos are likely captured asteroids, dynamically it's a pretty difficult problem (you generally need a third (in this case fourth?) body to take away the extra energy, and it's hard to get a circular orbit around the ...


13

http://www.aip.org/png/2006/256.htm (archived version if link doesn't work) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAwO1okR074 The thing to remember whenever dealing with spacetime weirdness surrounding extremely dense objects is that what happens, that is, what the objects in question actually experience, can be completely different from what appears to happen to ...


12

It conserves both energy and momentum in the collision at the same time. By design, when the balls collide the strings that hold them up are vertical (assuming balls are only swung from one side). This means there are no horizontal forces from the string on the balls so linear momentum in the direction of swing must be conserved in the collision. Energy is ...


12

There are two points in answering this question: Design: The design of the collider would have to be different. Electrons/positrons in a cyclotron radiate synchrotron radiation when they are accelerated (which itself is a useful device). To get above a few GeV, researchers use linear accelerators, such as SLAC. The proposed International Linear Collider is ...


12

As Anubhav mentioned in his comment, tomato would break into pieces before it hits the plate. However, to answer the logic of the question such event is possible. A ping pong ball can rip a huge hole on the ping pong racket if it is fast enough. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acRnKnsddwc Update: It would make a hole, if you make enough assumptions. As ...


11

The frequency of a sound wave cannot change as it crosses the water-air boundary. The wavelength can, and does, change but the frequency cannot because if it did there would be no way to match the two waves at the interface. This means that the higher frequency is not some quirk of the sound propagation, but that the colliding stones emit a higher frequency ...



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