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150

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 ...


34

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 ...


31

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 ...


28

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 ...


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 ...


16

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 ...


16

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 ...


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 ...


14

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). ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


12

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, ...


12

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 $$ ...


11

These collisions don't produce significant amount of light in the visible range, so the easy answer is "no". They also take place in a vacuum, inside a beampipe which is itself buried in a detector apparatus that is ten meters plus on a side and packed full of stuff with no room for a human. That said, there are several ways in which a high energy ...


11

As an addition to already posted answers and while realising that experiments on Mythbusters don't really have the required rigour of physics experiments, the Mythbusters have tested this theory and concluded that: The jumping power of a human being cannot cancel out the falling velocity of the elevator. The best speculative advice from an elevator ...


11

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 ...


11

The anti-particle corresponding to a neutron is an anti neutron! The neutron is made up of one up quark and two down quarks. The anti-neutron is made up of an anti-up quark and two anti-down quarks. Both have zero charge because the charges of the quarks within them balance out. You are correct that elementary particles with no charge are often their own ...


11

A simple counterexample: Imagine two particles with opposite direction and equal speed. The center of mass does not move, yet the kinetic energy of the system is non-zero. Now let both particles come to rest (by friction, hitting a wall, whatever). The kinetic energy is now zero, and total momentum has been conserved, while energy is not. The crucial ...


10

The reason that jumping can make a relatively large difference is that the kinetic energy is proportional to the square of the velocity. Thus relatively small changes to the velocity can result in relatively large changes to the kinetic energy. In addition, the velocity which a human can achieve in jumping is a substantial percentage of the velocity of fatal ...


10

To figure this out, you need to know about momentum ($p$). That's a combination of how fast something is moving ($v$, for velocity) and how much it weighs ($m$, for mass). You'll also need to understand algebra, which is just using a letter to mean some number you don't know yet. $$ p = m\cdot v $$ Momentum is conserved, which means the momentum from both ...



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