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Would it be possible to set a magnetron wavelength to / or fabricate a device that could produce a wavelength smaller than a quark?

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2 Answers 2

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Image Source: Wikipedia Electromagnetic Spectrum

I am hoping in this answer, that a picture is worth a thousand words.

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  • $\begingroup$ The EM spectrum isn't what I don't understand, the capabilities of a magnetron is what I was asking. $\endgroup$ Jan 21, 2017 at 16:30
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    $\begingroup$ Well, if a magnetron could be tweaked to produce that level of high energy, high frequency radiation, then why build the LHC? $\endgroup$
    – user140606
    Jan 21, 2017 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ Because we want to observe the properties of atoms when they are accelerated to near the speed of light, including how fast they decay during ionization, when they collide, nuclear decay and other experiments? $\endgroup$ Jan 21, 2017 at 17:05
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    $\begingroup$ No, a magnetron is designed for microwaves, and that's it. It's like putting a family car into a Formula 1 race, you have no chance of winning. If you want to investigate properties or particles that only emerge at high energies, you can only get those energies by banging particles together at almost the maximum speed that is physically possible. You need the Large Hadron Collider $\endgroup$
    – user140606
    Jan 21, 2017 at 17:32
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    $\begingroup$ I understand that the current magnetrons are not designed for high powered outputs and Lasers have been investigated as a result of this, however I was wondering if the limitations were based on the wire thickness for the waveguide, the amount of conductivity within the electrodes/cathodes/anodes etc, the fabricatable dimensions of the cavity, the ability to resonate the wave of that power without it escaping from the cavity between the atomic structure etc. If I phrased it another way, I would ask if any devices could, such as the Laser for Fast Ignition Experiments (LFEX). $\endgroup$ Jan 22, 2017 at 2:49
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It is not possible, because there is no "between" quarks in a nucleon (that is, the particles that make up the nucleus). Quarks are fundamentally quantum-mechanical objects whose wavefunctions always overlap.

If by "magnetron" you have in mind a radio or microwave source, there's the additional complication that the size of a nucleon is only about one femtometer. The energy of a one-femtometer photon is $$ E = h\nu = \frac{hc}{\lambda} = \frac{\rm1240\,MeV\,fm}{\rm1\,fm} \approx \rm1\,GeV $$ but radio and microwave photons are in the milli- and micro-eV energy ranges.

In a comment, you propose reducing the wavelength by printing some sort of angstrom-scale magnetron antenna. Still doesn't help you: an angstrom-scale antenna would resonate at angstrom-scale wavelengths. Atoms are just too big. If you want to look inside of a nucleus, you have to do nuclear physics. (Exceptions to this rule of thumb are actually my research area --- but the tricks we use are very different from your proposal here, and I'm not able to elaborate further right now.)

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