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Pictures From Atom Smashers

  • By Zack Sullivan
  • Posted 10.28.03
  • NOVA

How do particle accelerators—also known as “atom smashers”—reveal the subatomic particles that are the building blocks of nature? In this interactive, view a gallery of images from the most important discoveries in particle physics—discoveries that have deepened physicists’ understanding of matter and string theory.

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Explore images from particle accelerators that have captured particles in the act of being created or destroyed.

Editor's note: It is difficult to discuss the details of particle events without getting a bit technical. For an overview of the questions particle physicists are trying to answer and how they go about it, the author recommends you visit the Particle Adventure Web site (http://particleadventure.org/). For definitions of unfamiliar terms in this article, he suggests you consult the site's extensive glossary (http://particleadventure.org/glossary/index.html).

This feature originally appeared on the site for the NOVA program The Elegant Universe.

Credits

Images

(Tevatron, bottom quark, top quark, tau neutrino, neutrino mass, gluon, Higgs boson, supersymmetry, extra dimensions)
© Fermilab
(strange quark)
© Brookhaven National Laboratory
(charm quark)
© SLAC photo/Stanford University
(electroweak symmetry)
© CERN

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