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A billion dollar particle accelerator opened in the United States

Just opened on campus Michigan State UniversityThe Rare isotope rays facility FERB, a massive particle accelerator has begun to be built six years Do This almost costs Billion dollar. The particle physicists community can’t wait to get their hands on it: it is, in fact, as the name suggests, a tool that allows us to produce rare isotopesmany of which have not yet been summarized, and the study of phenomena that are still unknown on all spatial scales, come on strange atomic nuclei for what happens during Supernova explosions.

“this project – she has explain to temper nature Ani Abrahamianexperimental physicist in University of Notre Dame at Indianais realization dream for the entire community of nuclear physicists”. “It’s a structure we’ve been waiting for a very long time”chant Kate Jonesfrom University of Tennessee from Knoxville. Firb is designed to take on another accelerator’s legacy, the National Cyclotron Superconducting Laboratory (Nscl), which stood in the same place, increases the power available to produce rare isotopes in ever greater quantities. experiences as he says David Castelvecchio Always on Pages temper naturewill start in the most underground part of the particle accelerator, where a mixture of atoms uranium It will be ionized and shipped in a 450-meter “tube” folded into a paperclip in a chamber about 150 meters long. Upon reaching the end of the tube, the beam of ionized atoms will strike the graphite wheel (in continuous rotation, to avoid always colliding at the same point and thus overheating); At this point, a portion of the nuclei of the ionized atoms will hit the nuclei of the carbon atoms in the wheel, breaking up into smaller groups of protons and neutrons. by saying that isotopes of different elements.

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Thus, these isotopes will be directed towards Another toolKind of “separation centrifuge” which, by magnet, each isotope will deflect along a different angle: by analyzing this angle, researchers will therefore be able to deduce which isotope it is. At first, in order to “warm up”, Ferb will start to work at a relatively low power, which will then be gradually Lifted Even exceeding by several orders of magnitude those achieved by his predecessor: at this point, according to the builders, it will finally be possible to begin production of the rarest isotopes, those that physicists cannot wait to consider.

Among these, the most interesting are the so-called “magic isotopes“, those with a number of protons and neutrons (eg 2, 8, 20, 28, 50) such that the structure of the nucleus is Especially stablePrecisely by virtue of their “strength”, cores of this type lend themselves well to tests of theoretical models, for example those aimed at understanding How are all the elements of the periodic table formed?. In fact, we know that a file the great explosion It led to the production of hydrogen and helium (the lightest elements in the periodic table), and that of the heavier elements, even ironformed thanks to processes merger that occur and occur in the cores of stars; But we know with less certainty how even the heaviest elements were formed. The hypothesis – which has not yet been verified – is that its formation is attributed to “catastrophic” processes such as, specifically, the explosion of supernovae or the merger of neutron stars: Astrophysicists, even today – explain Hendrik Schatzfrom Michigan State University – They have not yet been able to notice the exact elements created, nor their quantities: one of Ferb’s strengths lies in his ability to explore the phenomenon of the production of isotopes of this type “. Good luck and God bless you.

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Earl Warner

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