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大型强子对撞机重现宇宙大爆炸后的瞬间

(2010-11-07 10:55:28)
标签:

宋体

大型强子对撞机

等离子态

质子

粒子加速器

杂谈

分类: 科学

到目前为止,大型强子对撞机(LHC)已经在它的超冷探测器内通过正面碰撞的方式破坏了数十亿个质子。然而,随即这些质子便不再孤单,因为铅离子——它的整个原子核——将会被撞毁。为什么要这样做呢?这是为了重现宇宙大爆炸之后瞬间的情形。

Yes, you read that correctly, scientists working on the most powerful particle accelerator in the world are on the verge of generating their own micro-Big Bangs in an effort to study a state of matter that hasn't existed in the Universe for 13.75 billion years.

没错,正如你所读到的那样,在世界上最大的粒子加速器旁工作的科学家们正努力着为研究137.5亿年前即已不存在的物质状态而站在成功孕育他们自己的微型大爆炸的边缘。

"Matter exists in various states: you can take a material like water and if you deep freeze it, it'll be solid, and if you put it on a table, it'll turn into a liquid, and if you put it into a kettle, it'll turn into a gas," CERN's spokesman James Gillies told BBC News reporter Katia Moskvitch.

“物质以不同的形式存在着:你可以选取一种物质,比如水。如果你把它冷却得很厉害,它将变成固态;而如果你再把它放到桌子上,它将变回液态;又如果你把它放到水壶里加热,它将变成气态。”欧洲核子研究中心的发言人James GilliesBBS新闻记者Katia Moskvitch如是说。

"It's all the same stuff, but those are different states of matter. And if you take materials into laboratories, you can pull the electrons off the atoms and you have another state of matter which is called plasma."

“它们仍是同样的东西,但是是物质的不同形态。如果你把物质带到实验室,你可以剥离原子的电子,然后你就得到了物质的另一种状态,它被称为‘等离子态’。”

Although plasma might sound pretty exotic, the majority of matter found in the cosmos is in a plasma state. So what do LHC scientists hope to find?

虽然等离子态这个词听起来也许很新鲜,但宇宙中大部分的物质都处这个态。那么LHC的科学家们希望找到些什么呢?

Starting this month -- and continuing for four weeks -- the particle accelerator will be speeding lead ions around its superconducting electromagnets. So far, only protons have had this dubious pleasure.

从这个月开始——并一直持续四个星期——粒子加速器都要对绕着它的超导电磁铁旋转的铅离子进行加速。到目前为止,只有质子才享受过这种风险下的刺激。

When accelerated to relativistic speeds and collided head-on with other protons powering in the opposite direction, the resulting explosion of energy has caused the production of brand new particles. Some of these particles may not have been witnessed by scientists before.

当加速到相对论速度并与其它沿相反方向运动的质子迎头相撞时,引起的爆炸的能量将导致崭新的粒子的产生。其中的一些粒子在之前也许一直没有被科学家们观测到。

What physicists are basically doing is making the collisions as powerful and as efficient as possible to turn particle mass into pure energy (as a result of Einstein's bedrock equation E=mc2).

物理学家们做的这些事的本质就是尽可能让这些碰撞充满能量并且高效以使这些粒子的质量转换为纯能量(这是爱因斯坦颠补不破的方程E=mc2的结果)。

After collision, the energy condenses to create new particles that can be measured and tracked inside the complex particle detectors around the accelerator ring. The very nature of the quantum world can then be probed.

碰撞之后,能量浓缩形成一个新的粒子,它可以被围绕着加速环的复杂粒子探测器测量并捕获。这样量子世界最内在的本质将得以证实。2

So far, the proton-proton collisions have been designed to generate energies that might produce exotic phenomena like the Higgs boson. But the LHC is also designed to collide heavy lead ions relativistically to help physicists peer back into the beginning of time.

到目前为止,质子与质子间的对撞已经被计划用来产生可能导致神奇如希格斯玻色子的现象的能量。但LHC也同样被计划用于重铅离子的相对论性对撞来帮助物理学家们窥探时间开始时的情形。

Through ion-ion collisions, higher energies can be generated (because lead ions have more mass -- and therefore more kinetic energy -- than single protons), thus making these short-lived collisions very hot.

通过离子间的对撞,可以产生更高的能量(因为与单个质子相比铅离子具有更高的质量——因此也有更高的动能),因而使这些短暂的对撞变得非常剧烈。

In fact, these fleeting micro-Big Bangs will generate the hottest temperatures yet, replicating the temperature conditions just after the Big Bang. At these temperatures, matter is thought to take on an entirely different state; a state called a "quark-gluon plasma."

事实上,这些转瞬即逝的微型大爆炸将产生迄今为止最高的温度,重现大爆炸之后瞬间的温度情形。在这样的温度下,物质被认为处于一种完全不同的,被称为“夸克-胶子等离子态”的状态。

 

WIDE ANGLE: Will the Large Hadron Collider herald a revolution in our understanding of the cosmos?

 

"And this is the state of matter you have if you're able to effectively melt the nuclear matter that makes up atoms today, releasing the things that are inside, which are quarks and gluons," said Gillies.

“如果你能有效地解散组成现在的原子的核物质的话,显卡评测,问答,最新报价这正是因为你有了这样的一种物质状态,它们释放了深藏核内的夸克和胶子。”Gillies说道。

Similar experiments have been carried out in the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory where temperatures of 4 trillion Kelvin were measured after colliding gold ions (that's 250,000 times hotter than the center of the sun, in case you were wondering). It is thought the Universe was as hot only a fraction of a second after the Big Bang.

布鲁克海文国家实验室的相对论重离子对撞机进行的金离子对撞(如果你想知道的话,我可以告诉你,对撞的温度是太阳中心温度的250000倍)标志着,在那里也开始进行相似的实验了。而宇宙在大爆炸之后仅仅几分之一秒时的温度被认为正好是这次对撞的温度。

And soon, for fleeting moments in the LHC's detectors, the basic components of matter could soon be floating freely as a primordial quark-gluon "soup" giving physicists a glimpse at the extreme conditions that existed at the dawn of time.
很快,在LHC探测器内短暂的瞬间中,物质的基本部分会迅速自由弥散成一片原始的夸克-胶子“汤”,给予物理学家们对那种存在于时间初始的极端条件以惊鸿一瞥。

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