Fermi National Laboratory


Questions and Answers from Virtual Ask-a-Scientist of June 5, 2003

More information about the program

Moderator
Welcome to Virtual Ask-a-Scientist. I am Elizabeth Clements, of the Office of Public Affairs at Fermilab, and I will be your moderator for the evening. Our guest scientists tonight are Mike Clements, of Fermilabís DZero experiment and Chris Laughton, of Fermilabís NuMI-MINOS experiment. And now we are ready for your questions.

Rick
I'm a new 6th grade Science teacher in Colorado. Our standard says students should be able to name the subatomic particles that make up an atom. What do you think should be included in this (anything besides protons, neutrons, and electrons)? In other words, what do you think a 6th grader should know about atoms?

Mike Clements
Hi Rick. Good question.

Mike Clements
Rick, when I was in 6th grade we only were taught about the basics which you listed. Now, with so much more known about the sub-atomic world, I would think that students that age should at least know that there are such things as quarks making up protons and neutrons.

Harpo
Great. How are things at Fermilab?

Chris Laughton
Hi Harpo: Things are fine at Fermilab. Weather is dry on surface but wet underground (I'm a tunnel engineer so my perspective is a bit different!) Trust all is fine with you too. Chris

entangled
Is it posible for particles with zero mass to rest in a non dimenstional state.

Mike Clements
Could you clarify this a little bit for me. Are you asking if, for example, there is a situation in which a photon could be at rest?

Feyn-Man
Hi! I have a bunch of questions I've been wanting to get answered, so here goes: Is there negative mass?

Mike Clements
Hey Fayn-Man! Nice name:-) The short answer to your question is no. There is only positive mass. Otherwise gravity would not just attract, but it would also repel.

Feyn-Man
Hi. I typed a question before, just seeing if this pops up...

Moderator
We got it! I think that your answer just came up too!

Feyn-Man
I guess it's just slow. Thanks for the answer Mike

Mike Clements
Feyn-Man, you're welcome:-)

Harpo
What does a tunnel engineer do at Fermilab? Are there projects all the time?

Chris Laughton
I came to work on the first deep tunnel that Fermilab has ever built (usually the tunnel structures here are relatively shallow < 50ft). The tunnel I worked on is about 4000 feet long and over 300 feet deep and will house a "neutrino experiment".

Feyn-Man
Can negative mass account for gravity, like an anti-Higgs particle or something?

Mike Clements
Remember, gravity is purely an attractive force, which means that there can only be one type of mass "charge", which is positive. Whether we call that "charge" positive or negative is arbitrary, but there can only be one.

entangled
Well in a way yes. I was interested in subject where some particles seem to disappear then reappear with different properties. More on the line of quantum entanglement. The hole spooky effect.

Mike Clements
Perhaps, for example, like a photon "decaying" into a positron/electron pair?

Jorge
Chris... How does a person become a tunnel engineer? What's your background?

Chris Laughton
My background is in mining and civil engineering. I started-out as an production miner in a Cornish tin mine over 25 years ago and moved in to building tunnels for civil engineering projects some 20 years ago. There is lots of tunneling work at present as many US and European cities are too congested to allow water, serwer, rail and metro systems to be built on surface - I've worked on a lot of these knnds of projects during my career, but at present I'm here at Fermilab. I enjoy working in tunnels of all types!

Feyn-Man
How is the Large Hadron Collider going to affect your work? Will you guys be shipped off to Geneva, or continue your work at the Tevatron?

Mike Clements
The Tevatron will be around for a long time to come. The LHC will not be online and really getting good data until 2008-2009. Even after that the Tevatron will still be an active spot for high energy physics. I know that I will be here probably beyond when the LHC comes online:-)

Harpo
So, if you weren't working at Fermilab, would you work for someone doing civil infrastructure projects?

Chris Laughton
Yep. Tunneling is becoming very popoular. Its often an environmentally-friendly option for city infrastrcture projects. Some projects in the US include "The Big Dig" in Boston and the "Eastside Access" in New York not to mention all those metro systems that are being developed (most have a major underground component).

Mike Clements
Jorge, it is extremely cool!

Feyn-Man
Chicago... your kind of town.

Mike Clements
Absolutely!

Jorge
Is it cool to work at Fermilab? Must be a bit of a different experience.

Mike Clements
I'm very proud to be a part of it:-)

Mike Clements
Feyn-Man, where does your interest in physics stem from?

Mike Clements
Has anyone out there ever visited the lab?

Mike Clements
There are a lot of neat things to see in person:-)

Feyn-Man
Are there tours still going on, or have Bin Laden et al. screwed everything up?

Moderator
We do have some guided tours available. There will be a tour Sunday, June 8. Here is the press release: http://www.fnal.gov/pub/presspass/press_releases/tour_june_8.html

Lambdalana
I get the Fermi news sent to me as a member of the general public

Moderator
Terrific! I hope that you enjoy reading it!

Feyn-Man
Another strange question: Why do field lines surrounding a superconductor have discrete field lines while fields surrounding regular conductors and magnets are continuous?

Mike Clements
That is a good question for which there is a very complex answer! The answer lies buried in quantum mechanics. It is rather difficult for me to explain it without showing you some of the mathematics involved. Judging from your name, you may have read a lecture feynman once gave. He was attempting to describe quantum mechanics to an audience with little or no scientific/mathematical background. He said "i would love to tell you about it. unfortunately, the english language is inadequate to describe it and therefore need a more powerful language... mathematics!"

Kevin
How can I get Ferminews?

Moderator
You can subscribe online! Here is the link: http://www.fnal.gov/pub/ferminews/web_signup_fnews/sign_up.html

entangled
More on the space time levels of photons. Is there any theories about sub atomic particles of any type that might preside in a non-dimensional field. I guess you would say it is a rest, because there is no dimensions in which it travel except a 2 or our 3 dimensional frame of reference. I know this more on the metaphysical side of things.

Mike Clements
Nothing concrete that i know about entangled. by the way, there is nothing wrong with metaphysics:-) I have some books on the subject myself!

Jorge
What about you, Chris? Working at Fermilab must be very different from other jobs you've had.

Chris Laughton
Working at Fermilab is a little different. The requirements for the tunneled structures are a little more stingent than with many other tunnels but fortunately the "ground" stays the same. The physicists are great owners to work for - always interested in the tunneling process. Chris

Blaine
Can you just come to the lab for a visit?

Mike Clements
Blaine, you most certainly may:-) You can even arrange for tours of the detectors if you like.

Moderator
FermiNews: First Phase of NuMI Construction Complete http://www.fnal.gov/pub/ferminews/ferminews02-12-06/p1.html

Lambdalana
What involvement does the Fermi lab have with the ITER project

Moderator
Fermilab is not currently involved with the ITER project. The US ITER team met with the US LHC team at Fermilab about a month ago to discuss working with international collaborations. Fermilab is not contributing any science though. Here is a FermiNews article about ITER's visit to Fermilab: http://www.fnal.gov/pub/ferminews/ferminews03-05-09/p4.html

oopsleon
If the top quark is a part of hadrons and other such particles, why is so much energy needed to manufacture it where as the hadrons themselves do not need as much energy to produce?

Mike Clements
Good one:-) This has to do with the fact that the quarks which make up hadrons are bound within that hadron.

Feyn-Man
Mike, understood. If I come to the lab for a visit I'll have to pick your brain.

Mike Clements
please do. public affairs can put you in touch with me:-)

Feyn-Man
Chris, I'm sure the tolerances for these tunnels must be pretty stringent. Given that most of the engineering buildings I have encountered have ironically all sunk to some not-so-small degree, how do you assure that the tunnel hasn't shifted? If it does shift, can it be "fixed"?

Chris Laughton
Well fortunately Fermilab is founded on stiff soils and rock and the buildings and tunnels are relatively stable. The tunnel I worked on was excavated in rocks which are much stronger than concrete - final alignment of the civil structures was tight and will remain stable> tunnel was mined to an accuracy of +/- 6 inches and the beampipes will be aligned to millimeters. Underground surveys have been stablished using a combination of conventional theodolites, gyrotheodolites and even interial guidance equipment. We're not expecting these tunnel stuructres to move at all but we'll keep checking!

Feyn-Man
Is it true that the force attracting quarks to one another actually increases the farther apart they get? Do we know why?

Mike Clements
Feyn-Man, this is true. It is like two quarks are held together by a rubber band. The further apart you pull them, the harder the rubber band will try to bring them back together.

oopsleon
Why are particles which need high energies to manufacture unstable and quickly disintegrate into other particles?

Mike Clements
Oopsleon, ultimately mother nature always prefers things to be in the lowest possible energy state. this applies not only to particle physics, but everything in nature.

Jorge
So you build a tunnel under Fermilab and shoot neutrinos to Minnesota?

Chris Laughton
Exactly right. The tunnel will house a beam of neutrinos that are aimed down into the earth crust at an angle of some 6 degrees. These neutrinos travel through the earth crust all the way to northern Minnesota where they are detected by an underground detector located 2000 feet underground at the base of an old mine shaft. You can visit the mine and detector hall - its all preserved as part of a state park by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - great place to visit!

Rick
What are some of the practical applications that have come out of Fermilab? Do the scientists make additional money if something useful is invented?

Mike Clements
Hey Rick. None of us make any extra money of the work we do here. In terms of practical applications there are several. A lot of work is done here developing new superconductor technology required for the powerful magnets we use. For example. superconducting wire is very difficult to produce, but we do it. There are also many new computing algorithms and techniques we develop. I, for example, develop neural networks to help identify particles. Even the world wide web was born through high energy physics at CERN. Even with all this though, the most important thing is the pure discovery. Who knew when the electron was discovered in 1897 that it would be so important (TV, computers, all electronics, etc).

Harpo
Chris...How was the tunnel "dug"? That sounds like a huge project!

Chris Laughton
The rock tunnels were dug using explosives and a tunnel boring machine,

oopsleon
Why would neutrino oscillations be evidence for neutrino mass?

Mike Clements
For something to decay it needs to have a mass. If we start with a tau neutrino here at fermilab and "shoot" it to a detector in minnesota that detects an electron neutrino instead, then we infer that it had oscillated (changed) because it has lowered its energy by "lowering its mass".

entangled
Do you guys do any work with Lincoln Labs

Mike Clements
Nope, but i have some friends there:-)

oopsleon
I read that gluons hold quarks together by changing the quarks color, how would changing the color accomplish this?

Mike Clements
quarks may change there color, the difference being carried off by the gluon, however, they do not have to .

Lambdalana
Is the radiation fromFermi Lab syncrotron used for any x-ray expariments.

Mike Clements
Lambdalana, the radiation is not used in any x-ray experiments.

oopsleon
Is there any evidence, theoretical or proven, that anti-particles are particles traveling backwards through time (other than the mathematical charts and such)?

Mike Clements
Oopsleon, wouldn't it be cool if there was! :-) But, no, to my knowledge there is none. Modern physics dictates on solid ground that traveling backwards in time cannot occur.

Chris Laughton
Harpo (in addition). Explosives are used to excavate rock by drilling small holes (1-2 inch diameter) and then loading them with explosive cartridges - this makes a lot of noise and vibration and isn't great when you're working adjacent to Fermilab's beamline tunnels! Our contractor also used a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM). The TBM used on this job used rolling steel discs (they look a bit like glass cutter discs) to chip-out rock at the tunnel heading - conveyors remove broken rock from the heading as the cutters rotate concentrically around the tunnel axis to create a circular tunnel. Works great and can cut even the hardest rocks such as granite (although the cutter wear can be signficant in more abrasive rocks.

Harpo
Allright...Prepare for a dumb question... If a neutrino has mass, how can it travel through the earth?

Mike Clements
Well for one, it has a VERY tiny mass:-) Also, neutrinos only interact via the weak force. Not a dumb question, by the way. I still don't really get it either:-)

Lou
so in essence physics is twentieth century alchemy.

Mike Clements
Hi Lou, I wouldn't say alchemy:-) We like to think we understand what is actually happening.

oopsleon
What force then holds the quarks together?

Mike Clements
Oopsleon, the strong force, mediated by gluons, is what binds quarks in hadrons. The physical theory behind this force is called quantum chromodynamics.

entangled
Do photons have a charge?

Mike Clements
Nope, photons have no charge.

Harpo
Then what's "weak force"?

Mike Clements
Harpo, there are 4 fundamental forces. Gravity, electromagnetic, weak, and strong. In electromagnetism the force is mediated by photons, while the weak force is mediated by massive bosons called W and Z.

Harpo
Sounds noisy. How did the neighbors react?

Chris Laughton
We had a few questions about noise (in my experience every tunnel job that uses explosves receives some questions about blasting!) but we followed-up (Fermilab had set-up a hot line to answere any quesitons and our team did a good job of responding quicky to everyone) and we were able to allay all concerns. Our main problem was that sometimes the neighbors didn't hear the blast warning sirens so the blsat cam as a complete surprise!

entangled
Are anti particles and dark matter the same thing

Mike Clements
entangled, nobody really knows what dark matter is. though most scientists would disagree with me, i actually believe that our understanding of laws governing gravity are incorrect.

oopsleon
When does the annual jog around the Tevatron take place?

Moderator
I have been trying to find out about this too! The recreation office had an Employee Fitness Day a couple of weeks ago. I have heard that the Tevatron jog is not an "official" lab activity. People just get together and decide to run around the 4 mile ring.

Lou
isnt it impossible to 'objectively' study any particle/wave, because the percieving conciousness changes the 'activity' of the object percieved?

Mike Clements
Hey Lou, this is a deep question. ultimately yes, our simple act of observing something does change what it is we are observing. as to wether or not it is the percieving conciousness altering the observed is hotly debatable:-)

Sinh
We know that Einstein has talked about Grand Unification Theory and the Scientists have conducted experiments about light ray bend by gravity. Have they repeated such experiments so far?

Mike Clements
Hi Sinh, the bending of light be gravity has been verified experimentally many times in the past few years. The experiments look at gravitational lensing. This is when the light from a distant galaxy is bent by another galaxy sitting between us and the light source.

Harpo
That could be a shock! How many times did you have to blast?

Chris Laughton
Hundreds of times within the space of about a year. It really isn't too loud (thunder-clap level) but it would surprise me sometimes (and I was supposed to know what was coming!). The niose level at a particular location varied from blast to blast as a function of weather conditions - notably wind direction.

oopsleon
Is there any work going on at Fermi Lab about VSL theory?

Mike Clements
Oopsleon, not to my knowledge.

Sinh
Gravity bends photon trajectory! Do you think there could be a reciprocal effect? That means gravity may be created by a curved trajectory of a photon?

Mike Clements
Sinh, very creative thinking:-) Anything is possible.

entangled
That mass doesn't crate a distortion in space?

Mike Clements
I think that it does, however, the mathematics may need to be modified a bit. There may be perturbations that we do not take into account. Perhaps it is like the strong force and there is a coupling constant that grows larger and larger.....

Jorge
What do you mean by that Mike? (re: gravity)

Mike Clements
Hi Jorge, in my last response to oopsleon i tried to clarify:-)

Lambdalana
Mike will the search for gravity waves prove fruitful

Mike Clements
Lambdalana, i certainly do think so!!!

Guest
In Leon Lederman's book "The God Particle" he made a short reference to a theory that if you had an object with large enough compacted mass and rotated it fast enough, it would mess up space-time and result in time travel. He said that this would cause the mass to flatten into a disc. Is this hinting at black holes as time travel tools?

Mike Clements
Hello Guest, I cannot speak for him, however, i think so. If you came near enough to a rapidly rotating black hole and then came back here to earth you would find that much more time had passed here on earth than for you by the black hole.

Lou
has anyone experimented with the various ray energies that filter thru our atmospherer from the planets and other cosmic bodies, and their subtle effects on the organisms of this planet....

Mike Clements
yes, many people have. these are cosmic rays (mostly muons by the time they go through you:-) ). their effect on biological organisms is very limited and certainly nothing to worry about (excpet for UV light from the sun!!!).

Feyn-Man
why do you use protons and anti-protons at the Tevatron? What would electrons and positrons create differently from the protons?

Mike Clements
Feyn-Man, we could not have found the top quark with electrons and positrons! :-)

Lambdalana
and will that data put to rest classical and quantum gravity theory?

Mike Clements
nope. there is no good theory for quantum gravity as of yet, and even with the discovery of gravity waves there will still need to be a quantum theory.

Lou
so could the vibratory rate of an organism determine what they percieve as 'the world out there' - in other words, , if my vibratory rate changed, sped up, could i in theory 'dissapear' because the surrounding vibratory rates are not sufficient to bind my energy to the environments vibratory force?

Mike Clements
Lou, i'm not sure i follow the question.

entangled
So gravity is really a bond between the quarks that crates a snowball effect

Mike Clements
entangled, i do not believe so:-)

Mike Clements
Everyone, I'm trying to answer all your questions, so please be patient with me:-)

Blaine
how much does it cost to dig a tunnel like that?

Chris Laughton
It has cost Fermilab over $30million to build the NuMI Tunnel and two vertical access shafts and it will cost a bit less than $20 million to equip them with power, light, ventilation elevators and two service buildings. Then the physicist will come in to install the remainder of the beamline components that will be used to create the neutrinos.

Sinh
I have sent a query to Jospeh B. Gurman in NASA about the effect caused by a photon that travels in a round circle. He told me that I should ask specialist in particle Phyiscs. I wonder if we compute such effect we may find some connection between light (electro magnetic waves) and gravity . Then may we hope for some track of the unification between gravity and elctromagnectic force?

Mike Clements
Sinh, you never know. this is something we can discuss further.

Lou
in relation to the cosmic rays, has anyone studied the effects of the rays as far as thought and action go....in other words, has anyone undertaken to seperate various rays and study the affects it may have on someones behaviour patterns or perceptions?

Mike Clements
Lou, I'm not really sure about that one.

Lou
so if one persons energetic system is vibrating more quickly, and thus less dense, then would that person have access to other perceptions or 'dimensions' that may not be available to another person with a vibratory rate that is much denser, and thus more bound to the material plane, so to speak?

Mike Clements
Lou, it almost sounds like you are asking about the plausibility of things such as out of body experiences...

Blaine
is there a similar tunnel in Minn.?

Chris Laughton
In northern Minnesota a detector hall has been built. It is constructed adjacent to an old mine shaft. The hall or cavern is about 50 feet wide, 30 feet high and around 200 feet long. It is accessed by an old mine shaft that is 2000 feet deep and a short tunnel. The mine is maintained as a park facility by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - neat place to visit.

Sinh
Where can I find about the descriptions of starlight bent by gravity experiments ? Is information from the Internet available?

Mike Clements
Hi Sinh, give me until tomorrow and I will email you the names of some books and links to such information. If you look on the internet for "Einstein's cross" you are sure to find something.

Mike Clements
Sinh, here is a link to a gravitational lense photo and some info http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap001010.html

entangled
Has there been any studies relating to decaying photons and gravtional pull

Mike Clements
entangled, I'm not really sure.

Lambdalana
Is there any creedence to those that would revisit classical theory to explain quantum effects. Is it MOND?

Mike Clements
Lambdalana, revisiting classical theory is perfectly good in my book. Many people do it and try to look for things that may have been missed or misunderstood. Though, in truth, not much success has been had in that direction:-)

Harpo
Chris--It sounds like the level of precision is a little higher in physics tunneling projects. What other differences are there?

Chris Laughton
I find that tunnels are never dry enough for accelerator and detector systems! All tunnels I've ever been in have a leak or two so there is usually a compromise necessary between what the physicists ideally need and what the tunnel engineer can provide. Dryness requirements are more stringent than in tunnels built for other purposes.

Mike Clements
Jorge, sorry that i have not gotten to your earlier questions! My apologies! I'm a physicist on the DZero experiment here at Fermilab. I decided to go into physics because i think it is just about the most amazing thing in the world, and, it is a lot of fun!!!

AleU235
is the velocity of a neutrino mesurable?

Mike Clements
by measuring the energy deposited in a detector by the neutrinos one should be able to infer the velocity (about the speed of light)

Lou
in addition to my obvious passions I have a strong interest in static electric generating machines; in particular VandeGraaff Generators. Do you know what it intails in building one. Simple? Hard? Dangerous?

Mike Clements
Hi Lou. Van de graaff generators are pretty simple to build (and can be bought for less then $100 if you don't need more than 200kV). They are very safe machines to use. If you build one just be careful when installing the motor as that is the only place where there is dangerous current. Check out this link if you're really interested....

Harpo
...vs. non-physics, civil engineering tunnel projects...?

Chris Laughton
Alignment tolerances and watertightness requirements are typically much less stringent in other tunnels built for most infrastrcture projects. For example: alignment tolerances for water tunnels maybe on the order of +/- feet and water inflows on the order of gallons per minute per hundred foot of tunnel. Compare that to the alignment tolerances for the Large Electron Positron accelerator tunnel (built over the Switzerland/France border at the Eurpopean Particle Physics Laboratory) of +/- 4 inches over 2 miles and a water inflow limitation of a few gallons per mile!

Lambdalana
How many different type of detectors are in use at Fermi Lab? Are you still using the chyrenkov? light detector?

Mike Clements
Lambdalana, we use every kind of detector you can imagine here at Fermilab:-) There are many different types of light detectors at work, as well as calorimeters which are huge tanks filled with liquid argon and uranium that stop the particles and capture their energy.

Sinh
Thankyou! The reason why I am so interested in the photon trajectory is the similarity between the escape velocity of a satellite bound by gravity and the way we can release a photon out of it gravity orbit. If we hit a orbital photon with another photon (laser) with enough energy, the orbital photon will be kicked out of orbit and energy will be released?

Mike Clements
hmmmm, not so sure. need to give that some thought:-)

AleU235
so could an experiment be set up to use high enough speeds to make the neutrinos mass increase in a value about the same as an electron? (using relativity)

Mike Clements
recall that any particle can be sped up to speeds near (but not at) the speed of light. their relative mass will then get greater, however, the rest mass stays the same.

entangled
What is the latest on quantum entanglement.

Mike Clements
entangled, i'm nor really sure. this is not a subject which i encounter often:-)

Sinh
Are there experiments on photon collisions?

Mike Clements
most certainly there are. however, i'm not sure where off the top of my head.

Cinder
Chris - can anybody go down into the tunnel? What kind of training do you need?

Chris Laughton
At present access underground is limited. There is a contractor installing pipes and cables and constructing the service buildings. With all this undergorund activity there is a need to limit access and ensure that anyone that needs to go underground is properly trained before they "go down". More training will be needed once the civil construction is completed and the "technical installation" begins.

Feyn-Man
what is scalar field weaponry, and is it at all related to what you're doing?

Mike Clements
we do absolutely no weapons research here at the lab. scalar field weaponry is basically (as far as i know) a particle beam weapon.

Moderator
What do you think about the Virtual Ask-a-Scientist program? Send your thoughts to lizzie@fnal.gov

Lou
Mike, If I were to build one, could I put at risk my electronic equipmen in the room. For example my 3.5 floppys and computers? Also, if I were to put my disks on a change dish, would that save them? And last but not least, what do you know about scalor weapons?

Mike Clements
Yes! Electrostatics will definetly harm your computer! If you wrapped your disks tightly in foil that would protect them. As far as scalar weapons, i mentioned above that they are particle beam weapons.

AleU235
can't we induce acceleration until the relative neutrino mass get to mesurable values and then calculate it's rest mass by using the final speed necessary to do so?

Mike Clements
neutrinos travel at nearly the speed of light. the amount of energy that would be required to increase their velocity further is more than we can hope to produce anytime in the near term (or even long term?).

Cinder
What does it look like down in the tunnel?

Chris Laughton
The NuMI tunnel looks good - my personal opinion. Some rock walls are coated with a sprayed concrete, some are just bare rock. I prefer bare rock - the rocks under Fermilab are sedimentary in origin and were formed in shallow sea and lake environments - dolomitic limestones, siltstones and shales that are nearly half a billion years old! Good place to store wine and/or grow mushrooms!

Lou
Foil YES, but what about a change dish?

Mike Clements
I don't think i would take that chance:-)

Lambdalana
What kind of watches do you folks wear when your in the tunnel? Does the magnetism effect them?

Mike Clements
when the tevatron is operating and the magnets are powered up there is nobody in the tunnel. it would be far to dangerous. before the beam is engaged alarms go off and people are taken out of the tunnel. once on, the tunnel is locked out.

entangled
Have you heard of any experiments using photons to produce cold fussion

Mike Clements
Not any that I am aware of. I think a lot of the cold fusion research these days revolves around using sound waves.

Bharat
Hi everybody

Mike Clements
Hi Bharat.

Lou
what if you were in a dorm room with somewhat limited space and a fan that ran around the clock; would that make a difference in the Faraday cage effect of the change dish?

Mike Clements
hmmmm, perhaps. but only if you were at Brown:-)

Lambdalana
Does Fermi Lab hold the out put record? What is it in eV?

Mike Clements
Yes it does. The center of mass energy at the lab is 2TeV.

Bharat
Hi, when i was reading Leon Lederman's book, the God particle, I came across something called "Spooky action at a distance"... i was reading up on it and was quite confused about the fact that this may permit particles to travel faster than the spee of light... can u shed some light on this?

Mike Clements
I cannot shed much light on it. another user, "entangled", is also very interested in this subject. the effect is known as quantum entanglement.

AleU235
about neutrino ocilations; is that possible that neutinos are in fact only one kind of particle that is in a stage of uncertaint between dimensions since super string theory postulates that space-time must have ten dimensions?

Mike Clements
it certainly is a possibility:-)

Cinder
Thanks, Chris. Does that mean that Fermilab used to covered by Lake Michigan or by a different body of water? It sounds like you know a lot about rocks and minerals!

Chris Laughton
Well before the time of Lake Michigan, which is a fairly recent creation. Over the years I've developed an appreciation for the materials with which I work and within which I build - in the same way that a structural engineer would know about steel and concrete.

Guest
i was reading about something called spooky action at a distance, but couldnt quite understand it... does it mean that particles can actually travel faster than the speed of light?

Mike Clements
no. particles cannot travel faster than the speed of light. the problem is that two particles very far away from one another appear to be able to effect one another much faster than it would take for a signal (light) to travel between them.

Lou
How did you know? Was I too obvious?Took long enough! I haven't seen a better Generator since those days. And once again I ask the question that you have yet to answer, would a change dish do the same as a Faraday cage?

Mike Clements
Nope, the change dish is not completely covered. Forgive me, I can be rather slow:-)

Guest
Thank you and Good night

Mike Clements
Good night.

Feyn-Man
can quarks dance?

Mike Clements
Yes. They especially like the Salsa.

Moderator
We have about ten minutes left to tonight's chat session. Start thinking about your final questions and please submit them now.

Sinh
I read about the Kashmir effect caused by quantum fluctuation. That means two objects are caused to attract each other by shielding of some "waves in vacuum". Do you think that terrestrial bodies have gaps ( as distances between them) that are actually causing Kashmir effect in a large scale between them and this is the cause of the gravity ( attraction) between objects?

Mike Clements
I think that this is probably unlikely. But, I'd need to look at it more closely:-)

entangled
I have a theory that photons can rest in a non-dimentional state where they are a constant and that under certain reations are produce in the 3 dimensional state. There fore from our frame of reference they appear to travel faster that the speed of light. There by creating the spooky effect. Maybe that is what dark matter is?

Mike Clements
In our 3D state, though, they never exceed the speed of light, as they define it:-)

AleU235
is it yet known what really happens when a neutrino occilates? what is the most acceptable theory used by scientists today?

Mike Clements
for a good answer to this question I would check out this website: http://www-numi.fnal.gov

Feyn-Man
Mmm, salsa. How do you know where in the tunnel the collisions will occur, and how do you sift through all the data for results that are actually interesting?

Mike Clements
The Tevatron has several points where the beams are crossed, so, this is where the collisions occurr. collecting and sifting through the data is an enormous challenge. our detector sees 2.5 million collisions per second. of these we pick the 50 most interesting (per second) and record them to tape. Going from 2,500,000 to 50 per second is not easy and takes an incredible amount of computing power. We have hundreds of powerful computers working around the clock. Then it takes a scientist about 2-3 years to crank out an analysis on the filtered data from the computers.

entangled
Will quantum physics every blend into metaphysics? The last particles just is?

Mike Clements
some would argue that on some level it already has. who knows what the future will bring.

AleU235
so this whole thing still under speculation

Mike Clements
it is stiill a VERY active area of cutting edge research.

entangled
Thanks Mike for your insight to this matter, no pun entended

Mike Clements
thanks for joining the chat session! great questions:-)

Moderator
We are just about out of time. Thank you for all of your excellent questions! I think that some of you stumped our scientists!

Feyn-Man
thanks clements

Mike Clements
you're welcome.

Sinh
Where can I find information on neutron neutron collision?

Mike Clements
i'm not sure sinh. we don't do that kind of collision here.

Moderator
Good night everybody! Thanks for participating in tonight's chat session!

Sinh
Thank you very much for your kind help!

Mike Clements
you're welcome:-) i'll look into your email as well.

Chris Laughton
Good Night to y'all too. Chris

Mike Clements
Good night everyone. thanks for coming!

Moderator
Good night!

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