May 27, 2018

Scientists Measure The Pressure Distribution Inside The Proton

Posted by in category: particle physics

Inside the proton, there is an immense amount of pressure which is equivalent to a billion, billion times the pressure at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Scientists at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility have measured the pressure inside the proton for the first time. To probe the conditions within the proton, Burkert and his colleagues used an electron beam to probe the inner conditions of a proton. In simple terms, the electrons in the electron beam have energy and this is handed over to one of the quarks. This causes the entire proton to recoil and the quark emits a high-energy photon. By using conservation of momentum and measuring the positions and energies of the photon, proton, and electron in the experiment provides insight into the inner structure of the proton.

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