Monday, May 20, 2013

World's Smallest Liquid Droplets Created in Atom Smasher

Inside the Large Hadron Collider, protons slammed into lead nuclei (shown here in a 3D view), producing teeny, tiny droplets of liquid, along with other subatomic particles. (Green lines represent the trajectories of subatomic particles produced; red and blue bars represent the energy measured by the CMS detector's two sets of calorimeters.)

Scientists think they've created the smallest drops of liquid ever — the size of only three to five protons.

The droplets were made inside the world's largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland, where particles are sped up to near light speed and then smashed together. When researchers collided protons with lead nuclei, they were surprised to find that the result was teeny, tiny droplets of liquid.

These liquid drops are miniscule, at about 1/100,000 the size of a hydrogen atom or 1/100,000,000 the size of a typical virus. [Dazzling Droplets: Photos Reveal Mini Worlds]
The researchers consider the droplets liquid because they flow more like

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