Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A New Look At The Proton

Date:
September 27, 2007
Source:
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Summary:
A young scientist has investigated more than three million collisions between electrons and protons. In his PhD thesis he demonstrates -- for the first time -- that the spin contribution of quarks to the proton can be studied by examining collisions in which two particles (hadrons) are produced.

The HERMES experiment (HERA measurement of spin). This photo shows that the entire experiment is mounted on rails and can be moved out of the ring of the particle accelerator (HERA). At the bottom left of the photo a piece of tube from the accelerator can be seen through which the electrons move (to the right).
Credit: Image courtesy of Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

Dutch researcher Paul van der Nat investigated more than three million collisions between electrons and protons. In his PhD thesis he demonstrates -for the first time– that the spin contribution of quarks to the proton can be studied by examining collisions in which two particles (hadrons) are produced.

The spin of a particle can most easily be compared to the rotating movement of a spinning top.

In the HERMES experiment at the HERA particle accelerator in Hamburg, physicists are investigating how the spin of protons can be explained by the characteristics of their building blocks: quarks and gluons.

Van der Nat investigated a method to measure the contribution of the spin of the quarks to the total spin of the proton, independent of the contribution of the spin of the gluons. For this a quark is shot out of the proton by an electron from the particle accelerator, as a result of which two hadrons are formed.

The direction and amount of motion of these two hadrons is accurately measured. This method, which Van der Nat applied for the first time, turned out to be successful.

Spin is a characteristic property of particles, just like matter and electrical charge. Spin was discovered in 1925, by the Dutch physicists Goudsmit and Uhlenbeck. In 1987, scientists at CERN in Geneva discovered that only a small fraction of the proton's spin is caused by the spin of its constituent quarks.

The HERMES experiment was subsequently set up to find this missing quantity of spin, and has been running since 1995. It is expected that spin will play an increasingly important role in many applications. The MRI scanner is a well-known example of an application in which the spin of protons plays a key role.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. "A New Look At The Proton." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070925092529.htm>.
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. (2007, September 27). A New Look At The Proton. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070925092529.htm
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. "A New Look At The Proton." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070925092529.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Is North Korea Planning Nuclear Test #4?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) South Korean officials say North Korea is preparing to conduct another nuclear test, but is Pyongyang just bluffing this time? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Falls for 4x4s at Beijing Auto Show

China Falls for 4x4s at Beijing Auto Show

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) The urban 4x4 is the latest must-have for Chinese drivers, whose conversion to the cult of the SUV is the talking point of this year's Beijing auto show. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) The light-field photography engineers at Lytro unveiled their next innovation: a professional DSLR-like camera called "Illum." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins