Saturday, July 11, 2009

Elements and accelerators

The following article is quite interesting in discussing the most important elements used to make an atomic accelerator function.

"deconstruction: periodic table"

by

Kristine Crane

July 9th, 2009

Symmetry

Look at the periodic table of elements, and you’d be hard pressed to find an element that is not used in physics. But what are the most important elements for building accelerators, detecting particles, and solving the mysteries of the universe? The search for answers takes us on a winding journey that includes ancient shipwrecks, trendy earrings, and the sound of dark matter. symmetry intern Kristine Crane asks Fermilab physicists about the elements they could not live without.


Left to right: superconducting cavities made of niobium; germanium crystal of the CDMS experiment; ATLAS silicon detector.


[Click the charts to enlarge for better reading.]