This is what a proton looks like

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[EN VIDÉO] Maize
The atom is an essential element of our reality, but do you really know it well?

The chair you are sitting on now. L ‘the computer where you read this thread. evenbird What do you hear her sing? Window opened. The issue What surrounds us is made up ofatoms. Our invisible tiny particles eyes. The small particles themselves are made up ofElectronsFrom neutrons and protons. Even the smallest particles. More invisible.

Invisible, but very real. So, have you ever wondered what these tiny particles look like? small species solar energy systems It is made up of electrons orbiting around a nucleus neutrons and protons. This is the image that has been suggested for a long time. but the Physicists Today they know it is not fair. And since you have to start from somewhere, researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States) invites us to discover what protona particle no larger than a femtometer – that is, 10-15th meters. And spoiler attention, it’s not the perfect pool ball we still traditionally serve in school.

Frankly, MIT researchers have been thinking about it for nearly twenty years now. Let them think of the best way to give us an accurate picture of what a proton is. The idea of ​​making it a simple robot image was soon rejected. Because the world physical Particles somehow… live! It is evolving. he is in a movement. Particles are formed. Others disappear. Some turn. And only animation can make this reality tangible.

But the physicists at MIT really wanted to go beyond anything known. From all that has already been presented so far. They set themselves a real challenge: to collaborate with artists. To provide scientifically accurate and visually appealing animations. Make bold decisions that will help “People come to a better understanding of their interpretation and physics in general”.

The proton, a particle not out of reach in the end

Before we go any further, remember that researchers have proven that the proton is not a elementary particles. It is made of three quarks – two of which are called up quarks and one called down quarks. This is what physicists call itstrong reaction that binds them together. by exchanging gluons. This interaction is so strong that quarks and gluons have not been observed separately before.

Thus, artists who worked with MIT teams depicted quarks as points of light. Points of light that change color are constantly moving, changing from red to green and blue to represent the color charges that appear between quarks and gluons that are subject to the strong interaction. Because according to quantum theory, all systems of Quarks and gluons Wear an equal amount of these three colors. Although it is not actually colored blue, red or green.

Experiments with particle accelerators with increasing efficiency have shown to physicists that in the core of the proton, it is the gluons that generally enact the law. But in some areas, quarks are taking over. Within a few years, a new instrument appeared, the electron ion Collider (USA), it should make it possible to determine what is happening in the boundaries of these areas. But already, the team that helped the MIT researchers produce an honest representation of the proton succeeded in creating an animation that explains its changing structure. A structure dominated by gluons that continually separate and recombine when it is exposure time – which corresponds more or less to the fraction of the momentum of a proton carried by a quark or gluon – is weak. When exposure time Increments, is the process of creation by the gluon of the quark and against the quark that appears. Finally, with a file exposure time High, the three quarks that make up the proton are shown.

Even better, the researchers were able to plot what one would notice when they plunge into a proton core. when increasing Precision my place. When the details appear and the relativistic effect causes the proton to lose its ball shape and turn into a disk. to exposure time Weak, there appears to be an increased number of gluons. to exposure time High, it’s a rather coarse structure, but it’s all definite and made up of three quarks, which get more and more distinct.

The researchers now plan to work on developing a 3D version of this proton visualization. Before suggesting an animation for atomic nucleus. And frankly, who wouldn’t dream of following them into the wonderful world of infinitesimal physics?

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