Physics DIY – How to Make a Macro Particle Accelerator!

Ever since I took Physics in college (let me just tell you high school Physics was boring) and learned about quantum mechanics where if you can travel at the speed of light you can go to the future (really), it has intrigued me how it can affect our everyday lives.

For those of you wannabe be world’s-top-physicists (and perhaps you will build the first time machine), here’s a cool macro particle accelerator, that works just like a particle accelerator that scientists use to send particles at almost speed of light except on a ping ball.

video://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Vh2IeuYxQY&feature=player_embedded

What you see is strips of aluminum tape charged and spread out in a bow.l They are used to create electric charges that repeatedly change the charge of a conductively painted ping pong ball. This results in a sort of motor that propels the ball around the circumference of the bowl.

I’ve heard accelerators like CERN use electric fields, and I’ve heard they use magnetic fields. I believe I can distuinguish between the two, but I’d be interested in an experts discription of their differences.
Imagine my embarassment if I learn here that there is no difference. Even though everyone knows electromagnetism is a single force, It seems to me that at times it lacks polarity.
Either way, a simple understanding of “likes repel / opposites attract” is enough to see why this machine works.

via instructables

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