Elementary Particles: Science, Technology, and Society by Luke C. L. Yuan

By Luke C. L. Yuan

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The latter goals, of course, became the concern of institutions of learning, and thus much pure research was sponsored by universities and by philanthropical institutions. Eventually manufacturing concerns recognized the advantage of research efforts, and then a certain amount of pure research was also sponsored by industry. But the costs of some kinds of research increased beyond the capabilities of individuals and of private institutions, so that whole communities, whole countries, and even groups of countries, had to take over sponsorship.

At the first target, all sorts of particles are produced, such as π and Κ mesons, positively or negatively charged or with no charge at all, and also antiprotons, neutrons, protons, and χ rays. These particles emerge from the target in all directions with all possible velocities. The charged π and Κ mesons, for instance, are unstable but live long enough so that one can pass them through a magnet which changes their direction of flight, the resulting deflection depending on their electric charge and being largest for the smallest momenta.

Flying saucers, if they existed, might be propelled by very intense electromagnetic radiation. One of the most impressive developments during the last few years, however, has been the light laser (or maser for short radio waves), which allows one to produce extremely precisely directed electromagnetic waves. " Such coherent light can then be made extremely intense and well directed. Besides its great scientific interest, during the few years since its inception the laser has become a very important tool.

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