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  Atom Smashing


The little bang has been studied in atom smashers around the world. These atom smashers can take different forms but they all operate by stripping the electrons away from an atom, thus leaving a bare nucleus. Without it's electrons, the ionized atom possesses a large positive charge and can be accelerated by electric and magnetic fields. A beam of these ions (a bunch of bare nuclei) can be accelerated to high speeds and either collided with another beam of ions, or with a stationary target. The biggest little-bangs are achieved when two beams are circulated in counter-rotating rings of superconducting magnets, and smashed into each other at intersection points where massive detectors can gather the debris shooting away from the collisions.

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  Lumpy Gold Ions
  Quark-Gluon Plasma
  Big Bang Analogy
  The Atom Smasher