PICTURE STATION - SCIENCE INSIGHTS 2015; 12(1):381-383.


What the world looks like if you scale countries by population


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One neat thing about this one is that unlike with some cartograms, the basic shapes of the countries are very recognizable. Such low-population, large-area Anglophone nations as Canada and Australia nearly vanish from the map, though, while the nations of the Indian subcontinent swell enormously. Russia also shrinks from being a giant of land mass to only a mid-sized country as judged by population. You can also see that Nigeria really dominates the West African landscape in terms of actual population in a way that conventional area maps don't reflect.

 


What Will Happen When Two Proton Beams Collide at Nearly the Speed of Light?

By Kelly Dickerson (2015, USA)


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When protons barrel into each other in head-on collisions, they explode into hot clouds full of exotic subatomic particles: The first step is to turn hydrogen into protons. Hydrogen is a special element because its atoms only contain two particles: an elecron and a proton. Other elements have atoms with multiples of each and also have neutral particles called neutrons. So it's simpler to isolate protons this way: Just use an electric field to pull electrons off hydrogen atoms, leaving lone protons. A beam of isolated protons is then sent speeding clockwise around the giant 17-mile-long tunnel of the LHC, while a second beam of protons is sent counterclockwise. The LHC has a series of accelerator tubes that rev up the proton beams' speed until they're traveling just a fraction of a second under the speed of light. Supercooled magnets line the tunnel and act like a steering wheel to keep the beams on track. Each proton beam holds 2,000 to 3,000 bunches of protons, and just one bunch is made of about 100 billion protons. Before the beams collide, all those protons are squeezed into a stream that's less than the width of a hair. The LHC will create roughly 600 million collisions per second when it revs up to full power a few months from now. The collisions happen at four points along the 17-mile-long ring. A particle detector is waiting at each point to measure all the subatomic particles that erupt from the collisions. Scientists think this second run of the LHC will reveal a whole suite of new particles that could completely change what we know about physics. The tunnels of the LHC that the protons flow through have vacuum-like conditions similar to that of empty outer space. When two beams collide, all that energy packed into such a small vacuum of space explodes and creates mass in the form of subatomic particles (think of Einstein's famous equation: energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light squared). The particles that spawn from these collisions only exist for a fraction of a second, but that's enough time for the particle detectors to do their jobs — to measure the position, speed, charge, mass, and energy of all the subatomic particles that are created. The original article was from the BUSINESSINSIDER.


 


The Countries Most Likely To Survive Climate Change In One Infographic


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