CERN Accelerating science

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The Smashing Game

If you want to see what's inside a particle, you have to open it up. But they are so tiny that you certainly can't do it with a knife... To study particles and what's inside them, physicists at CERN use accelerators.

They take some particles (let's say protons) and some matching antiparticles (antiprotons) and they accelerate them up to very high speed, giving them lots of energy. Then they make the particles and antiparticles smash into each other.

In this way you have a lot of energy available:
- some is used to rip the particles and antiparticles open, so the physicists look inside and study their constituents;
- the leftover energy is available as "energy-dough": pairs of many types of particles and antiparticles are made, and physicists can study them all.

(CERN: the Antimatter Place - page 2 of 4)
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