Would the powerful magnets in a supercollider change the nature of the particles observed?

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Ken Silva

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Ken Silva  asked the Naked Scientists:
Re: Super collider.

Is it possible that the action of all those powerful magnets used to force the particles into circular paths could change the nature of the particles so that any observations are erroneous?

Thank you.
Ken S.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 11/04/2010 10:30:04 by _system »


Offline Soul Surfer

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No there is no reason to believe that the magnetic fields have any significant effect on the particles.  The magnetic fields are quite large compared with fields generated on the earth but they are not all that strong when you consider the fields generated around neutron stars and observations of them show no clearly anomalous behaviour.

There is also no good theoretical reason why they should have any significant effect.
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Offline Murchie85

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I have often thought of this question myself, say for example if it was to have an effect on the particles but at a deeper level (say quarks for example) then would it not be very hard to observe the inflicted change. As for a neutron star since it is so far away and it requires the state of the art detectors undergrouund in the worlds best facilities to detect the particles that are being emitted right here, then would it not stand to reason it would be far harder observing any changes in the neutron star as it is so far away?
« Last Edit: 12/04/2010 10:37:18 by Murchie85 »


Offline JP

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Even if the current theory is wrong (though there is no good reason to think it is) and the magnets do effect the particles, the experimental results wouldn't be erroneous.  The experiments would show results that don't agree with the theory.  Once the physicists involved had carefully checked everything to make sure there was no error in the experiment, they would then have to fix their theories to account for the new effect.  The point of doing the experiment in the first place is to test the current theories and also hopefully find new physics at work.