"..Let's jet physical, physical!!!..."
Alright alright alright I'll leave - geeeeez!
The first microquasar us Earthlings have detected has left astrophysicists puzzled. Microquasars are greedy black holes that gobble up material from stars hovering nearby and shoot out powerful gamma ray beams. One particular specimen, codenamed SS 433, emits two jets that have energies measuring at least 25 trillion electron …
Comparing the energies of the microquasar's gamma rays to the kinetic energy of a flying mosquito was also intended as a joke.
What really matters here is the density of energy, and it is really enormous. For comparison, a blue light photon carries an energy between 2.50 and 2.75 eV while for the microquasar's gamma rays each photon carries around 25 TeVs, that's not twelve but THIRTEEN orders of magnitude above.
All that energy concentrated in such a tiny particle. That's really impressive!!!
There are many pedants in the forums, the better ones explain themselves along with their downvote.
There is a great variety of expertise in far wider fields than just IT here and its always good to learn new angles on the discussions though.
So a qualified hooray to the pedants.
It is accelerating electrons not protons like the LHC. Confusingly it is way harder to accelerate light particles to high energies than heavier ones.
There are individual cosmic ray particles (probably) from other galaxies that have been detected at billions of time the LHC energy. We just don't know how or where - what's cool about this is that it is a nearby continuous source we can study
Isn't that kinda to be expected though? If I understand it all correctly a massless Photon is already humming along at something infinity closer to C (e.g. The speed of Light in a vacuum), whereas your heavier elements (or Particles), can me made to go a bit faster, but will inevitably never actually hit C no matter what.
"That's not much of a difference, I'd say the LHC holds its own quite well"
Just to clarify, since I don't think the article really made it clear, the comparison is not 25 to 14 TeV. 14TeV is the collision energy of the particle beams in the LHC (the actual particles only have 7 TeV, the total comes from colliding them head-first). The 25 TeV in the article is the energy of gamma rays (ie. photons) produced by particles which themselves have much higher energy. The paper suggests an absolute minimum particle energy of 130 TeV to produce those photons; in reality it will of course be much more than that, and given a likely gaussian spread even if some are near the minimum the maximum energies are probably at least an order of magnitude or two higher.
For comparison, a synchrotron light source is an accelerator which works on the same principles as the LHC (which is also a synchrotron), but is dedicated to producing photons. A light source using 3 GeV (ie. 10^9) electrons will produce photons up to around 50 keV - five orders of magnitude lower than that of the particles themselves. Basically, if you see photons of a given energy, whatever produced them was almost certainly a hell of a lot more energetic. The minimums given in the paper make the LHC look like a toy, the possible maximums make it look like an insignificant speck.
"That said, it's about the kinetic energy of 25 flying mosquitoes going against 14 flying mosquitoes"
True, but that is per particle; the accelerator is sending packets of myriad particles around the ring.
Interesting side note - there is a lead buffer on an offshoot of the LHC that is designed to take the full whack of everything currently in the ring - the total energy of all the particles that would be transferred to it is estimated to be similar to that delivered by a cruise ship doing 10 knots...
@El kabong, please. If scientists the world over are impressed, they tend to be impressed for a reason. The LHC is the most powerful particle accelerator on the planet (although it accelerates protons, not electrons), and it works by *smashing* things together. The 14 TeV are actually 2 x 7 TeV in opposite/oblique directions.
The most powerful electron accelerator on the planet currently *only* does 17.5 GeV (in one direction), and it only emits a monochromatic X-ray class beam of radiation of 25 keV. To emit a beam that has energies of 25 TeV or more... add energies inside the quasar by another order or three (or four... you get the drift) of magnitude.
Find me a man-made toy that emits a radiation beam of 25 TeV before speaking again about 14 mosquitos vs 25 mosquitos.
"It's just for reference. It's like saying Jupiter is a gas giant: it can fit 1,300 Earths."
"How many Olympic Sized swimming pools is that?"
"Until someone mentions Brexit."
How many Brexit red buses is that? (ducks)
Good article and seriously cool that they can measure that.
Power output in Kettles ?
So that's 100.000 kettles at 2kW each, all of them running for 6500 hours. At roughly 100 seconds to heat a liter from 15C to boiling in such a kettle each of them would make 234.000 liters of tea, or a bit over half a million mugs over those 6500 hours.
I can be wrong, it's a morning after an evening of satisfying potsmoking, but the thing has roughly 2 times the power of the LHC. At first I thought it was an American reporter bashing on a contraception located in Europe. But no.
A kid's toy has the power of a grown-up's toy orders of magnitude smaller. Not half the power.
What a kid's idea of a title for this in essence rather interesting article. Also the usual sarcastic title-appropriation on The Reg isn't applicable to me. What a bummer.
Each photon coming form the microquasar carries around 25 TeVs, that's not twelve but THIRTEEN orders of magnitude above. That microquasar produces really powerful gamma rays.
This is to make things clear, as some failed to recognize my mosquito remark above as being an attempt at a joke.
P.S. The LHC is not that shabby either.
Those of use who remember nylon sheets know this to be insignificant compared with the voltage generated by a couple wrestling in a bed adorned with satans satin. An electron from one of those can hurl the human body across a room if it impinges on the nether regions!
Knowing physicists and their desire for bigger and better accelerators, I'm really glad that we are 15000 light years away from what might just be "So, if we want a really bright source, how about feeding some stuff at just the right angle into a black hole?"
The LHC is exquisitely tuned for the one purpose of accelerating protons. This is a natural formation that happens to accelerate particles to higher energies than that, just as a side-effect of what it's doing.
The fact that this happens at all should be amazing, regardless of the relative output energies.
So the amount of free energy available in those beams are absolutely enormous. And available 24/7/365.
There must therefore surely be a few £million in government funding available to research ways of harnessing it. Doesn't have to be at all practical, the government just needs to be able to boast about how much it's doing to address climate change.
So the LHC can push protons to 14 Tev, the total energy in a beam is significant.
Using data from CERN:
2808 bunches of protons * 1.2 x 10^11 protons * 6.5 Tev / proton ~= 3.78 10^9 joules
I know we say 14 Tev, that would up the energy to ~7.5 10^9 joules
Pardon my crude calculations....
I bet the quasar is outputting more than that per day...
I would say the total energy, were it directed directly at Earth might cause some problems
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