Accelerators of molecules

In physics, accelerators have long been used. To have a reaction between the particles, they must be stocked with energy. To do this, the physicist accelerates them in the electromagnetic field of the accelerator. Thus, the molecules could not be accelerated, since they are electrically neutral and the electromagnetic field does not act on them. Therefore, chemists have not built accelerators for a long time. The molecules were forced to react "in the old fashion" by bringing the burning gas burner to the flask with a solution of the substance.

The first molecular accelerator was primitive - it was a rotor with blades that slightly immersed in the liquid being examined

Molecules in solution undergo Brownian motion: without any meaning they rush into all directions and collide. "Fragments" of the split molecules are connected to each other, forming new molecules. If the molecules hit each other slightly, they will simply bounce off one another. That's why chemists try to accelerate the running of molecules in all ways so that they do not just collide, but break each other.

The first molecular accelerator was primitive - it was a rotor with blades that slightly immersed in the liquid being examined. Having switched on the electric motor, the rotor began to rotate, with each blade taking part of the solution and pushing it into the chamber opening. Molecules, thus, received energy slightly higher than when heated by a gas burner. Such an accelerator of molecules did not inspire.

The accelerator of the molecules of a heavy gas can be constructed as follows. In a steel cylinder, hydrogen is compressed, that is, a light gas with the addition of a small amount of heavy gas, for example methane. Opening the valve, hydrogen molecules, whistling from the cylinder, pushing methane molecules millions of times for a second and, eventually, accelerate them for themselves. Heavy molecules fly at the same speed as the lungs, but the energy accumulates more in proportion to their weight. By placing a screen with an aperture in the path of molecules, it is possible to form a rectilinear beam of molecules of practically the same energy. After this, the beam is directed to a chamber filled with a gas, with which its molecules must react.

To accelerate the molecules, driving them through the barrel of the accelerator can be done in the following way. The fact is that the molecules of most organic and inorganic substances are dipoles, that is, each molecule behaves in the electric field in the same way as the compass needle in the Earth's magnetic field. One end of the dipole is positive, the other is negative. The molecule tends to turn so that the positive end approaches the negative pole, and the negative end approaches the positive one. When it is between the poles, the current is cut off, and the molecule, by inertia, moves further to the poles of the other magnet. Then the current is cut off from it. So, moving from one pair of poles to another, the molecule is accelerated, after which it is directed to the target. Having 700 such stages, it is possible to accelerate the molecule to an energy of 2 eV. Such molecular accelerators have a length of about 10 m.

When a bundle of molecules collides with a target, we must analyze what happened. If charged particles were obtained, they would be easy to measure, since they, when they hit the detector plates, cause an electric current. Neutral current reaction products do not. But for detection, you can use tritium - a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, as well as a radioactive isotope of carbon. From a container with compressed gas, then molecules of not simple methane, but radioactive, will break out. When such a molecule collides with a chlorine molecule, methane chloride is formed, also radioactive, each molecule of which is easily caught by a Geiger counter.

Using molecular accelerators, it is possible to investigate a wide variety of organic substances. Chemical accelerators of molecules with radioactive detection make it possible to study also unstable substances.

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