what do shrink-wrapped thanksgiving turkeys and the higgs boson have in common?
Every Thanksgiving, millions of Americans bring home Turkey from stores.
If you find yourself pinging a fresh, shrink-
Wrap the bird into the cart and you can thank the particle physicist for their solid shelf life
This is because the food industry uses the tools first developed by the Physical Laboratory: the electronic accelerator to make shrink packaging.
To understand how this process works, imagine that the atoms in plastic are individuals in the Thanksgiving meal.
Initially, these people only hang out with people they already know or family members they know. (
In the shrink package, \"in-
\"Regiments\" are long strings of Bond atoms called polymer chains. )
Since these groups drift easily, this initial configuration is weak.
Now imagine, as the owner of Thanksgiving, an accelerated electron.
It can start quickly at the party, break the conversation and encourage people to shake hands with others in different groups.
The technical name of this process in plastic is cross-linking.
It makes the plastic harder and more heat-resistant. resistant. Cross-
The link is essential for making shrink packaging because it allows the manufacturer to heat the plastic and stretch it into a film without breaking or melting into confusion.
It stays stretched when the film coolsout shape.
But make the movie into a bag and throw a turkey (or other item)
Re-heating inside, the plastic will shrink, forming a tight seal with anything inside.
The plastic industry provides great help in shrink packaging every year.
This is only a small part of the overall market for industrial particle accelerators and is also used for crossover
Connect the protective plastic around the wire, disinfect the medical device and enhance the color of the gem.
Industrial machines are cheaper and less functional than well-known particle accelerators, such as the Large Hadron Collider in Europe, which physicists used in 2012 to confirm the existence of a Higgs particle.
However, the industrial accelerator represents a tangible way for particle physics to come into contact with daily life, and its scope of application is still expanding.
\"Electronic beams have the potential to treat waste water, lay better roads and increase the prosperity and wealth of the modern economy,\" said Charles Thangaraj . \" Fermilab is an accelerator physicist at the Illinois accelerator research center outside Chicago, which helps transfer laboratory-developed accelerator technology to industrial applications.
So, this Thanksgiving, when you pop the turkey out of its shape --
Install the plastic sheath and consider taking the time to thank the physical properties that make it possible.
Editor\'s note: This article was updated on November.
2018, to clarify the position of Charles Thangaraj in Fermilab.
Inside Science is an editorial.
Independent non-profit printing, electronic and video news services owned and operated by the American Institute of Physics.