TOTEM Data Express

Use quantum physics and LHC data to estimate the size of the proton.

In this short investigation students inspect events from the TOTEM sub-detectors system at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to find the elastic scattering angles of protons that collide at Point 5. Students uncover evidence of the quantum nature of the proton—that it exhibits both particle and wave behaviors—and then use this model along with classical physics that they study in high school to estimate an upper limit of the proton diameter.  

Materials
Attributes
Class Time: 
60 min
Data Strand: 
LHC
Level: 
Level 2
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Practices: 
4
5
8
Technology Requirements : 
Internet Access
Web-Browser
Topic: 
Data Analysis
Measurement
Momentum Conservation
Other