Science: Proton Pusher

Atoms don't stand a chance any more; the atom-smashers are laying for them all over the place. Newest and most powerful of the smashers is Columbia University's cyclotron at Nevis, an estate at Irvington-on-Hudson that once belonged to James (son of Alexander) Hamilton. The 2,500-ton monster generates a beam of protons with 380 million electron volts of energy. Such voltage is too powerful for mere atom-smashing, which is considered scientific child's play nowadays. The Nevis machine was designed for probing deeper secrets of matter.

Earlier cyclotrons smashed atoms by knocking out of them a few protons or neutrons. Their more powerful...

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