Particle physics Current Affairs

Scientist create mini Saturns from charged liquid droplets

Scientists from Northwestern University in the United States have created miniature versions of Saturn, complete with rings, by electrifying tiny droplets of fluids.

Electrospraying Effect

When a drop of electrically conductive liquid is exposed to an electric field, the droplet responds by forming two electrically charged poles. In the previous research it was found that these poles can get pulled towards the sources of the electric field, taking on cone shapes. If the pull is strong enough, the tips of the cones can spray jets of droplets. This effect is known as electrospraying.

Latest Experiment

In the latest experiments, researchers explored the outcomes seen after drops of liquid is submerged in more electrically conductive fluids-specifically, drops of silicone oil suspended in castor oil. When an electric field is applied to drop of silicone oil, it was observed that drop flattens and emits rings of fluid from its equator that break up into droplets.

If an electric field is strong enough, the equators of these squashed drops emit concentric rings of droplets, making the drops look like miniature versions of Saturn. In these experiments, drops of silicone oil about 1 millimetre wide generated droplets that were about 100 times smaller.

Significance of Research

The future advance research may pave the way for generating microscopic and uniform particles and capsules which are used in products such as drugs, inks, cosmetics and paints. It will also explore new materials that can be used to produce “ring of particles” effect.


Belle-II detector system integrated with powerful SuperKEKB accelerator

The High Energy Accelerator Research Organisation (KEK) completed the ‘rolling-in’ of the Belle-II experiment in Tsukuba, Japan. With this, it moves a step forward by integrating particle detector with powerful accelerator.

The term roll-in refers to the operation of moving the entire Belle II detector system from its assembly area to the beam collision point. The Belle II detector’s total weight is about 1400 tons. 

About Belle-II experiment 

  • Belle II experiment consists of an upgraded detector to record the enormous numbers of particle processes that are produced by the SuperKEKB accelerator.
  • The experiment is designed to study violations of the Standard Model of particle physics. It is grand collaboration of 700 scientists from 23 countries including India.
  • The detector precisely measures elementary particle interactions artificially created with the upgraded SuperKEKB accelerator.
  • In the Belle II experiment, various elementary particles generated from high energy electron-positron collisions will be observed using the 8-meter tall Belle II detector consisting of seven types of subdetectors.
  • The detector will provide measurements of direction and momenta of newly produced particles. Compared to previous Belle experiment, Belle Ⅱ will allow collection of much larger data samples with much improved measurement precision.
India’s contribution

Belle-II has a significant Indian participation both on experimental and theoretical sides. The fourth layer of the six-layer i.e. highly sensitive particle detector (the heart of Belle-II) has been built by Indian scientists from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai. Scientists from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Guwahati and Hyderabad, Panjab University, Institute of Mathematical Sciences (Chennai), Punjab Agricultural University, Malaviya National Institute of Technology (Jaipur), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (Mohali) are also participating in this research.