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What is the fastest thing on earth?  Science responds!

What is the fastest thing on earth? Science responds!

Speed ​​is fun for some people, and this is exactly what happens to many Formula 1 drivers as they drive their cars at exorbitant speeds and challenge their adrenaline in various deadly dangers. Despite reaching speeds of up to 372 kilometers per hour, Formula 1 cars are not the fastest objects on Earth.; In fact, there are some luxury cars that can go faster.

The current fastest bike in the world, the Kawasaki Ninja H2R, is capable of reaching speeds of up to 400 kilometers per hour, but it's still nowhere near the fastest thing on Earth. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States has developed a drone Which can reach an amazing speed of 11,854 km/h, but it is also not in first place.

To travel to space, astronauts must use a spacecraft capable of reaching a speed of at least 28 thousand kilometers per hour; Re-entry capsules usually reach the same speed, but during the return from the Apollo 10 mission, up to 39 thousand km/h were recorded.

Space probes are not on our planet, but rather were created by Earth civilization and can travel at speeds of thousands of kilometers per hour. For example, The Parker Solar Probe space probe reached a speed of 635,000 kilometers per hour on a trip around the sun. However, none of these examples can come close to the fastest thing on Earth.

“At approximately 10:54 p.m [no dia 29 de outubro de 2018]The Parker Solar Probe has crossed 246,960 kilometers per hour – according to the mission team's calculations – to become the fastest man-made object relative to the Sun, breaking the record set by the German-American Helios 2 mission in April 1976. Parker Solar Probe. NASA commented in an official statement, saying: “It will repeatedly break its own records, reaching a maximum speed of about 692 thousand kilometers per hour in 2024.”

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It is important to highlight that, When we refer to “something,” it can really be anything. For example, neutrinos and photons are prime candidates on this list, But it cannot be observed with the naked eye.

The fastest thing on earth

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, no vehicle has been able to reach the highest possible speed in the universe, that is, the speed of light – and it is theoretically impossible to reach this limit. But after all, isn't light itself the fastest thing on Earth?

actually no. The speed is truly impressive, but scientists point out that light isn't quite a “thing,” because it has no mass. Others disagree and explain that light is both a wave and a particle, and particles can be considered “things.”

In a message sent to the site Live sciencesUniversity of Utah physicist John Matthews says the question is simpler if we think about the fastest thing in space: in this case, the answer is photons. But this cannot happen on Earth, as photons slow down when they reach the Earth's atmosphere. – Unless scientists create a vacuum chamber to simulate the space environment.

In 1991, OMG particles were discovered in high-energy cosmic rays on Earth, and are also often considered one of the fastest things on Earth.source: Getty Images

According to particle physicist Justin Vandenbroucke of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, The neutrino is the fastest thing on Earth. In an experiment conducted in Antarctica, a group of scientists discovered high-energy neutrinos inside the ice, where… Subatomic particles have achieved enough energy to travel faster than the speed of light. In 2016, the same experiment produced the highest energy neutrino ever detected.

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to Live sciencesPhysicist Bill Lewis from Los Alamos National Laboratory in the United States said that the subatomic particles in the experiment are the fastest that science has ever observed. The question remains: If it is impossible to reach the speed of light, how did scientists achieve this achievement?

Scientists explain It is actually impossible for objects with mass to reach the speed of light, but this would not be possible for something like a neutrino. These subatomic particles have almost no mass and can generate large amounts of energy, which is why they can reach speeds close to the speed of light.

Vandenbroucke explains that when something is moving at 99.99% of the speed of light, its rating is four 9 seconds, But the neutrino discovered in 2016 falls into the class of 33 9s. The researcher also said that these ultra-fast subatomic particles are formed in “natural particle accelerators” in the universe.

Did you like the content? So, stay tuned for more scientific curiosities here at TecMundo. If you like, take the opportunity to discover what it would be like to see the world if we moved at the speed of light.