World’s Fastest Image Processor Aids Search For Elusive Form Of Matter

If there is a need for speed at the edge of science, that need is arguably greatest among high-energy physicists. In their world, proton particles, for example, are sent racing around giant accelerators at nearly the speed of light to collide with other particles to create yet more particles. It is the new particles created by the crashing protons that scientists are intensely interested in, as they may well permit researchers to drill down to the true fundamental units of nature and sample conditions that existed right after the Big Bang some 15 billion years ago, when mass and energy were almost infinitely compressed. But how do scientists study those particle-collision events and the newly created but ephemeral particles that result? The answer, according to a team of UW-Madison scientists, is you build the world’s fastest digital camera.

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