Visual Sensations Induced by Relativistic Nitrogen Nuclei

Science  13 Oct 1972:
Vol. 178, Issue 4057, pp. 160-162
DOI: 10.1126/science.178.4057.160


The ability of the human eye to detect nitrogen nuclei that enter the retina at speeds just above the Cerenkov threshold has been confirmed in an experiment at the Princeton Particle Accelerator. A system for beam transport and subject alignment delivered individual nitrogen nuclei onto a spot 3 millimeters in diameter on the retina at a visual angle of 7 degrees on the temporal side of the fovea. The beam particles entered the retina within 25 degrees of normal and induced visual sensations that had the appearance of streaks for three out of four subjects.