LHC Glossary



A TeV is a unit of energy used in particle physics. 1 TeV is about the energy of motion of a flying mosquito. What makes the LHC so extraordinary is that it squeezes energy into a space about a million million times smaller than a mosquito.

TeV stands for tera electron Volts. That is 1,000,000,000,000  electron Volts or 1012 electron Volts. [tera - f. Gr.{tau}{geacu}{rho}{alpha}{fsigma} monster.]

An electron volt is an unit of  energy, particularly used in atomic and nuclear processes. It is the energy given to an electron by accelerating it through 1 volt of electric potential difference.

The abbreviation for electron volt is eV.

Energies in electron volts


An adult female mosquito weighs only about 2.0 milligrams  (about 1/15,000 ounce).

1 eV = 1.6 x 10-19 Joules

1 TeV = 1.6 x 10-19 x 1012 Joules = 1.6 x 10-7 Joules

1/2 m v2 = 1.6 x 10-7 Joules,  m = 2 x 10-6 kg therefore v = 0.4 m/s  = 1.4 kph


Apparently Mosquitoes can fly about 1 to 1.5 miles per hour.   1 mph = 1.6 kph so our mosquito is a little slow, but the comparison is a good one.