Physics shorthand

By Aimee Whitcroft 07/06/2011

As you may or may not be aware, I have something of a physics Jones.

superK 2
Super Kamiokande (SuperK) - one of the oh-so-awesome neutrino detectors out there

I’ve found the subject interesting ever since school, although I’ll freely admit that my contact therewith has been somewhat intermittent :)

Recently, however, and for a slew of reasons, I’ve been getting back into it.  Trying, if nothing else, to fill in my gaping knowledge gaps.

While on my trip to the States recently, I got the opportunity to pile through a copy of Neutrino, by Frank Close.  And I loved it*. It tells the story of the discovery of this strangest of all particles, which has near to no mass, seldom interacts with _anything_, and was chased down by various scientists (themselves fascinating characters) over a period of decades.

As a result, of course, I’ve now started happily wondering around among other neutrino- (and muons, I like muons) related news and information.  For example, IceCUBE!  Because using Antarctic ice sheets as huuuuge detectors is awesome.  As are projects such as the Long Baseline Neutrino Detector which, if nothing else, is a lesson in collaboration.

And, and this is the reason for the post’s title, the marvellous “Explain it in 60 Seconds” series by Symmetry. I discovered Symmetry, a magazine devoted to particle physics and put out jointly by Fermilab and SLAC**, this morning and have been glued*** to it ever since.

Anyhoo, enjoy!  And don’t be surprised if there are more physics-related posts in the near future.


* His writing is sufficiently clear and engaging that I’ve added a a number of his other books to my Goodreads to-read list

** Superstars, the both of them

*** Gods help me, I only just refrained from making gluon-type puns.


And, as a small aside, I’ve just come across a website which suggests that ghosts are made up of neutrinos…

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