Tagged: LHC

The varied world of physics - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Oct 17, 2011

It was a very interesting day at the NZ Institute of Physics conference. I learned about some of the physics experiments done at the South Pole, how to trap, observe and count atoms (and that high school physics teachers who tell their students that you can't see atoms need to update their knowledge), some results from heavy ion collisions at … Read More

The end of cold dark matter? - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Sep 20, 2011

There have been recent murmurings that Cold Dark Matter (CDM) is in trouble. Dark matter is stuff that is hypothesized to make up a fair chunk (23%-ish) of what is in the universe (as opposed to normal matter - the stuff we 'see' and experiment with - which may make up only 5% what's in the … Read More

Natural units - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Aug 01, 2011

Physics is all about describing physical quantities. Whether it's length, velocity, force, electric current or heat flux, it takes physics to describe what it is and what it does. Central to this is our system of units. The three really common base units (in the S.I. system) are the metre (unit of length), the second (unit of time) … Read More

The inverse femtobarn - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Jul 19, 2011

Tomorrow I'm going to Te Aroha to give a talk to their continuing education group on the Large Hadron Collider. This is something I foolishly agreed to do many months ago (maybe it was even last year) before I realized how much lecturing I had this semester. Still, I've given the talk a few times before, so it's not a … Read More

Physics discoveries - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Feb 15, 2011

I've been thinking a bit more about the comment I made yesterday that there used to be a time that physics discoveries were made by people but now we just need to build a machine to do it (the LHC). The major science discoveries, almost by definition, are unexpected and can be very serendipitous. The discoverer wasn't out there looking for … Read More

What’s CERN twittering about? - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Feb 14, 2011

A quick skim of CERN's Twitter site, www.twitter.com/cern tells me that the LHC is going to be pootling on for the next two years at 3.5 TeV per beam, before it is prepared for running at 7 TeV, starting hopefully in 2014"...[This] gives the LHC’s experiments a good chance of finding new physics in the next two years..."There … Read More

Climate change and conferences - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Dec 11, 2010

Back on-line now after a week in Melbourne at the Australian Institute of Physics conference.I have lots of good stuff to blog about, including optomechanics (using light to cause vibrations), physics education (lots on this), the Large Hadron Collider and complicated models of things that might not even exist, but I'll do this one on climate change.On Wednesday, we had a very … Read More

What’s cooking at the LHC? - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Nov 01, 2010

I've just been perusing CERN's Twitter site http://www.twitter.com/cern for some of their latest news.While the Higgs is still hiding inside some time-travelling baguette, there's still some really nice physics arising. This example is one that caught my attention - it's the detection of a bound state made up of a beauty (or bottom) quark and … Read More