This tumblr's for all the great men and women of science for whom we owe our current understanding of the natural world; their achievements, their failures, and even their quirks, we celebrate them all.
For Science. For Inquiry. For Humanity.
‘UFOs’ Disrupting Search for ‘God Particle’
(Published: November 28, 2011)
A simulation of a particle collision inside the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator near Geneva, Switzerland. When two protons collide inside the machine, they create an energetic explosion that gives rise to new and exotic particles.
In late 2008, a few onlookers believed that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) would bring the end of the world. Three years later, our planet remains intact, but the European particle smasher may have made its first crack in modern physics.
If this crack turns out to be real, it might help explain an enduring mystery of the universe: why there’s lots of normal matter, but hardly any of the opposite—antimatter. “If it holds up, it’s exciting,” says particle physicist Robert Roser of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois.
To understand why physicists are excited, look around: We’re surrounded by stuff. That might seem obvious, but scientists have long wondered why there’s anything at all. Accepted theories suggest that the big bang should have produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter, which would have soon annihilated each other. Clearly, the balance tipped in favor of normal matter, allowing the creation of everything we see today—but how, no one’s sure.
Sir Ernest Rutherford, President of the Royal Academy, and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, related the following story:
“Some time ago I received a call from a colleague. He was about to give a student a zero for his answer to a physics question, while the student claimed a perfect…
Happy Birthday to Niels Bohr (1855-1962), who would have been 126 years old today. Bohr made fundamental contributions to both Quantum Mechanics and general atomic structure. He was also a part of the team for the Manhattan Project. He earned the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922.