Small Things Considered

What small things? Elementary particles! The second of David Kestenbaum’s excellent report on CERN’s LHC aired yesterday on NPR’s All Things Considered. You can see what I said about the first part here, and the second part can be listened to on the NPR website here. There’s also more video, extra audio, and a transcript.

atlas detector
(Image: The seven story tall Atlas detector at the LHC. (photo: Serge Bellegarde))

The focus on this one broadens out to marvel at the sheer scale of the experiment as a civil engineering feat, and also as a feat of human cooperation (consider the many countries, languages, different people, etc, who are collaborating to make this happen). It’s great to hear the many voices of the various scientists he talks to.

(It’s also great, on a personal note, to hear Jim Virdee (the CMS spokesperson) since he was my nuclear physics lecturer what I was an undergraduate at Imperial College, London, and it was through him that I was able to spend part of a Summer (in 1989, I think) working as a technician at CERN on the upgrade of the UA1 muon calorimeter. What happy days those were, cycling to CERN across the French countryside everyday, crossing the border with slight trepidation.)

I’m digressing into reverie….

Well, have a listen, and look at the video and stills. Also, at the end of the website over on NPR, you can read a summary by David Kestenbaum of some of the key physics issues. A direct link to that is here.


(Parenthetically – I’ve always wanted to use that title! I seem to recall that NPR used it as a children’s program title some time in the past. Always thought it was a clever title…)

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4 Responses to Small Things Considered

  1. Carl Brannen says:

    Clifford, Speaking of elementary things that have not yet been observed, what do you think of the weird statistics possessed by the Higgs and graviton implied by section 4 (pp 20-23) of this Lubos paper?

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