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Tank
This should appeal to the nerds (like me) amoung us biggrin.gif

For those of you who don't know, CERN is the mother of all labratories. The internet was developed there. smile.gif They're also building quite a large particle accelerator, the LHC (it's got a 27km circumference) which they will be switching on next year. They'll use it to smash protons into each other, at close to the speed of light, to try and figure out what the universe is made from, and how it formed.

Anyway, one of the academics working on the project, Dr Brian Cox, invites guests to the LHC, and speaks to other members of the project, and the resulting interviews are posted here: http://www.cernpodcast.com. They're freely downloadable podcasts, and they're rather excellent smile.gif

There's also an associated flickr slideshow with photos of some of the coolest hardware known to humanity here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cernpodcast/s...ith/1612957985/
Saoirse O'Shea
V nice Tank and thanks for posting the link smile.gif . As I recall (haven't had time to listen to the pod casts properly yet) CERN have been heavily involved in demonstrating the existence of exotics like W particles?

Another that might interest people are the Reith Christmas lectures from the BBC. Most apt for GMC is the 2006 series.

Cheers,
Tony
mattacuk
Wow thats super imteresting biggrin.gif I really wished id studied physics in school and college though sad.gif
Tank
QUOTE (tonymiro @ Dec 11 2007, 01:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
V nice Tank and thanks for posting the link smile.gif . As I recall (haven't had time to listen to the pod casts properly yet) CERN have been heavily involved in demonstrating the existence of exotics like W particles?

Another that might interest people are the Reith Christmas lectures from the BBC. Most apt for GMC is the 2006 series.

Cheers,
Tony


The LHC experiment has been designed for just that task Tony, if you smash a proton with enough force, in the debris, these exotic particles . The "holy grail" is one called the Higgs boson, which is predicted by theory, but has never been detected before. The problem has been that in order for it to form, the protons need to hit with immense force. If they find Higgs in the debris, the discovery that it actually exists could go on to explain how gravity works, and why we've got mass in the universe.

+1 on the Christmas lectures. They've got universal appeal. My eldest now enjoys them with me every year, just like I did when I was his age biggrin.gif

Heya Matt, I came into science late. It was actually when I was playing music for a living. Someone gave me "Feynman's lectures on physics" as a 3 book set, which I read while travelling to gigs, for about a year. I was a physics dunce at school, but somehow those books seemed like they were written for me, because I understood a lot of it on first read. I've since gone on to study physics and mathematics with the Open University. smile.gif
Saoirse O'Shea
And if CERN need a black cat to stick in a box we have several here wink.gif .
fkalich
QUOTE (mattacuk @ Dec 11 2007, 07:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow thats super imteresting biggrin.gif I really wished id studied physics in school and college though sad.gif


check into this book. very informative, and entertaining

Here is is on amazon...

http://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Nearly...1716&sr=8-1

edit: discount that first review. I am not sure why amazon leaves that on top. talk about the stereotypical nerd! as you see, most people really like the book. that guy thinks he should have written a book that nobody would have read. that is his idea of a great book. the book is not perfect, but geezzzzz, what an intellectual nerd. And having 3 Masters degrees myself, I feel very qualified to trash the intellectual nerds or the world out there.

it is a great book.
The Uncreator
Awesome i love this kinda stuff, We were talking about the Particle Accelerator in Physics yesterday, really cool stuff smile.gif

The magnets in that thing (if i remembver correctly) would have to be like 8-10 tons, and putting those all around the 27km...man thats gonna be insane.
Ivan Milenkovic
THis is great stuff, I love science and new inventions. IT is very exiting work. smile.gif
Tank
QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Dec 11 2007, 02:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Awesome i love this kinda stuff, We were talking about the Particle Accelerator in Physics yesterday, really cool stuff smile.gif

The magnets in that thing (if i remembver correctly) would have to be like 8-10 tons, and putting those all around the 27km...man thats gonna be insane.


Strangely enough, one of the supports for the magnets failed during a test earlier this year. The assembly that failed was made by Fermilab, who are a rival (though a healthy rivalry I might add) to CERN. No conspiracy theories there then blink.gif laugh.gif

And I agee with fkalich on Bryson's book, it's a brilliant introduction into physics.
Saoirse O'Shea
A bit of an aside but years ago I worked for ICI in research. One of the bits of kit I used on a daily basis was an ultra high vacuum high energy electron beam gun which we used for new materials research (basically ablatting rare earth metals together). Not on the scale of something like CERN of course but even with that kit we got some interesting stuff. Pretty amazing to point a beam of electrons at a large piece of palladium and watch it vapourise blink.gif .
Toni Suominen
This is so cool, thanks for the post Tank! smile.gif
Bogdan Radovic
QUOTE (tonymiro @ Dec 11 2007, 05:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A bit of an aside but years ago I worked for ICI in research. One of the bits of kit I used on a daily basis was an ultra high vacuum high energy electron beam gun which we used for new materials research (basically ablatting rare earth metals together). Not on the scale of something like CERN of course but even with that kit we got some interesting stuff. Pretty amazing to point a beam of electrons at a large piece of palladium and watch it vapourise blink.gif .


Hehehe that must be very fun job wink.gif laugh.gif cool.gif
mattacuk
QUOTE (fkalich @ Dec 11 2007, 02:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
check into this book. very informative, and entertaining

Here is is on amazon...

http://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Nearly...1716&sr=8-1

edit: discount that first review. I am not sure why amazon leaves that on top. talk about the stereotypical nerd! as you see, most people really like the book. that guy thinks he should have written a book that nobody would have read. that is his idea of a great book. the book is not perfect, but geezzzzz, what an intellectual nerd. And having 3 Masters degrees myself, I feel very qualified to trash the intellectual nerds or the world out there.

it is a great book.


Wow thanks for the link man , very kind of you to help! biggrin.gif
Tank
QUOTE (tonymiro @ Dec 11 2007, 04:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A bit of an aside but years ago I worked for ICI in research. One of the bits of kit I used on a daily basis was an ultra high vacuum high energy electron beam gun which we used for new materials research (basically ablatting rare earth metals together). Not on the scale of something like CERN of course but even with that kit we got some interesting stuff. Pretty amazing to point a beam of electrons at a large piece of palladium and watch it vapourise blink.gif .


Of course, you'd be doing that for essential research, it's not like you arrive at the lab one morning and say "there's some Palladium, lets vapourise it". wink.gif
radarlove1984
Thanks for the podcast link! I'm a physics major so I love this stuff. Keep on rockin'!
Saoirse O'Shea
QUOTE (Tank @ Dec 11 2007, 07:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Of course, you'd be doing that for essential research, it's not like you arrive at the lab one morning and say "there's some Palladium, lets vapourise it". wink.gif



laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif - you should have met my boss at the time Tank. He once trashed a new electron beam gun just 'to see how it worked', put it back in the box and returned it with the comment of 'found broken on delivery'.
Andrew Cockburn
Cool stuff - they are also looking for evidence of supersymmetry with the LHC, which opens the door to some experimental verifications of aspects of String Theory and other similar Theories.

I just LOVE physics smile.gif
fkalich
QUOTE (mattacuk @ Dec 11 2007, 12:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wow thanks for the link man , very kind of you to help! biggrin.gif



do look into it. they author was already well known before he wrote this, and he had not written on science before. you may be surprised that a book that teaches so much about virtually every aspect of science, can be that entertaining.

I don't care if it is not perfect. As I learned in my first major (Economics), once you get things to 95% right, or maybe at the very most 99%, you just be happy and move on. The principle of exponentially increasing marginal cost as you try to approach perfection.
Saoirse O'Shea
Better then me fkalich - I settle with Pareto and so am usually content with 80% wink.gif
The Uncreator
The String Theory always interested me smile.gif
Andrew Cockburn
QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Dec 11 2007, 08:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The String Theory always interested me smile.gif


Me too - lately I have lost a little faith though - they seem to be employing the Anthropic Principle to compensate for the fact that they can't get any exact predictions out of it, which leaves a little bit of a bad taste ...

Of course, if you are talking about E strings and B strings and such, that is a very different matter - I still have a lot of faith in guitar strings smile.gif
fkalich
QUOTE (The Uncreator @ Dec 11 2007, 07:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The String Theory always interested me smile.gif


that belongs in Tony's area, seriously. Real science requires that models can be empirically tested for validity, at least at some point. If you listen t some of these guys, as brilliant as they are, they often lose the ability to distinguish abstraction from reality. None of this is "real". All models, abstractions. But it seems to me, listening to most scientists, they just lose the distinction. Even Einstein. Saying "God did not roll dice". I mean, if quantum physics tested out, that is that. Until you have another better model. But it has nothing to do with God or reality. Just a model, a theory, and abstraction. It is really not true or false. It either explains things as best we can at the time, or it does not.

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Saoirse O'Shea
+1 with fkalich.

An interesting explanation of how we come to adopt a scientific explanation/theory/model (sorry can't recall the title) was written by Thomas Kuhn way back in the 50s - from a different angle/opinion there's also Karl Popper. A somewhat more philosophical view was Michel Foucault's 'Order of things' and more specifically about scientific method Paul Feyerabend's 'Against Method'. If you get really interested in the issues concerning reflexivity and method/ology then there is also Rodolphe Gasche's 'Tain of the mirror' - Gasche though tends to assume that anyone reading his work has a ready, or at least reasonable, familiarity with Hegel, Husserl, Derrida, Kant, Heidegger and a few others. If you have Gasche's is a great read - actually all of Gasche's stuff is good.

Cheers,
Tony
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