Friday, 5 December 2008


Told you I would talk about Quantum Physics one day.

It is a bit of a hobby for me, well not exactly a hobby because it is rather difficult to research protons and Quarks in the kitchen, but you know what I mean.

For those of you not up to speed-Quantum physics is about the characteristics of subatomic particles. And concerns-The Particle wave duality, Heisenberg's uncertainty relation, The Many world’s theory, the unified field theory, string theory and the four fundamental powers and other “interesting” subjects.

Personally my favourites are Quarks, which remind me of Star Trek Deep Space Nine’s Bar keeper.

In case you are interested-There are six types of Quark, they are labelled as “flavors”.


No one has managed to “see” a Quark, so, How Do We Know Quarks Are Real?

The explanation is- when we bounce electrons off of protons and neutrons, the pattern of scattering angles observed is characteristic of point-like spin-1/2 scatters. The relative rates for electron versus neutrino scattering are that predicted from the quark electric charges. The process of electron-positron annihilation to quark pairs gives similar characteristic predictions; all these are also confirmed experimentally. The accumulation of many such results, where experiments match predictions based on quarks, convinces us that quarks are real.

There, easy isn’t it.

Anyway back to the title, The Hadron Collider in Switzerland and France has been broken for a while now.

It broke because of an electrical fault in one of the connectors linking one of the 1200 superconducting magnets that accelerate sub-atomic particles around the LHC The fault triggered the release of helium gas within one of the magnets.

It has emerged that valves that should have released the gas pressure couldn't cope with the sudden build up of helium. That led to an uncontrolled release, which knocked one of the magnets forward, pushing it on to the magnet in front, dislodging it.

Or in other words the pressure relief valves were not good enough, for the sake of a penny.

In fact it broke on the first test run-perhaps that is an omen.

Should we be colliding protons at near the speed of light? Or trying to reproduce the conditions present at the “Big Bang”?

I know Steven Hawkin said it would be OK but he may have pressed the wrong button.

Professor Tejinder Verdee of Imperial College London is one of the scientists working at the LHC and said.

"This science has the potential to alter the way we see nature and the way nature operates at a fundamental level so this potential still remains, albeit a few months delayed.”

Or, maybe it hasn’t.

And a couple of other scientific items-Einstein Rings

Astronomers Discover Eight New Gravitational Lenses with Hubble Telescope, otherwise known as Einstein’s Rings.

Lucky man most of only have one.

No, I don’t have an obsession with the nether parts of the body, this is serious scientific stuff.

Astronomers say that Saturn's rings will disappear from view on Earth on September 4, 2009. The gases, ice, and rocky material that make up the rings will remain in place, but be invisible from the vantage point of Earth, as they do about every fifteen years. The rings are so thin that stargazers will be unable to see them through small telescopes.

See, told you so!

And there will be Old cars tomorrow


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