The Power of Big Science: Working at the cutting edge of discovery

by Tomo Lazovich figures by Alexandra Was When you picture a science experiment, you probably imagine someone wearing a white coat, hunched over a lab bench, looking through a microscope, or mixing something in a beaker. While this is not an inaccurate picture in many fields, it misses an important dimension of the modern scientific process: collaboration. In his speech at the banquet for his … Continue reading The Power of Big Science: Working at the cutting edge of discovery

New Experiment Chases the Elusive Magnetic Monopole

A new experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) seeks to detect the long theorized magnetic monopole. In 1931, physicist Paul Dirac showed that our theories of electromagnetism allow for the existence of a solitary magnetic charge. Just as protons and electrons represent unique electric charges (positive and negative), magnetic monopoles should similarly exist as manifestations of magnetic charge. Despite our best efforts, however, we … Continue reading New Experiment Chases the Elusive Magnetic Monopole

Measuring symmetries of nature with unprecedented precision

The experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland have produced many impressive results in recent years studying the nature of the fundamental particles and forces that govern the world around us. While it is better known for its function as a proton-proton collider, the LHC can also collide beams of lead ions. These collisions produce a vast array of particles … Continue reading Measuring symmetries of nature with unprecedented precision

The long awaited and much debated discovery of the pentaquark

A few weeks ago, the LHCb, an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, announced the discovery of a new particle, the pentaquark. What is a pentaquark? Well…it’s a particle, that’s made of five quarks. A quark is one of the smallest fundamental building blocks of matter. Quarks have not been observed alone in nature, and are only known to exist as composite particles. Most commonly, … Continue reading The long awaited and much debated discovery of the pentaquark

Didn’t the LHC restart in April?

This April, SITN Waves, along with many other news outlets, reported on the restart of the Large Hadron Collider, or the LHC. Many similar headlines were seen last week when CERN announced the machine’s official restart. So when did the LHC actually restart, and what were scientists at CERN doing in the meantime? On April 5, the LHC was powered on for the first time … Continue reading Didn’t the LHC restart in April?