Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Voyager 2 and LHC

Been a bit slow this month with things to write - actually plenty to write but little time to actually write here. Anyway, two from that bastion of tech literature, El Reg...

 The first is about the current results from the LHC and also an exercise in how to write a science article for the layman:

LHC results may solve riddle of how universe can exist

Antimatter bombshell set to explode physics applecart

Top boffins at the Large Hadron Collider – mightiest particle-punisher and largest machine of any kind ever assembled by humanity – say that they may have uncovered a vital clue explaining one of the greatest mysteries of physics: namely, how is it that matter itself can exist?

Good to see the Standard Model getting a bit of a run for its money...one paragraph spurred a superb retort in the comments:

One of the things the Hadron Collider can do by means of blasting protons into one another head-on at just a gnat's chuff less than light speed is create all sorts of very rare and exotic particles – and the antimatter versions of themselves. Almost anything you might want in the way of crazy particles will appear in the shattered sub-subatomic wreckage spraying out of the proton pileups on the Collider's 27km underground orbital motorway.
and the retort from "a non e mouse":
"Almost anything you might want in the way of crazy particles will appear..."
Except, maybe, the Higgs Boson

However it does look like we might have a lightweight Higgs....maybe....

and then over to the still running Voyager probes and in this case the efforts by NASA to keep Voyager 2 running for another 10 years...(El Reg writes space articles in a similar innuendo filled style as LHC articles...)

Voyager 2 finally agrees to a long hard thrust

Probe takes light-ages to return boffins' calls

Voyager 2 has finally gotten back to NASA to let engineers know that its switch to back-up thrusters was successful.
The space agency sent the signal last week to advise the old explorer to switch to back-up thrusters in order to conserve energy so it can continue its voyage for another decade.
Not bad when you consider Voyager 2 was launched in August 1977 and a touch over 9 billion (9,000,000,000) miles away...

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