Muon cameras, SQUIDs, dark matter, underground rivers, earthquakes, lightning and gravitational waves. A few highlights from the iDUST 2018 meeting on interdisciplinary underground science, held 4-5 June in Avignon, France.
High energy alien particles hit the sky above us every minute. We can’t see them, but they can be detected by exploiting an interesting bit of physics: the Cherenkov light produced as they zip through a medium faster than the speed of light.
The art of tracking particles is literally at the heart of the big LHC detectors. It is an enormously complicated 3-dimensional join-the-dots exercise. This challenge requires advanced software, developed by teams of programmers over many years. This is a story of how I figured it out one summer.
One of the most memorable lectures I have attended was by Joseph Rotblat, anti-nuclear campaigner, and the only scientist to quit the Manhattan Project on moral grounds. He explained the flaw in the concept of a nuclear deterrent was the assumption that you were dealing with a sane adversary. This came back to me as I read recent accounts of President Donald Trump.
A look at the work of seventeenth century gadgeteer Robert Hooke.
Despite enduring a certain stigma, fan fiction is a totally legitimate form of culture and a powerful tool to engage with a young audience about science. Here I explain how I have used cartoon ponies as a springboard to talk about everything from the physics of rainbows to nuclear reactors.
Selecting the best candidates for an oversubscribed course is not easy. Here’s how we do it for Oxford physics.
The search for particle dark matter involves many challenges. During my time working on such an experiment at the Gran Sasso laboratory, I had to run a helium liquefaction plant and maintain a super-clean environment deep underground, as well as endure daily battles with Italian bureaucracy and teams of builders.