Physics

Category archives for Physics

By Angela Leroux-Lindsey Hold out your hand: Look closely. If you’re outside on a sunny day, you might see dust motes and pollen dance in the air, perhaps landing on your skin, and bright rays of sunlight peek between your fingers. To the naked eye, your skin provides a barrier between your body and these…

Muons on the Move

Big science is a massively collaborative endeavor. From the initial theoretical puzzles to the brilliant engineers that build on-of-a-kind machinery, experts come together to make discoveries happen. Case in point: We’re  moving this 50-foot-wide physics experiment over 3,200 miles of land, sea, and river, starting on Long Island, NY and ending in Batavia, IL. Sometimes understanding…

Magnets are neverendingly awesome, and superconductors may be the ultimate in cool—they are, after all, literally extremely cold. And not just anyone has the tools to weave superconducting magnets with compressed metallic thread. It’s a more essential skill than you might think. Ultra-cold superconducting magnets steer high-speed particles inside colliders, keeping the beams tight and…

Particle collisions aren’t the easiest thing in the world to explain, but one of our physicists took this challenge to the extreme. In another Ten Hundred Words of Science submission, Brookhaven Lab physicist Paul Sorenson explains his work studying quark-gluon plasma with the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. Where I work, we slam together small things to break them…

We sat down with Brookhaven theoretical physicist Raju Venugopalan for a conversation about “color glass condensate” and the structure of visible matter in the universe. Q. We’ve heard a lot recently about a “new form of matter” possibly seen at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Europe — a state of saturated gluons called “color…

The positive and sometimes unexpected impact of particle physics is well documented, from physicists inventing the World Wide Web to engineering the technology underlying life-saving magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices. But sometimes the raw power of huge experiments and scientific ambition draw the recognition of those seeking only the most extreme and impractical achievements on…

RHIC, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven Lab, found it first: a “perfect” liquid of strongly interacting quarks and gluons – a quark-gluon plasma (QGP) – produced by slamming heavy ions together at close to the speed of light. The fact that the QGP produced in these particle smashups was a liquid and not…

Imagine looking in the mirror and finding your familiar face reflected back as you’ve always known it. But as you look more closely, as you precisely examine that mirror image, subtle distortions emerge. The glass itself remains flawless, but real and fundamental differences exist between you and the face that lives on the other side…

This guest post was written by Brookhaven Lab physicist Kostas Nikolopoulos. Today’s public seminar at CERN, where the ATLAS and CMS collaborations presented the preliminary results of their searches for the Standard Model (SM) Higgs boson with the full dataset collected during 2011, is a landmark for high-energy physics! The Higgs boson is a still-hypothetical…

Pop Goes the Photomultiplier Tube

How do scientists make glass stronger? Break it. Brookhaven Lab physicists and engineers take this hands-on approach a step further. In order to strengthen the design of glass bulbs known as photomultiplier tubes, the researchers submerge the devices in 500,000 gallons of pressurized water, punch a small hole through their sides, and watch as the…