I had errands to run this morning before work, which meant that I didn’t have time to queue up the usual handful of blog posts to appear during the day. I don’t want to have the site go dark, though, so I’ll throw up a post or two on my lunch hour, to note some physics stuff that’s kind of cool.
I’ve been meaning to say something about this for a while, as the physics blogosphere has been overrun with talk about how cool the Large Hadron Collider is going to be (my own contribution is a few posts back), but I keep putting it off on the theory that I’ll do something really substantial. The odds aren’t good, though, so I’ll just throw out some quick links.
So, while you’re waiting for the LHC to get up to speed, how about some love for the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), which has done some amazing stuff by smashing gold nuclei together at very high speeds? I realize it’s not as sexy as the LHC, given that it’s only working with particles we already know about, as opposed to hypothetical particles that may or may not exist, but the quark-gluon liquid was a surprise to basically everyone, and is a pretty darn cool development, and they’ve got some experiments going on now involving spin-polarized proton collisions that sound interesting.
Neither of those is going to test string theory, of course, which demotes them to stamp collecting in the minds of some, but these are arguably the most interesting accelerator-based experiments currently underway, so take a moment or two to appreciate them.