Several groups of physicists-turned-musicians from ATLAS are gearing up for the release of their first tracks under the “Neutralino Records” label. The label is named after the hypothetical particle, the neutralino, which is predicted by supersymmetry and might even make up the universe’s dark matter.
Executive producer (and physicist) Christopher Thomas told Discoblog that the music club at CERN, the organization that runs the LHC, is pretty active, but the ATLAS group was motivated to make an album to “show there’s another side to physicists. And maybe a bit of ‘hey, look what I can do!'”
Samples of the songs can be heard at the website for the double CD, titled Resonance. Nineteen different musical groups participated in the creation of the album, which contains a variety of original and cover songs, explains the press release (pdf):
The album features a wealth of new songs: the highlights include an original blues song about ATLAS from physicist Steven Goldfarb’s Canettes Blues Band: an ode to CERN from the remarkable singer-songwriter-scientist Cat Demetriades, classical piano pieces by head of ATLAS, Italian scientist Fabiola Gianotti, and the wry musings of guitar band TLAs and their song about their perennial bugbear–long meetings.
Back in 2008, a Hawaiian fellow named Walter Wagner claimed the Large Hadron Collider’s hunt for the Higgs boson would end in apocalypse, and sued to stop the collider from going online. His suit was soon dismissed by a federal judge, but with the fate of the world on the line, Wagner kept trying.
Now an appellate judge for the United States District Court in Hawaii has foiled Wagner again by knocking down his appeal, as Symmetry reports. The judge found that Wagner failed to show “credible threat of harm” and also noted that the United States doesn’t control the collider, which spans the border of Switzerland and France:
The European Center for Nuclear Research (“CERN”) proposed and constructed the Collider, albeit with some U.S. government support. The U.S. government enjoys only observer status on the CERN council, and has no control over CERN or its operations. Accordingly, the alleged injury, destruction of the earth, is in no way attributable to the U.S. government’s failure to draft an environmental impact statement.
Large Hadron Collider physicists have heard the voice of the “god particle,” the Higgs boson, and it sounds a bit like a child’s music box.
Lily Asquith, a physicist searching for the Higgs boson–the elementary particle believed to give everything in the universe mass–is using more than her eyes. With artists and other physicists, she started the LHCsound project to hear subatomic particles.
New Scientist reports that the idea arose from a conversation between Asquith and percussionist Eddie Real:
“I was actually doing impersonations of different particles and trying to get him to develop them on his electronic drum kit.”
Since the crush of press stories about Tiger Woods is more or less inescapable, you’ve probably heard about his little auto accident (and many of the less savory details). But if you take a close look at this photo released by the police, you’ll notice something besides the mess of debris—the book that the world’s great golfer has been reading. It’s Get a Grip on Physics by John Gribbin.
While the accident and the tawdry personal accusations that resulted therefrom could damage Woods’ reputation permanently, it provided nothing short of a bonanza for author Gribbin, since Americans want to do whatever celebrities are doing. From The Independent:
“This is one of my older and lesser known books – a guide to new physics for non-scientists. I can only guess that Tiger has been interested in the various stories about the Large Hadron Collider, and wanted to learn more. Several of my books have been doing better than usual this year,” Dr Gribbin said yesterday.
The book was 2,268th position on the Amazon sales list, up from 396,224th the previous day.
Though Tiger was tight-lipped about the circumstances of the wreck, Gribbin has to be on to something here. Woods was probably so distracted thinking about the awesomeness of physics that he couldn’t concentrate on driving.
Image: Florida Highway Patrol
Pop quiz: Which former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year is (literally) a big fan of science, and this magazine in particular? That’s right, defensive end Hugh Douglas.
Recently, as part of an ongoing effort to playfully engage the public in science, he chatted with DISCOVER contributor Darlene Cavalier (who moonlights as the Science Cheerleader) and shared his thoughts on the Large Hadron Collider, spiral galaxies, ROS suppression, and more.
In truly French fashion, the Large Hadron Collider has shut down by… a baguette. Zut alors!
According to Popular Science:
[A] bird dropped some bread on a section of outdoor machinery, eventually leading to significant over heating in parts of the accelerator. The LHC was not operational at the time of the incident, but the spike produced so much heat that had the beam been on, automatic failsafes would have shut down the machine.
The overheating shouldn’t postpone the LHC’s reactivation at the end of the month, but all the delays and mishaps are adding to our paranoid, sci-fi suspicion: Is the LHC being sabotaged from the future? See this Cosmic Variance post for an authoritative take on such a possibility.
Discoblog: LHC Collisions to Commence Next Week…Hopefully
Discoblog: You Say Large Hadron Collider, I Say Sizeable Particle Crasher
Discoblog: While LHC Scientists Were Drinking Champagne, Hackers Were Attacking
Cosmic Variance: Spooky Signals from the Future Telling Us to Cancel the LHC!
• Cool tech video of the day: a Canon 5D shutter in slooow motion.
• Looking to hit the beach in Texas? Beware the basketball-sized blobs of oil.
• Also, we are official fans of this blog. As should be anyone who cares about science.
The collisions are coming! The collisions are coming!
Yes, CERN scientists opened the bubbly last Wednesday after their first successful tests of the Large Hadron Collider’s particle-firing parts. But none of those secrets-of-the-universe-revealing proton collisions have actually happened yet. Never fear, LHC chief Lyn Evans told The Telegraph—next week could be the week.
The computer maestros tinkering with Yahoo’s code at their all-night hackathon weren’t the only hackers that have been busy lately.
Late last week, a group hacked into one of the Large Hadron Collider’s main computer systems. Calling themselves part of the “Greek Security Team,” the hackers said they wanted to expose the weaknesses in the particle smasher’s computer systems. The attack against the Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment, one of the LHC’s four main experiments, did little direct harm, save some embarrassment for the LHC scientists, but they did bring down the CERN Web site.
“The Ultra-Mega-Huge Proton Destroyer.”
“Yet Another Physics Experiment That Won’t Bring About the Apocalypse.”
Ah, forget it. I can’t think up a new name for the Large Hadron Collider, but maybe you can.
Britain’s Royal Society of Chemistry, perhaps jaded that their experiment didn’t involve billion-dollar holes in the ground, have decided to get in on the fun of the LHC. They want people to submit suggestions for a new name, because let’s face it: While accurate enough, “Large Hadron Collider” as a name doesn’t exactly stir the emotions.