I'm Chels. I blog about science, art, tennis, and my adventures in journalism. Officially, I'm a Science Writer at Brookhaven National Lab and I blog for them, too. Unofficially, I'm pretty awesome.

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Posts tagged cern
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Listen to the Higgs Boson

When I visited CERN last year, I was blown away not only by the science, but by the incredible amount of artistic creativity in the people that live and work at the biggest science experiment in the world. We met people in bands, people who painted murals, videographers, and so much more. So this little project by the folks at ATLAS to ‘sonify’ the Higgs finding just has me grinning. They assigned notes to data points and what came out was this lovely little habanera rhythm that corresponds with the Higgs. 

It’s such a fun piece of music. 

Particles recorded moving faster than light 

The folks at CERN keep proving that we really don’t know a whole lot of what we thought we knew. Exciting, right?


A video tour of the antimatter trap at CERN. This is the device that allows scientists to capture antimatter long enough to a) confirm its existence and b) study its properties, as mentioned yesterday.

It exists in the device for only minutes, but for an atomic particle that’s an eternity. Then they allow the antimatter particles to escape and record their energy release. Great video about a very complicated device and concept.

This is a great video of the ATRAP experiment at CERN. I really dug that place. Unlike the rest of the detector caverns, which all seemed very large and polished and impressive, the ATRAP experiment felt like a crazy concrete bunker or some kind of enormous garage full of engineering experiments. All the cables and wires needed for the machines just ran along the ground or hung from scaffolding. Most stuff had some form of condensation or frost from the supercooling liquid hydrogen pumped in to chill things down. It was nutso. And awesome. 

Rumor: Higgs boson found at the LHC 

There are a lot of stories floating around that the team at the Large Hadron Collider have found the missing particle, the Higgs boson. While I’m skeptical at best (because the info was posted as an anonymous comment on a physics blog and is supposedly from a leaked internal memo at CERN…and also because the only network reporting this not-yet-confirmed-news is FOX) I’m still letting myself be a little excited. I can’t wait to see if it’s true. 

If it is, one of the biggest mysteries of our generation will be solved.

PS: That link goes to a story on The Daily. The video is absolute crap in my opinion. First, no self-respecting physicist would call it “The God Particle.” Second, why is there an image of an astronaut gently touching a spaceship? Because that is a garbage video, that’s why. 

PPS: I was really pulling for the team at the CMS detector over the ATLAS guys, but I’ll take it either way.