Tuesday, 16 December 2008

LHC Talk at the MTN ScienCentre

We attended an incredibly interesting talk, last night, about the Large Hadron Collider.

It was presented by Dr. John Ellis, former Head of the Theory Division, in charge of relations between CERN and non-member states (including South Africa). He was joined at the post Q&A session by Dr Jurgen Schukraft, to answer questions about the ALICE collaboration, of which iThemba Laboratory and UCT are both members, as well as Dr. Peter Jenni, spokesperson of the ATLAS collaboration, the largest of the four experiments at the LHC.

Layout of the LHC



I was afraid it would be a very dry and wit-less 1.5 hrs, but these chaps have definitely had time to sharpen their funny bones as they had us chuckling away at analogies involving Penguins - in impolite circumstances - amongst others, to describe proton collisions.

I had no idea of the scale of involvement of the South African contingent, and I was suitably impressed to hear of it, as well as the plans for developing science interests in Africa and emerging countries.

I definitely came away with a better understanding of what they are trying to do, as thankfully, they really did use layman's terms most of the time. Only some of the audience used words like "empirical evidence" and "harmonics".

After the talk we played in the MTN ScienCentre for a while and had another chance to extend our brain capacity, and of course, just be plain silly.

Me giggling though being served on a platter...



Me looking suitably "done".



Can you see how it's done?

TFL

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