And before you even think it… no this is not breaking news that the LHC has broken again! I’m also not referring to the bird/baguette incident, as Jacob covered that last week in his weekly roundup. Never the less, the bird/baguette did make for quite a few amusing headlines and I’m hoping to make some extra money moonlighting as a scarecrow…
Anyway, onto other news here at CERN:
- after cool down of the LHC to operational temperature the proton beams have made their way half way around the LHC ring.
- wet road + dead leaves = skidding (the phrase no shit springs to mind..)
- what is considered first physics day (the day where collisions will occur at a high enough energy to produce new data) is now likely to be in February.
And, in an exciting development, another complex construction project has recently reached its completion: The ATLAS pop-up book.
Voyage to the Heart of Matter was officially launched to a press-packed room at the Royal Institution in London last week. I’ve been lucky enough to see this project progress from early prototype stages to completion, as it was written and designed by my boss – Emma Sanders along with a pop-up professional Anton Radevsky.
For those who don’t know, the ATLAS detector is one of the four main experiments situated around the LHC ring at CERN. It is a general-purpose detector and has been designed to measure the broadest possible range of signals. One of its main aims is to find the elusive Higgs Boson particle. Without evidence of this particle the very foundations of particle physics remain uncertain, including why the fundamental particles have different masses. The detector will also look at dark matter, super-symmetry, and extra dimensions in an attempt to better understand the universe around us, and its origins.
So, to the book – Voyage to the Heart of Matter aims to communicate the aims of ATLAS in a fun and accessible way. Whilst only four pages long, it’s certainly not a short read, or a conventional pop-up book. In one word it’s simply awesome. The level of detail combined with the ingenuity of the pop-ups is fantastic. The book includes a pop-up control room, big bang and a model of the ATLAS detector that you can build yourself (sneaky peek video)! In what is a relatively small amount of text the science content does exactly what you want it to – it’s inspiring, informative and insightful. Balanced well with the visual content, the text aims to show just how ATLAS works and the amazing technology that is needed to build these experiments.
Hannah Devlin of The Times was at the Royal Institution to pick up a copy, and you can read her thoughts over at Eureka Zone. It has also been featured on science blogs all over the web, and even has it’s own Facebook group!
The book will be available from the start of December at CERN, but if you’re not planning a visit you can also pick up a copy from Amazon, or direct from the publisher, Papadakis. With a price tag of 30CHF or £20 it’s a pretty interesting and unusual Christmas present (in my opinion anyway… but then again, I might just be a huge science geek!)