Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Making the World Constrained for Them

There is a country called Switzerland in a continent called Europe. It has a border with another country called France-in Europe again. At this border there is a Physics Laboratory that is world famous. It is called European Center for Nuclear Research or CERN for short. One of the big machines there, the biggest there and in the world, is called the LHC-Large Hadron Collider. Hadrons are very very tiny particles and are of two kind-baryons and mesons. Examples of baryons are protons and neutrons and examples of mesons are the particles which particle physics people call pions and kaons. There are several experimental groups working on LHC and they have their own detectors. These detectors are big instruments-some times several story tall. There names are like ATLAS, ALICE, CMS and the like. And to boot, dear Aligs, some people from your Physics Department are part of the ALICE group. The whole world has been looking forward for LHC to operate and give latest physics results for this is the latest and best machine designed to do particle physics. The machine has been operating for some time now and some results have poured in. These are bit mundane results but important for particle physics nevertheless. Here is a second hand link to a summary of the results obtained so far via the blog Physics and Physicists. There Zaperz quotes:
It is still early days at the LHC, but the 27 km-circumference machine's first year of smashing protons into each other at record energies is beginning to tame theorists' imaginations. Researchers on the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment, for example, have reported that, at the energies probed so far, quarks do not exhibit substructure (arXiv:1010.4439), exotic particles such as colorons and E6 diquarks have not shown up (arXiv:1010.0203) – and nor have leptoquarks (arXiv:1012.4031) or new heavy gauge bosons (arXiv:1012.5945) either. Although these entities cannot be ruled out completely, LHC data have allowed them less room to hide – principally by allowing researchers to place stringent limits on the particles' masses.
Physics people make theories about the phenomena around us and then test them in the labs. The gist of above results is that some particle physics theories have been constrained. They might be right but we still can not say for sure.

P.S.: If the geography in first few sentences is too advance then here is some elementary geography from the most advanced country on the globe.