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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Evidence for Inflationary Models of Big Bang

Check out this MIT video of Max Tegmark, professor of physics at MIT, who shows experimental evidence for some of the predictions of inflation models of the Big Bang.  Inflation is a theory that says, when the Big Bang happened, very shortly after there was an exponential expansion of the volume of space.  This was created by 'dark energy,' and led to today's observable universe.  Well, the theory predicts a number of things, and we are beginning to see many of these predictions verified through direct measurements, to the point where Prof. Tegmark solidly states those in the field believe inflation happened.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How the ATLAS Detector works at CERN

Students often ask me how it is possible to detect tiny subatomic particles, most of which live only a tiny fraction of a second before they decay into other particles.  I worked on the CDF experiment at Fermilab back in graduate school, and most of these collider detectors work the same way.  This is a video that has a focus on the ATLAS experiment at CERN, over in Switzerland. ATLAS is similar to CDF, only a whole lot bigger!  Check it out!