Who better to invite to CERN, than the internet’s most popular astronomy blogger, Dr. Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer?
Phil and Brian originally met in 2005 when Brian interviewed Phil for a BBC programme about the Deep Impact mission. Since then, they’ve stayed in touch regularly. Phil was even interviewed about science in science fiction for ‘Sunshine’, the film on which Brian worked as the science consultant.
Phil has written loads about his trip to CERN already (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4) and made a video…
All we have is this:
(direct link here)
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Phil Plait, satirist Chris Morris and physicist Albert De Roeck at ATLAS
Phil talking to Brian at ATLAS
Phil podcasting away at CMS
Back off, man, I’m a scientist.
Recently, Dr. Brian Cox was invited to take part in a discussion entitled ‘Is Physics The New Religion?’ at Guildford Cathedral. During the discussion, he and the Dean of Guildford Cathedral, The Very Reverend Victor Stock, found they shared a lot of common ground.
As Victor had invited Brian along to his place of work, Brian decided to return the invitation and take Victor on a tour of CERN. The result is one of the most interesting and enlightening podcasts we’ve done so far.
(direct link here)
The Very Reverend Victor Stock
Brian Cox and Victor Stock
Victor Stock and Brian Cox
(direct link here
John Barrowman was invited to visit CERN on 2nd April, to take part in a podcast. He was accompanied by Scott, his in laws Sterling and Shelagh Gill and his manager Gavin Barker, and they were the guests of Dr Brian Cox.
The Large Hadron collider (LHC) at CERN is the largest scientific experiment ever attempted. The 27km-long machine can recreate the conditions that were present in the Universe less than a billionth of a second after the Big Bang, and it can do this 40 million times a second.
These mini-Big Bangs are surrounded by giant detectors, two of which are ATLAS and ALICE (the other two are called CMS and LHC-B). ATLAS is a general purpose detector – essentially a 7000 tonne, 20m high and 40m long digital camera, that takes pictures of the mini Big Bangs and looks for new particles and phenomena that would have been around in the Universe in those very early times.
ALICE is tuned to do something slightly different – it uses a detector which includes the wonderfully named Time Projection Chamber to look for a quark-gluon plasma, the strange state of matter that we believe filled the Universe in these very early times. The Quark-Gluon plasma is a kind of soup, out of which the normal matter that makes up our bodies, and all the stars and planets we see today, are made.
It was a new and very different experience for John.
For more on John Barrowman, please visit his official website.
Don’t miss the video of John at CERN.