Breaking the Standard Model is Really, Really Hard!

“Faultily faultless, icily regular, splendidly null, dead perfection; no more” -Lord Alfred Tennyson Ahh, the Standard Model of elementary particles and their interactions. It’s right up there with General Relativity — our theory of gravitation in the Universe — as the most successful physical theory of all-time. While General Relativity describes the relationship between matter-and-energy and … Read moreBreaking the Standard Model is Really, Really Hard!

Why is it a big deal that the new LHC particle is verified as the Higgs?

“If you’re a reporter, the easiest thing in the world is to get a story. The hardest thing is to verify. The old sins were about getting something wrong, that was a cardinal sin. The new sin is to be boring.” –David Halberstam It was only a few months ago that both collaborations at the … Read moreWhy is it a big deal that the new LHC particle is verified as the Higgs?

The Cosmic Story of Carbon-14

“Life exists in the universe only because the carbon atom possesses certain exceptional properties.” –James Jeans Here on Earth, every living thing is based around four fundamental, elemental building blocks of life: hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and, perhaps most importantly, carbon. From diamonds to nanotubes to DNA, carbon is indispensable for constructing practically all of the most intricate … Read moreThe Cosmic Story of Carbon-14