By James Dacey
My colleague, Hamish Johnston, has just returned from a trip to CERN, where he was granted access to the insides of the Large Hadron Colider (LHC), which is currently being upgraded. He has shared some great photos from his trip on the Physics World Facebook page, including some snaps of the interior of the detector experiments.
CERN engineers are hoping that when the LHC is fired up again – currently scheduled for 2015 – it will collide particles at 13 TeV, almost double the energy it was running at for the two years before it closed down this February. This higher energy should enable physicists to probe deeper into some of the biggest unanswered questions in fundamental physics. In this week’s Facebook poll, we want you to answer the following question.
What do you most hope the LHC will discover after it is switched back on in 2015?
The true nature of the Higgs boson
Evidence for supersymmetry
Why there is more matter than antimatter
Mini black holes
The nature of the strong force
The nature of dark matter
Something else [Please post a comment on the poll or this blog entry to explain]
To have your say, please visit our Facebook page.
In last week’s poll we asked you to select what you believe is the best way to measure a researcher’s contribution to science. From the list we provided, the most popular choice was “the novelty of their research”, which picked up 57% of the vote. It was interesting to see from the spread of votes that only 15% of people went for “the frequency with which their work is cited”, and not a single person chose “number of publications”.
The poll also attracted a lively discussion, with several people pointing out that it is very difficult to evaluate the “novelty” of somebody’s research. There was also an interesting suggestion from one Facebook follower called Antonio Martinez Lobo, who suggested that one could take account of the number of “relevant disciples” attracted by a scientist. For example, the number of PhD students or top scientists inspired by an initial piece of research.
Thank you for all your participation and we hope to hear from you again this week.