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Dinner that’s out of this world, Higgs pizza and a cosmic symphony


By Michael Banks and Tushna Commissariat

Before setting off to the International Space station (ISS) for six months, UK astronaut Tim Peake revealed that one of the meals he would miss most is the classic British roast dinner. So what better way to celebrate the 44 year old’s safe return to Earth last month than to create a portrait of him made from his favourite nosh? Designed by UK “food artist” Prudence Staite for the Hungry Horse pub chain, the culinary creation took 20 hours to make – you can watch a timelapse video of it being created above. The finished portrait weighed in at 12 kg and says “Welcome Home Tim”. Hungry Horse has even offered Tim and his family free roast dinners for life.

In keeping with the food theme, the CERN particle physics lab in Geneva decided to celebrate the fourth anniversary of its discovery of the Higgs boson by dubbing 5 July this year as “Higgs boson Pizza Day”. Chefs at the lab’s cafe created 400 specially prepared pizzas with toppings representing different parts of a particle and detector. Take a look at the CERN website for the recipe to make your own Higgs pizza, and make sure to send us some pictures if you do.

Next month sees the premiere of the first orchestral piece inspired by the discovery of gravitational waves announced earlier this year by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory in the US. Entitled simply Gravitational Waves, the work is by the German composer Iris ter Schiphorst, who apparently once wanted to study physics but instead opted for humanities. The piece will be premiered by the National Youth Orchestra (NYO) of Great Britain, conducted by Edward Gardner, on 4 August at Snape Maltings Concert Hall in Aldeburgh, UK, and will also feature at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 6 August. The music incorporates the characteristic “chirp” – in which both the amplitude and frequency of the gravitational waves increases until it peaks at the merger – and apparently allows musicians to “interact with sounds and ideas that reflect the scientific detection”.

And for some light weekend reading, take a look at physicist Chad Orzel’s Forbes blog to read all about the physics of ancient Roman architecture and in this Bloomberg story find out how Einstein may have inadvertently helped Shell discover oil deposits.

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