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Send a birthday card to Fermilab, a huge periodic table, art meets quantum computing

Best wishes: a birthday card for Fermilab (Courtesy: Corinne Mucha/ Symmetry)

Best wishes: a birthday card for Fermilab (Courtesy: Corinne Mucha/ Symmetry)

By Hamish Johnston and Sarah Tesh

50 years ago this month, the particle physics facility that was to become Fermilab opened its doors for the first time. To celebrate a half a century of physics on the Illinois prairie, the folks at Symmetry have produced a set of themed birthday cards that you can print-out and send to your friends and family. Indeed, there is still time to send a card to Fermilab itself, because the big day isn’t until next Thursday (15th of June). My favourite card (above) uses colliding piñatas to illustrate the plethora of particles that were produced in Fermilab’s Tevatron  – which smashed together protons and antiprotons between 1983-2011.

Top table: elements at a jaunty angle in Spain (Courtesy: University of Murcia)

Top table: elements at a jaunty angle in Spain (Courtesy: University of Murcia)

Chemists at the University of Murcia in Spain will now have no excuse for forgetting their elements because their department building has been decorated with a giant periodic table.  The display (above) covers 150 m2 and it is thought to be the largest ever permanent display of the elements. The university plans to also build a 50-seat grandstand for outdoor lectures so that the eye-catching table can become a feature of classes.

Quantum looking glass: Alice but no Bob (Courtesy: Original Simulations group: Henry Semenenko and Sam Pallister (Bristol) and Maria Euler and Ker Siang Yeo (RCA)

Quantum looking glass: Alice but no Bob (Courtesy: Original Simulations/Henry Semenenko and Sam Pallister/Maria Euler and Ker Siang Yeo)

Finally, the image above is an example of quantum art – at least according the University of Bristol. It is John Tenniel’s 1872 illustration from Through the Looking-Glass made using mathematical simulations of quantum teleportation. The work was created by Bristol’s Henry Semenenko and Sam Pallister, who teamed up with Maria Euler and Ker Siang Yeo of the Royal College of Art. This and other works are part of an exhibition called “Entangled: Art, Science and Quantum Computing” which ran early this week in London and will be coming to Bristol later in July.

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