Protons for Breakfast 13

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Man eating some protons

Things at work have been so busy lately I have hardly found time to finish any of the blog items I started, but now we have finally begun the 13th presentation of Protons for Breakfast I am feeling a bit calmer. Actually presenting the sessions is a tremendous pleasure and I do genuinely rediscover my fascination with the subject every time I re-visit it. But beforehand I get worried. Someone asked me if I had ‘butterflies’, but I misheard them and thought they were asking if I had buffaloes – and that comes closer. But once we get started I feel relaxed.

Weird but beautiful representation of lead nuclei colliding

Weird but beautiful representation of lead nuclei colliding

I have just finished answering the Feedback and Questions from Week 1 of Presentation 13 of Protons for Breakfast and there were many enquiries about the nature of the strong force which acts between protons and neutrons within the nuclei of atoms. So it was interesting to see this article on the BBC today regarding new experiments at CERN. There the nice Dr. Evans explained why they were smashing the nuclei of lead atoms into each other. He said that ‘by studying the [resulting] plasma, physicists hoped to learn more about the so-called strong force ‘. So the questions the class were asking after week 1 of the course – are actually right up to date!

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