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Celebrate Physics and Technology

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Albert Einstein Memorial at National Academy of
Sciences, Washington, DC.
Image Credit: afagen, Creative Commons.


Science is worth celebrating every month and March is no exception! This month we celebrate:

The 130th birthday of Albert Einstein, born March 14, 1879

The 21st anniversary of Pi Day, also on March 14th!

For a glimpse of how to celebrate Pi Day, click here.







Meet MICHAEL LUCIBELLA and SABINE HOSSENFELDER, our March bloggers, and comment upon their thoughts on CELEBRATING PHYSICS AND TECHNOLOGY!!

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Michael Lucibella

is the primary blogger on Physics Central's Physics Buzz, the main outreach arm of the American Physical Society. There he writes about physics in everyday life, society, art, entertainment, politics and wherever else it matters - which is of course everywhere.

His life long love of physics started at a young age reading about the mighty Saturn V rockets that launched astronauts to the Moon. Ever since, he's looked for physics in everything he does, from the model rockets he launches and the bicycles he rides to the bows and arrows he shoots in his spare time.

He recently graduated from American University with a degree in journalism and minors in applied physics, history and international studies. While there, he worked at the National Air and Space Museum, helped defend journalists' freedoms around the world, edited the school's science magazine, reported on Congress and even found time to relax on occasion. After graduating, he spent the summer traveling down the coast of Oregon and California on the most efficient machine in the world, his trusty bicycle.



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Sabine Hossenfelder

is a theoretical physicist who works on the phenomenology of physics beyond the standard model and quantum gravity. Besides this, she is interested in the intersection of the social and the natural sciences and the process of knowledge discovery. Sabine is presently a postdoctoral researcher at Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Canada and writes about her life and work on her blog Backreaction.






Read Sabine and Michael's Posts


Hounding the Higgs Boson by Michael Lucibella

physics

The LHC suffered a malfunction just nine days after
it was switched on.

They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

But on the other hand, they also say you can't keep a good dog down.

Just a few years ago, the science community was getting ready to write off Fermilab's aging particle accelerator as old, obsolete and about to outlive its usefulness. The venerable Tevatron was looking a little long in the teeth, and it seemed that its glory days of discovering new quarks and baryons were soon to be over. Batavia Illinois would no longer be at the epicenter of high energy particle physics research.

There was a new big dog coming to town. CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland would be bigger, faster and meaner than anything that came before. It could accelerate particles seven times faster than the Tevatron, with more sensitive instruments that would make a cakewalk out of detecting the Higgs boson, the theorized particle that gives matter its mass.

The LHC started up in September last year. Less than one month later it got sick, sick as a dog. A liquid helium leak knocked out a cluster of its high powered superconducting magnets. The particle accelerator has been shut down while repairs continue into the fall.

Not willing to let a sleeping dog lie, Fermilab soon jumped on the opportunity before it. Scientists at the Illinois facility announced two weeks ago that they thought they had a 50 to 90 percent chance of discovering the elusive particle before the LHC was back on line. Fermilab's team, having been bumped from top dog to underdog is now working furiously for their spot of glory.

Just this last week, Fermilab announced they observed a single top quark. Top quarks are usually formed in pairs from the strong nuclear force. Once in about 20 billion collisions, one forms out of the weak nuclear force paired with a different quark. Being able to detect this rare of an event is a good sign to be the first to find the Higgs boson.

The two teams are now working like dogs to find the particle first because deep down, every dog wants to have his day.

The following organizations contributed content to this theme:
RAFT The Sloan Career Cornerstone Center Society of Physics Students APS NISE Physica Central comPADRE Flat Stanley Project Talking Science Science Comedian Berkeley Lab Science @ Cal


To learn more about how your organization can contribute content to the Year of Science Web site, please contact us at admin@copusproject.org.