Researchers build a particle accelerator that fits on a chip
Caption. This image, magnified 25,000 times, shows a section of a prototype accelerator-on-a-chip. The segment shown here are one-tenth the width of a human. The oddly shaped gray structures are nanometer-sized features carved in to silicon that focus bursts of infrared laser light, shown in yellow and purple, on a flow of electrons through the center channel. As the electrons travel from left to right, the light focused in the channel is carefully synchronized with passing particles to move them forward at greater and greater velocities. By packing 1,000 of these acceleration channels onto an inch-sized chip, Stanford researchers hope to create an electron beam that moves at 94 percent of the speed of light, and to use this energized particle flow for research and medical applications.
“…The Non-Member State Summer Student Programme represents a unique opportunity for students from around the world, especially from less advantaged countries, to spend their next summer getting involved in some of the world’s biggest scientific experiments at CERN. For most of the students, their summer at CERN will represent a lot of firsts. The first time they will travel abroad, the first time they will work in a fully-equipped physics laboratory, the first time they will meet fellow students from different cultural backgrounds.”
A nice weekend-reading. Murray Gell-Mann as seen by Stephen Wolfram (guest stars: Richard Feynman, George Zweig, Steve Jobs and S. Wolfram himself of course). A very interesting essay at several levels, much more than a typical obituary.
“After the 1984 to 1985 breakthroughs in our understanding of superstring theory, the subject no longer could be ignored. At that time it acquired some prominent critics, including Richard Feynman and Stephen Hawking. Feynman’s skepticism of superstring theory was based mostly on the concern that it could not be tested experimentally. This was a valid concern, which my collaborators and I shared. However, Feynman did want to learn more, so I spent several hours explaining the essential ideas to him. Thirty years later, it is still true that there is no smoking-gun experimental confirmation of superstring theory, though it has proved its value in other ways. The most likely possibility for experimental support in the foreseeable future would be the discovery of supersymmetry particles. So far, they have not shown up.”