Tag Archives: bosons

A Particular Success

— For Bill Rachinger, sine quo nihil . . .  CERN’s Large Hadron Collider or LHC is back in the news. And behind the scenes there is fine physics that is little-known. It is the world’s biggest machine. Liquid-helium-cooled magnets bend twin beams of hydrogen nuclei (aka protons) in a circle. They collide at up […]

Back to the Universe

Physics―I assert―should be unmoved by religion. Recent posts show many physicists avoiding religious issues by turning to a multiverse. I name names of some who have succumbed (like Andrei Linde, Steven Weinberg and Brian Greene; far from the only culprits). In fairness, then, let’s check out who was first to stray. His name is Einstein. […]

Hitting the Streets of Priština

We are in Priština, the new capital of a new country, war-torn Kosovo. Main street is Bill Klinton―not a typo―Boulevard. His statue’s in the square. He’s their hero; he gave the Kosovans Kosovo. Cars crowd sidewalks, people throng the streets, mingling in a complex dance. The dance is guided by blue signs and fading pavement-paint […]

Harry Potter Magic and Levitation Physics

Some weeks back Harry Potter’s magic, having helped him walk through a brick wall, got me onto bosons. A boson’s any kind of particle that has integral spin (like 0 or 1). What’s spin? Well, that’s another story. Suffice to say it is a quantum number used by physicists to tag a quantum state. Fermions […]

More Potter Physics

Thoughts of physics in our world have somehow got us onto Harry Potter. Like Lewis Carroll’s tales of Alice in fantastic Wonderland, J.K. Rowling’ magic world has elements of physics truth. We found shades of quantum physics in a teleportation scene from the first movie. Two minutes later, Harry shoves his baggage cart through a brick […]