Conceptual design for a post-LHC future circular collider at CERN

This conceptual design report came out today. It looks like an impressive amount of work and although I am familiar with some of its contents, it will take time to digest, and I will undoubtedly be writing more about it in the future.


A couple of quick things now mostly regarding the press coverage so far. There a nice piece here by my old Guardian colleague Ian Sample. As he mentions, the project will be discussed intensively as part of ongoing process to update the European Strategy for Particle Physics. I’ll be involved in that process (many from the UK will, whatever is going on in the House of Commons right now) and I am keeping an open mind. However, as I told Pallab Ghosh in this article, this project would at present be my preferred Plan A.

The thing that surprised me in Pallab’s piece is that Sir David King thinks more research into climate change might save the world.

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The award-winning blogger beard Telescoper used to do astronomy look-a-likes, which unfortunately sometimes strayed into other fields. If he strayed a bit further I think he’d find a striking one in today’s news:


Sir Paul Nurse FRS


Speaker Bercow

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A Dark Matter mystery explained?

A paper on the arXiv this morning offers an explanation for an intriguing, long-standing anomalous result from the DAMA experiment.

Illustration by Chris Wormell from "A Map of the Invisible" (detail)

Illustration by Chris Wormell from “A Map of the Invisible” (detail)

According to our current best model of how the universe hangs together, the Earth orbits the Sun within a galactic halo of Dark Matter particles. The Dark Matter particles are imperceptible – transparent really, rather than dark – but their gravitational influence is needed to explain the motion and distribution of galaxies¹.

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Posted in Astrophysics, Particle Physics, Physics, Science | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Mile End Road

I spent most of the past two days in the “Arts 2” building of Queen Mary University of London, on Mile End Road.


According to Wikipedia, Mile End was one of the earliest suburbs of London, recorded in 1288 as La Mile Ende, meaning ‘The hamlet a mile away’ (from Aldgate). This is middle English, apparently, which looks quite a lot like French to me. Though if it were it would presumably be La 1.6 Kilometre Ende.

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