As always, the relentless march of science continues. For physics 2008
and 2009 are particularly important due to the coming online of the
$10 billion Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland. How many of you have
heard of the Large Hadron Collider? How many of you were frightened
that the World would end when it was turned on? Though it is true that
it creates some of the more energetic collisions in the Universe these
are already abundant out there. The only difference is that we
are building large house-sized detectors around these collisions so that
we catch all of the resulting fragments.
Here is a simple thought. Everyday, everything we do is influenced by
gravity. We are told that gravity acts on masses. Masses come from the
sum of all the tiny particles that make them up. However, we are not
sure how these tiny particles obtain their masses. If a certain
particle, called the Higgs boson, is found then this would confirm one
suggestion as to how massess arise. But what if not?
We already know in this Century that we know less than what we thought
we knew in the last Century. In addition to Dark Matter, which was
explain missing matter in galaxies, we now have Dark Energy. This is
put in by hand into equations to explain the increasing rate
at which the Universe is expanding. If us physicists knew what we were doing
then there wouldn't be Dark anything! So we need bright young
scientists to help us out, and that is why I am here.
I figure my first victim, I mean candidate, might be your best year-11
physics student of last year.
It gives me great pleasure to award this prize, which is Karl
Kruszelnicki's book "Science is Golden", to ...
mailto: Igor Bray