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www.zidao.com Apprentice harmonizer, for sheer fun. Journeywoman writer, for work and pleasure. Starting point was Iowa, current stopping point on this journey is Switzerland, with frequent pauses around the world to watch and listen to the crowd, and occasionally make comments.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Physics spaghetti

A closeup of some of the wiring being put in place on one piece that will be part of the CMS at Cern in Geneva, Switzerland. These bits and bobs will help us learn why particles have mass and what the 96% of the universe that is unexplored is made up of. Some bowl of spaghetti! (Click to see it larger)


One of the best things about being over 50, or 40 if you're smart or 30 if you're really smart, is that you can suddenly find things passionately interesting that you thought were unbelievably boring when you were younger.

I would put physics right up there. Today I visited Cern in Geneva, the world's largest particle physics lab, and by the time I left I was ready to become a nuclear physicist because it was so interesting! Unfortunately, I never even studied physics in high school, which seemed a blessing at the time.

I will have to settle for trying to write some articles that let other people see why a 27-kilometer circular tunnel 100-150 meters under the ground can be interesting. Meanwhile, I had a great time taking pictures of the view from the top waaaaaay down to the inside of an accelerator now being built. I will post those later on Flickr, as you need to see them big to make sense of them.

And it was equally fun to take closeups of some of the parts, tiny bits and pieces that all put together should help us better understand our universe.

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