Go Ask Alice

In Books, Music, Physics Stuff on November 10, 2010 by Sukrit Tagged: , ,

File:Alice par John Tenniel 04.png

First the lyrics of White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Call Alice
When she was just small

When men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving slow
Go ask Alice
I think she’ll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s “off with her head!”
Remember what the dormouse said;


Now ofcourse to the Physics.

LHC has gone from colliding teeny-tiny photons to heavy led ions in just 4 days. The development marks the beggining of the ALICE experiment, which has been designed specifically for heavy-ion collisions and is seeking to recreate the conditions that existed just 10–11 s after the Big Bang.  At this time, the energy in the universe was so concentrated that protons and neutrons could not hold together – instead, space began to be filled with a dense soup of subatomic particles known as quark–gluon plasma. This thick dense atomic soup gaurds the mystrey of the strong force. Go Ask Alice.

Quarks are the constituent of the most stable of the sub-atomic forms the hadrons (protons and neutrons, LHC- Large Hadron collider !, get i now). Quarks come in distinct shape and sizes and physicists characteristically have give the names suiting their personalities – top, bottom, up, down, strange and charm. This is what makes theoretical physics so beautiful. Anyways lets go back to ALICE.

ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) has as its main goal to characterize the quark gluon plasma resulting from the Pb-Pb collission. The force holding the quarks and gluons together is the Strong Force, the force responsible for providing upto 98% mass of the atoms and yet very poorly understood. ALICE will study the particles resulting from the collissions in a hope to better understand this force. To do this, the detector was specifically designed to track large numbers of particles. It can detect up to 15,000 particles per event, which may be produced from the collisions between lead nuclei occurring in the centre of the detector.

CERN has created Mini Big-bangs (to be taken literally). The energy levels have reached 2.76 Tev with the resulting temperature more or less around ten trillion degrees !! Needless to say this has broken all past records. Check out the really cool pics released by NASA.

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