April 16, 2014, by Tara de Cozar

Nottingham represents at the Collider exhibition

Have you been to the Collider exhibition at the Science Museum yet? I recommend, it’s very enjoyable — pitched at the level of non-scientists with an interest in science. Which is me, basically. Explaining the purpose and science behind the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, it’s beautifully visual. Particularly the part where you sit inside the animation of the beams hitting each other and the particles all fly apart — a big thumbs up.

I went on my day off. But, as ever, the sneaky tentacles of UoN research followed me. It was in the final part of the exhibition — a display of featuring researchers who’s work has been affected by the discoveries made at CERN — that I found Nottingham represented.

Please excuse the terrible pics taken on my phone in poor light, but here they are — Dr Mattia Fornasa and Dr Clare Burrage from the Particle Theory Group in the School of Physics and Astronomy.

So, how is their work connected to the LHC?

“I work mostly on theories of dark energy which is the mysterious substance that is thought to be causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate,” says Clare. “However, many theories of dark energy predict the existence of new particles that could be discovered in a particle collider.”

And Mattia?

“I keep myself updated on the research conducted at the LHC since it is very much connected to what I do. My main topic of research is the search for and identification of dark Matter and the LHC is one of our greatest hopes: the collider has the potential to directly produce (and study) some dark matter particles. This will be ground-breaking, establishing the paradigm of particle dark matter and providing invaluable information about its nature.”

So there you go. To learn more, visit the exhibition — it’s on till 5 May.

It also features some physics LOLs. This was my favourite.


Posted in Particle Theory GroupresearchUncategorized