News & Events

Physicist Will Discuss World's Largest Atom Smasher

April 24, 2009

The Hartwick College Physics Department will welcome Dr. Emlyn Hughes for a discussion of The Large Hadron Collider at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 24 in Room 103 of Johnstone Science Center. Hughes’ lecture is titled “Understanding Space and Time: The World's Biggest Atom Smasher.”

Particle accelerators are more common than you think--you've got one in your old TV set's cathode ray tube--but that doesn't make them any less cool. The Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest accelerator, is set to be completed next year, and its sole purpose is to smash protons into other protons at heretofore unseen speeds, recreating conditions similar to those that created the universe.

The Large Hadron Collider is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, intended to collide opposing particle beams.

The LHC was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research with the intention of testing various predictions of high-energy physics. It lies in a tunnel 17 miles in circumference, as much as 570 feet beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland. It is funded by and built in collaboration with more than 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories.

"Particle physics is the unbelievable in pursuit of the unimaginable," wrote The Guardian. "To pinpoint the smallest fragments of the universe you have to build the biggest machine in the world. To recreate the first millionths of a second of creation you have to focus energy on an awesome scale."

Hughes is professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1995. Prior to serving at Cal Tech, Hughes was a research associate and Panofsky Fellow at Stanford University's Stanford Linear Accelerator. He has received numerous teaching awards and fellowships, and is a member of the American Physical Society and the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum merges traditional liberal arts study, personalized teaching, and experiential learning approaches to emphasize Connecting the Classroom to the World. Add to that a wide range of off-campus internships, collaborative research, study-abroad opportunities, and a unique January Term, and Hartwick prepares students for the world ahead. Strong financial aid and scholarship programs keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030