You’re allowed to be interested in particle physics

An example of simulated data as might be observed at a particle detector on the Large Hadron Collider. Here, following a collision of two protons, a Higgs boson is produced that decays into two jets of hadrons and two electrons. The lines represent the possible paths of particles produced by the proton-proton collision in the detector while the energy these particles deposit is shown in blue.

This page appeared in The Hindu’s e-paper today. I wrote the lead article, about why scientists are so interested in an elementary particle called the top quark. Long story short: the top quark is the heaviest elementary particle, and because all elementary particles get their masses by interacting with Higgs bosons, the top quark’s interaction … Read more

The Kapitza pendulum

Rarely does a ‘problem’ come along that makes you think more than casually about the question of mathematics’s reality, and problems in mathematical physics are full of them. I came across one such problem for the first time yesterday, and given its simplicity, thought I should make note of it. I spotted a paper yesterday … Read more

The problem with rooting for science

The idea that trusting in science involves a lot of faith, instead of reason, is lost on most people. More often than not, as a science journalist, I encounter faith through extreme examples – such as the Bloch sphere (used to represent the state of a qubit) or wave functions (‘mathematical objects’ used to understand … Read more