Keith Porteus Wood at the UN today

Wood is addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council, speaking on behalf of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) about child abuse in the Catholic Church.

The Large Hadron Collider Gets Going Again

The operators of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider have restarted that particle accelerator after taking a winter break, and they are gradually getting it up to their target energy. In it, protons go in opposite directions at speeds very close to light in a vacuum, giving them kinetic energies enormously greater than their rest masses. When they collide, they produce a spew of other particles, thanks to E = mc^2, and among these particles are those that particle physicists are especially interested in.

Late last year, the LHC reached the record of the Fermilab Tevatron, accelerating protons up to 1 TeV, and this year, they hope to go up to 3.5 TeV. Its operators plan to shut it down next year and upgrade it to make 7-TeV energies. A TeV is over a thousand times the rest-mass energy of a proton; one could make a thousand protons with that energy.

The LHC’s operators hope to produce a variety of particles, including a missing piece of the Standard Model and several of them predicted by various extensions of it. If they fail, they should get much-improved lower limits on their masses and upper limits on their interactions.
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