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Whatever is the matter?

Join particle physicist Tom Whyntie as he takes us on a journey through his work at CERN via colliding hadrons, broken magnets and the search for a missing fifth of the Universe.

Tom Whyntie shouldn't be giving this talk. He should be in a cold, dark control room in Geneva, taking data, making graphs, colouring them in and solving Physics. However, nine days after the world watched the successful switch-on of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Geneva, the magnets broke and the expedition into a whole new world of fundamental physics was put on hold for a year.

So instead, he's coming over all the way from Switzerland to talk about what the LHC is actually all about, how we hope to create and find evidence for ‘dark matter' in a tunnel under the Swiss-French border, and why the scientific community is eagerly awaiting switch-on Mk II later this year. Just where is the estimated fifth of the Universe that we just can't see? Why do we think it's there in the first place? How can particle physics and the LHC shed light on the problem? What else are we looking for? What went wrong with the machine, and what exactly have we been doing for a year? How did physicists cause the credit crunch? What would it be like if Barack Obama was in charge at CERN? And why shouldn't you be worrying about black holes swallowing up the Earth? All this, and possibly more, will be addressed!


Tom Whyntie | talks


Date and Time:

9 June 2009 at 7:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



The Royal Institution
21 Albemarle Street
020 7409 2992

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Tickets cost £8, £6 concessions, £4 Ri members

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