Sunday, 28 September 2008

Phonon effects on magnetosensors

This article gives a good overview of the role of phonons in magnetosensor research.

"The notion is that if you have higher temperature applications, most materials' response to magnetic fields [the magnetoresistive response] falls off very rapidly because of excitations of the lattice--phonon vibrations," explained University of Chicago professor Thomas Rosenbaum. "But it turns out the mechanism we are adapting to [indium antimonide] is not limited by the phonons."


Saturday, 20 September 2008

Hadron Collider forced to halt

Plans to begin smashing particles at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) may be delayed after a magnet failure forced engineers to halt work.

The failure, known as a quench, caused some of the LHC's super-cooled magnets to heat up by as much as 100 degrees. The fire brigade were called out after a tonne of liquid helium leaked into the tunnel at Cern, near Geneva. The LHC beam will remain turned off over the weekend while engineers investigate the severity of the fault.


Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Courts weigh up claims that LHC will destroy the world

Critics who say the world's largest atom-smasher could destroy the world have brought their claims to courtrooms in Europe and the United States - and although the claims are getting further consideration, neither court will hold up next week's official startup of the Large Hadron Collider.

The main event took place today in Honolulu, where a federal judge is mulling over the federal government's request to throw out a civil lawsuit filed by retired nuclear safety officer Walter Wagner and Spanish science writer Luis Sancho. Meanwhile, legal action is pending as well at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. Last week, the court agreed to review doomsday claims from a group of professors and students, primarily from Germany and Austria. However, the court rejected a call for the immediate halt of operations at the LHC.