Two years left to find the Higgs boson

12th June 2011

Image created from tracking a lead-lead collision in the Large Hadron Collider.

Earlier this year, Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Director General of CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research), announced that if they've not discovered the Higgs boson by the end of next year, then physicists should give up on finding it and reconsider the standard model of particle physics. »

A Brief History of Animal Astronauts

22nd May 2011

Photograph of monkey Baker.

Last week, the Space Shuttle Endeavour left Earth for the final time, carrying banana spiders and fruit flies to the International Space Station. They are the latest in a long line of animal astronauts. Literally thousands of animals have been to space, including 32 monkeys, two cats, and at least 27 dogs. »

The search for antimatter galaxies

8th May 2011

Photograph of particle tracks in a bubble chamber.

The penultimate Space Shuttle mission is due to launch on the 16th May, and will transport a device known as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, or AMS-02, to the International Space Station. The AMS-02 is designed to identify cosmic rays, high-energy particles that originate from space. »

Why can't we remember the future?

3rd May 2011

Photograph of trains arriving and departing at a station in Stockholm.

The obvious answer is that we can't remember the future because it hasn't happened yet, but this cannot be the whole story, after all Albert Einstein once stated that "people...who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion". »

A Brief History of the Hubble Space Telescope

24th April 2011

Photograph showing two interacting galaxies.

Today marks the 21st anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA has released a new image to mark the occasion. This shows the interaction of spiral galaxy UGC 1810 with its companion UGC 1813. The success of the HST took decades of persistence and hard work. »

Over 50 Years of Manned Space Flights

14th April 2011

Photograph of Yuri Gagarin.

It's now been over 50 years since Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to travel to space. On 12th April 1961, Gagarin spent 108 minutes orbiting the Earth in the Vostok 1 spacecraft, before safely landing back on Earth. »

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