BBC BLOGS - Gregory's First Law

Archives for December 2011

CERN and the Midlands

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David Gregory | 17:04 UK time, Thursday, 22 December 2011

Artists impression of protons accelerating round the LHC ring

On tonight's Midlands Today we're looking back at quite a year for the CERN laboratory. As you might expert we're particularly interested in the contribution of our Universities and it looks like Birmingham in particular is doing pretty well right now.

By our reckoning Birmingham is unique amongst UK universities in that it is now taking part in three out of the four major experiments on the large ring that makes up CERN's large hadron collider.

And since two of those experiments, CMS and ATLAS are competing with each other to find the Higgs boson I don't think it's possible for any group or institution to get a "full house" and work on all four. Physicists are a competitive bunch.

Just for fun I tweeted something along these lines to see if people disagreed and it's worth pointing out that since there are many experiments at CERN the University of Warwick was also able to claim it was working on more than one.

But Birmingham seems to be the only one working on three out of four of the biggies. Or as one of the physicists I spoke to put it; "Birmingham is the most diverse experimentally".

And the big picture is that 2012 will be a hugely exciting year for CERN and for phyics with our local talent at the heart of it.

Rural broadband in Herefordshire

David Gregory | 16:31 UK time, Friday, 9 December 2011

So today the Countryside Alliance is claiming plans for investement in rural broadband in Herefordshire have "stalled". Although Herefordshire Council have spent £50,000 on the tender process they have yet to ask the Government for any cash to turn the project into a reality. You can read more here.

The council told us plans for rolling out broadband in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire are on track and a contract "is expected to be awarded in late Spring 2012".

You can read their full statement here Broadband.doc [229KB]

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