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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 15 December 2011

Quentin Cooper presents the latest on the search for the Higgs particle, hears about a scheme to pair scientists with members of Parliament, announces the next group of shortlisted candidates for So You Want to Be a Scientist and sniffs the smell of the Moon from a lunar exhibition in Liverpool.

Producer: Martin Redfern.

  • A Glimpse of the Higgs

    A Glimpse of the Higgs

    A particle traffic accident. High energy protons colliding in the LHC spray out all sorts of debris, perhaps including Higgs particle.

    For physics enthusiasts, the picture shows a typical candidate event including two high-energy photons whose energy (depicted by red towers) is measured in the CMS electromagnetic calorimeter. The yellow lines are the measured tracks of other particles produced in the collision. The pale blue volume shows the CMS crystal calorimeter barrel.

    Picture Credit: CERN

    Last week it was only a rumour of a glimpse, this week the glimpse has been confirmed but, say all the experts at the European particle physics centre, CERN near Geneva, they have still only glimpsed what might be the much sought-after Higgs particle. The latest announcements do not add up to a discovery. But they have caused much excitement among physicists and in the media. Quentin discusses the new results and their significance with Prof Tejinder Virdee of the CMS experiment at CERN and Imperial College London, and with Dr Peter Skands, of the theory division at CERN.

  • MPs Meet the Scientists

    MPs Meet the Scientists

    Dr Cathie Rae and Dr Julian Huppert MP at the Royal Society

    Picture Credit: The Royal Society

    Every year since 2001 the Royal Society has paired MPs with scientists. The scientists spend a week in Westminster shadowing an MP, and in return that MP visits the lab of the scientist they are paired with. This year, two people who were paired were Dr Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge, and Dr Catherine Rae, a researcher in metallurgy at the Cambridge University. They have just completed their exchange, and join Quentin in the studio.

  • Republic of the Moon

    Republic of the Moon

    Moon Goose Colony

    Picture Credit: Agnes Meyer-Brandis, Pollinaria, 2011

    Artists in Liverpool are preparing to launch a new exhibition that imagines how we might live on the Moon. Ahead of the exhibition's lift-off, Quentin speaks to curator Rob le Frenais and artist Sue Corke about making scratch 'n' sniff lunar postcards and training geese to be astronauts - all in the name of art, of course. The Republic of the Moon exhibition is at FACT, Wood Street, Liverpool from 16 December 2011 - 26 February 2012 and then at AV Festival, Newcastle upon Tyne 1 - 31 March 2012

  • More Shortlisted Amateur Scientists

    More Shortlisted Amateur Scientists

    Three more shortlisted ideas for So You Want To Be A Scientists are announced: Head teacher Janis Craig from Edinburgh asks whether high winds really make children wild, Dan O’Brien, a 46 year old Environmental Health Officer from Pattingham, wants to find out whether football clubs at the top of the Premier League receive special treatments from referees and William Rudling, a 69 year old illustrator from Leeds, wonders whether people who look alike do also have similar voices!


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