Prof. Frank Close
Last updated: 24 May 2011
This week Adam meets physicist and science writer Prof. Frank Close to discuss the most mysterious particle in the Universe, the secret of good science writing and the scientific influence of Enid Blyton's Famous Five books!
Broadcast Tuesday 24th May at 7 pm.
Over the course of a distinguished scientific career, Frank Close has been Head of the Theoretical Physics Division at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and Head of Communications and Public Education at CERN in Switzerland, home of the Large Hadron Collider. He's a former vice-president of the British Science Association and in 2000 he was awarded the OBE. He was one of the UK pioneers of research into quarks, the fundamental particles which make up the nucleus of an atom and he's now Professor of Physics at Oxford University.
But perhaps his greatest achievement is bringing particle physics to a wider audience. From the Cosmic Onion and Lucifer's Legacy to Nothing: A Very Short Introduction, Frank has written a series of popular science books which take some of the most mind-mangling concepts in physics and make them accessible and even entertaining.
Ahead of his appearance at the 2011 Hay Festival, Frank Close joins Adam to look back over his dual careers of particle physicist and science writer and to discuss his scientific influences - one of which was Uncle Quentin in Enid Blyton's Famous Five series.
He also considers the subject of his latest book, Neutrino. Neutrinos are the most abundant particle in the Universe. Every second billions of neutrinos from the Sun and other stars pass through our bodies at the speed of light - yet they're almost impossible to detect. Frank talks about the eighty-year hunt for the 'ghost particle'.
Neutrino by Frank Close is published by Oxford University Press.
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