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Quentin Cooper with 80 years since the discovery of the neutron, why party gas helium isn't a laugh, and the results from the experiments on horrible noises we love to hate.

It's 80 years since British Physicist James Chadwick discovered the Neutron. Finding this key particle led to the development of many different branches of science from theoretical physics to modern medicine, engineering and electronics. Quentin Cooper discuss the significance of Chadwick's work and his legacy with Professor Peter Rowlands, from Liverpool University - where Chadwick worked on particle accelerators and Professor Andrew Harrison, from the Institut Laue-Langevin, one of the world's leading neutron research facilities.

We hear the first results from one of our 'So You Want to Be a Scientist' teams. What noises do we really find horrible and why?

And we examine the state of the world's helium supply. It's not just used to inflate party balloons, helium has a key role in protecting sensitive microelectronics and enabling the correct functioning of medical scanners and equipment used in the study of neutrons. It occurs in the same deposits as natural gas, but is not managed well by the industries which extract and store it according to Dr Richard Clarke from the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy.

Producer: Julian Siddle.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Mon 4 Jun 2012 21:00


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