I gave an introductory talk on the Standard Model and the forthcoming LHC experiments to some physics students in Trinity College last night. There wasn’t a huge turnout, but it was great being back in the Schroedinger Theatre – lovely wooden theatre, steep tiered seating, buckets of atmosphere. All mod cons of course but also a good big old fashioned blackboard for back-of-the-envelope calculations to accompany the slides (you can get the slides here).
It was a real trip down memory lane – as a postgrad, I used to give quantum mechanics tutorials in the same theatre to 2nd year theoretical physics. I used to spend hours preparing answers to Denis Weaire’s problem sheets, only to find the students hadn’t opened a book!
Anyway, I think the lecture went well (I heard it was completely incomprehensible – Ed). The best thing about it was the poster – students really know how to put a poster together.
I also found time to point out that Ireland is not a member of CERN, almost uniquely in western Europe (see September posts on this). This denies our best students and researchers the opportunity to work with world-class researchers at a world-class facility – an omission that has had a devasting effect on experimental particle physics in Ireland. The map below says it all really.
The 20 member states of CERN (blue) do not include Ireland. Many non-European States have associate membership (U.S., China, India and Japan), but this does not include Ireland either.