Physicist Michiko Minty explains how bunches of particles traveling in opposite directions in each of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider’s (RHIC) two superconducting rings are guided, focused, and accelerated to nearly the speed of light and then made to collide. She describes how to ensure the highest possible collision rates by establishing head-on collisions between the two-foot-long bunches which, at the interaction points, are a width comparable to a human hair. Read More
If a universe explodes into existence, and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? The answer, according to RHIC physicist John Cramer, is a resounding yes. You can listen to the reverberations the Big Bang sent ringing through the cosmos in a new sound file based on the cosmic microwave background that originated at the birth of time.