Meeting with Horst Wenninger

Following our visit to the CERN archives where we discovered so many great pictures of Bubble Chambers in the 70s. Julian organized a meeting with physicist Horst Wenninger who started working on Bubble Chambers Experiments at CERN back in the 60s, such as BEBC.
He brought us a lot of documents and pictures to help us understand how those experiments where led, talked to us about experiment BEBC. It was a time where computers were as big as a room and magnets where way much bigger than what we saw at the large magnet facility, but what they could capture with cameras and what was happening inside the bubble chamber was more simpler to understand. A picture of real particles tracks, not abstract data made visual by a computer.

It was fascinating to hear so much stories about CERN, and the birth of the world wide web.

Oliver Keller’s Augmented Reality Particles

Oliver showed us his app using a scintillator associated with an augmented reality system to let us see the particles. His idea was to create a mobile cloud chamber. We tested it with different materials.

Then we discussed about radioactivity in general and he showed us another detector called Safecast that was developped after Fukushima to allow anyone to gather data about radioactivity.

Then we talked about decay chain and operation of the microcosm cloud chamber. We were wondering about the material used to produce the different type of particle. To produce Alpha Particle, material is radium, decaying into Radon which is a gaz and can travel through the cloud chamber, then decaying into pollunium, then quickly decaying into lead, producing this double particle trace. Alpha Particles are emitted when the material decay into another material.
Other Alpha particles are produced by the decay of Americium. Electrons are produced by the decay of Strontium 90.

Large Magnet Facility

Large magnet facility visit with Susana Izquierdo Bermudez where we learned how Superconducting magnets are made.

Antimatter Factory

Today’s visit to Antimatter Factory with François Butin where we discovered the latest antiproton decelerator ELENA and some other experiences linked to antimatter.

Are we living in a simulation ?

And others thoughts following a discussion we had with Jeremy Niedziela, on friday 17th.

Jeremy works on his Phd thesis at the moment, with consist of upgrading the actual software that render the collision in the ALICE experiment. We were really interested about his works on data visualisation, especially at this level of complexity.

Can we be sure that we don’t live in a simulation. Would we be able one day to compute and predict every interaction that occurs in the world. If we could have a computer powerful enough and be aware of every parameters that could influence the way we think, would we be able to predict what we are gonna do ? Is there a free will ? If we look at actual physics, very deterministe (you let a pen fall, you know for sure it is gonna fall), we would say that we don’t have a free will but if we look at quantum physics and one experiment (light passing through two holes) maybe we might have one…