Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Heart struck by CERN proton beams for Valentine's day

Jacob Aron, reporter
(Image: Tom Whyntie/CMS/CERN )

Love may be all about chemistry, but that hasn't stopped particle physicists from making their own special Valentines. This heart has been pierced not by Cupid's arrow, but two proton beams smashing together within the CMS detector at the Large Hadron Collider.
Imperial College London researcher Tom Whyntie took data from one of the earliest collisions at the LHC and added simulated data that followed the path of a heart-shaped equation. He gave the picture to his girlfriend as a Valentine's day card in 2010 - they are now happily married.
Whyntie isn't the only one to mix particles with passion - Suzie Sheehy, a researcher at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, UK wrote a Valentine's day poem inspired by a heart-shaped simulation of 629 protons torn apart by a particle accelerator.


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