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Smashing the atom

Tuesday 15th October 2013 A most thought provoking evening was spent by members of Ipswich Engineering Society in the company of Dr James Story who delivered a fascinating talk about his work at the European Laboratory for particle physics at CERN on the Swiss-French border. The laboratory at CERN was set up by 12 European governments in 1954 including the United Kingdom. James talked about the history of the laboratory since its foundation. The talk also covered not only the Large Hadron Collider but also the other smaller colliders located at CERN. Some of the history, construction and function of these colliders was all talked about. The talk moved on to the topic of the search for the Higgs boson how it came about and the evidence found. Finally the talk moved on to James own work in the study of antimatter and in particular antihydrogen . There are no known sources of antihydrogen in the universe and the first ever antihydrogen atoms were created at CERN in 1995. James talked about the electrical, cryogenic and mechanical engineering challenges. He also attempted to explain why the study of antihydrogen may help answer some of the biggest mysteries in physics, this was particularly complex and an alien process to ordinary mortals, perhaps not all of the members had a full understanding by the end of the talk. The meeting was well attended, all of the members present thoroughly enjoyed the talk and many entered into a question and answer session at the end

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