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Particle Physics and Pony Fiction Experimentalist

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Ponies, Panels, and Particle Physics · 2:53pm February 8th

Two bits of news:

I will be joining a panel on "Physical Laws of a Novel Dimension" organised by Needling Haystacks at HarmonyCon today. (Just by video link.) If anyone is in Dallas, come along at 11am.

The first particle physics themed story I have commissioned will be published soon. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile you could read this story from CERN: Using LEGO to study the building blocks of the universe

Report Pineta · 147 views · #particle physics
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Comments ( 7 )

Using LEGO (brand building blocks) to study the building blocks of the universe

Sounds legit. I mean, it's CERN so it probably is legit, but it's still hilarious to contemplate and I haven't even read it yet.

Not the last use of LEGO® in science by any means! Some guys decided to stick a brick stack (and a minifig) in a dilution refrigerator and drop it down to ~4mK (that’s just 4/1000 degree Celsius/Kelvin above absolute zero) to measure the heat flow and see how good an insulator they’d be at that temperature.

There are also three aluminum LEGO® minifigs in orbit around the planet Jupiter right now!


If it takes physical laws to change by 1% to break things, but we can measure them to 26 bit accuracy, how many variations can there be relative to us between minimum deviation and breaking, even if the minimum change discernable is quantised at a much coarser level?

The LEGO article is wonderful! I have a big box of LEGO bricks in my workshop and I can't count the number of times they've come in handy for unintended uses!

Wow that's great. I worked with dilution refrigerators (15 years ago). That is the sort of test we would do. The properties of plastics vary a lot at low temperatures and there isn't much reliable data. So if you're designing something and need to check the materials are suitable, you need to stick it in the fridge and cool it. The group at Lancaster are leaders - I have visited that lab - so I would trust their results.
I still keep a bag of bricks in my desk draw. I last used them when I wanted to measure the electrical crosstalk between twisted wire cables and I needed to build a rig to twist them in a very particular way. I could have paid the workshop £300 a day to build it for me, but it seemed easier to order some Lego cogs on ebay.

¡2 BlogPosts in 1 day! I wish that I could have seen your presentation.

On a personal note, I can walk again, but my left arm is where the car hit. I cannot use my left arm. My surgeon says that I can remobilize my left arm generally and my left hand specifically, but it will take 36 sessions of occupational therapy over 3 months.

Good that you can walk again and will get your left arm back in three months. Enjoy the Book of Dust. Volume 2 is a great read, but be warned, it will leave you frustrated that you have to wait for Volume 3.

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