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Particle Physics and Pony Fiction Experimentalist


Izzy signs up her friends to do a panel debate about particle physics at the Bridlewood Festival of Philosophy. Sunny, Zipp, and Pipp get behind the idea. Hitch is not sure what he is doing here.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 41 )

"Hitch is not sure what he is doing here."

Well, that's a perfect characterization of Hitch's role in the movie. I have to read this tonight (because work), but I know that "But I'm a sheriff!" wouldn't be out of place in the story. :facehoof:

A particle accelerator built by Izzy would be very glittery. :pinkiehappy:

A very fun story, Pineta! Glad to see you involving the G5 ponies in the process of popularizing physics. Pipp-pipp-hooray! :yay:

Hitch is not sure what he is doing here.

Poor stallion didn't even get a mug.

"Are there any questions?"

Two hundred hooves went up in the audience.

"Any questions other than inquiring if Hitch is free for dinner tonight?"

Two hundred hooves went down.

Girls love a guy with a paid-off mortgage.

He really does have the best mortgage. Smooth, firm... um, home equity.

Izzy is far to nice to say: "This is Hitch - we just brought him along because he's ornamental"
Having now written a story with Hitch, I am starting to see that he is a useful pony to have around, as well as being a cutie.

How would you use glitter in a particle accelerator? Now where's that thesis I read on the design of retroreflectors for an laser interferometer in the ATLAS detector?

The idea that earth ponies smell of rotten sardines disappeared quickly enough.
Hitch needs to have a word with the pony who is leaking his personal financial data.

(as if it's not Sprout)

Why do I get the impression that in an Izzy-promoted Large Collider (IpLC) the glitter is what gets smashed so they can analyze the sparkle it produces?

so which model can account for magic? the standard? a string theory ? or super gravity ?

Sounds like a way to study light-by-light scattering.


It's a very nice story, but I spotted numerous small errors that need to be corrected. For instance:

terra electron volt energy levels

"Terra" means Earth. "Tera-" is a prefix that means 1012.

All it needs is some polish from a proofreader, and it'll be fantastic.

Thanks. Fixed.
Sunny is an earth pony and not too familiar with the subject. It's an understandable mistake for her to make.

Particle physicists have my deepest sympathies. At least in astrophysics, we always have more things to look at, and we're reasonably confident that we'll always find new stuff by increasing our resolution and sensitivity.

Speaking of bigger and better space detectors, who else is super hyped about Webb's launch and deployment?

This is a great story and it explains the standard model and particle physics quite well.

I don't think we deserve all that much sympathy yet. We have a nice big proton accelerator to play with, and plenty to do for at least another two decades. And who knows, maybe something exciting will turn up.

It's not so different in cosmology, which was really exciting twenty years ago, but now the data from Planck just seem to be showing the Standard Model of Cosmology works really well. All the easy stuff has been done. All parts of the electromagnetic spectrum mapped. Making more process will need big budgets and long timescales.

But you can have a lot of fun with gravitational waves... and there's a lot of extrasolar planetary systems out there to explore...

A perfect bundle of comedy, cute pastel horses and physics. Definitely worthy of a favourite.

I have almost no idea what just went down, but it was a stupendous story!

After like 2 years I finally managed to cut my read it later list to under 20 stories and now you came out with this. I officially hate you, and your fucking epic ideas.

If it makes you feel any better, my read it later list current has 173.

What a fun story!

Let’s say Alphabittle is right (as much as I don’t want him to be), and after building more powerful accelerators we don’t find anything new, and the field of collider particle physics comes to a halt (or, there isn’t value seen in continuing the construction and continuation of colliders in the future). What takes collider physics’ place in our search to complete the SM and find new physics? Do particle physicists just go back to the drawing board, or are there currently other alternate fields/pathways that may show promise to proving our theories?

Maybe the answer is the magic of friendship. :derpytongue2:

Izzy is almost definitely a descendant of Pinkie Pie. And maybe Lyra's in her family tree as well.
(That's the tiny issue with not knowing how far from G4 G5 is. No idea how tangled the family trees of the Mane 6 and their friends have gotten.)

This felt a little too much like an Earthly discussion of particle physics. The pony physics model can't be our physics model; not unless we've also got secret lost magic to account for.
The future of particle physics research in the pony world can logically only be to research how magic fits into or changes the established models.

Well now is mine back to 19. :derpytongue2:
About the video you posted, when you say joined, you mean you were in the audience, or that you were one of the 4 people on the panel?

"I'll be in my bunk..."
-Zipp, probably.

Some options are:

  • Develop new techniques to accelerate particles to higher energies using smaller infrastructure. This might be possible with plasma wakefield accelerators, but it doesn't look like the technology will be ready any time soon.
  • Study particles in other ways, such as looking at cosmic rays - high energy particles from outer space, neutrinos, or precision measurements of electric and magnetic dipole moments, where effects visible at low energies will tell us something about what's happening at high energies.
  • Retrain as zoologists and go and count penguins in Antarctica, or do something else interesting.

Pinkie Pie now seems to be a quasi-mythical being from ancient Equestria, so my feeling is that there has been enough generations to mix up their genes pretty well.

My interest is using ponies to talk about real world science. Building pseudoscientific theories of magic is a different game. There are plenty of fans doing that. Remember that magic follows a different logic to physics. As the great Terry Pratchett said: "Dragons don't breath fire because they've got asbestos lungs—they breath fire because everyone knows that's what dragons do"

I'm the one on stage wearing a hat.

Well kinda guessed that if you are indeed on stage that's the only one who matches your profile.
An Oxford Professor on Fimfiction. :pinkiegasp: The things you encounter on the internet. (well technically you could be lying but let's hope that's not the case.) I myself applied to Cambridge of all places (because it was closer to where my parents lived at the time.) and I may have had a chance to get in because my grades were really quite good, but without sufficient knowledge about the intricacies about the application process I didn't manage. (now it's entirely possible that even if I had known how to apply properly I would have still failed, but we'll never know.)

But I've got two (?) degrees in engineering (Bs in Chemical engineering and Ms in mechanical engineering) I've got a solid job so I guess I didn't do too bad, but at times like this one can't help but wonder, what could have been?

Is....is this a pre existing image? Or was it made for this story?

It's from the movie. The "training" montage in Izzy's song "Fit Right In".

This is a great follow-up to the video! :pinkiehappy:

just the girls? You telling me there wasn't any homoerotic tension between Hitch and Sprout? I'd certainly smash.

Probably a stupid question, but after the Higgs is found, if we don't really know what we're looking for beyond that, how do the unicorns know how big to build their collider? And if it finds no new particle, how big should they build the next one, rather than build something else instead?

I guess I'm confused because of things like supersymmetry that pop sci articles said the LHC was going to test. It seems like every time I looked at it, people said it actually still hasn't been proven wrong, it's just relocated in a new energy range that's barely out of reach of the current experiments.

Is there a good way to know the size for a collider, where we don't risk a lot of new theories popping up just after it's build that say "you know what, actually, you should have built it 20% bigger!" :rainbowderp: ?

Not a stupid question. In the end, we don't know how big a collider we will need. If we could build one to reach the grand unification energy of 1016 GeV, we should see something, but that is completely out of reach.

Supersymmetry is sometimes called a zombie theory, as although it now seems to be terminally out of fashion, it is almost impossible to completely disprove. There are so many free parameters that you can always find some variation that still fits the data. However it is now harder to find a version of supersymmetry that fits the data and also solves the problems that we wanted supersymmetry to solve (the Hierarchy Problem, provide a good dark matter candidate) - this was the reason for thinking it could be found at LHC energies.

Now that the standard flavour of supersymmetry is out, it is more of an open question what type of of New Physics we can expect to find, and whether we have a chance of seeing it. Many experimentalists are now more inclined to take a 'model independent' approach and look for something that doesn't fit the Standard Model. The hope is if we can find more anomalies like the muon g-2, this will give some clues as to whether there is anything in the energy range of a future collider.

Okay, thank you! That makes a lot of sense :)

In the video, I believe that the guy with the hat is going places. One should keep our eyes on that pony. I expect great things from him.

Ah, a story about funding public goods, for which "friendship" is as good a euphemism as any.

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