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Video of the week: Colliderscope

Video of the Week - “Colliderscope,” a light-artwork at the Niels Bohr Institute

Named after the physicist of the same name, the Niels Bohr Institute investigates astronomy, geophysics, nanophysics, particle physics, quantum physics and biophysics. Its researchers explore everything from the smallest sub-atomic particles to the largest galaxies in the universe. Image courtesy Niels Bohr Institute

The light on the facade of the Niels Bohr Institute (above) in Copenhagen, Denmark, is a representation of what scientists might “see” in the collisions of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. More accurately, the light reflects signals from the Transition Radiation Tracker (TRT) of the ATLAS experiment, which detects the tracks of particles  created when protons collide at very high energies.

The TRT detector consists of many straws, which give a signal when a charged particle passes through. When a lot of signals in a row are seen, that means that a particle has passed. Based on the position, one can determine its orbit and thus where it came from.

The artwork was created by the artists Christian Skeel and Morten Skriver in collaboration with physicists Clive Ellegaard and Troels C. Petersen. NBI Colliderscope is a satellite exhibition from Esbjerg Kunstmuseum.

—Dan Drollette, iSGTW

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