Journey with Jerry: a Visit to Two Really Big Machines: LIGO and the LHC
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Since May 2020, Dr. Jerry Dunifer, Emeritus Professor of Physics and Astronomy, has been wowing audiences through interactive journeys to exotic locations. This time (our 10th journey together) is a visit to Two Really Big Machines: LIGO and the LHC: This presentation will cover a visit to two of the largest machines in the World. Both have dimensions measured in miles. First, we will visit LIGO—the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, located in Livingston, Louisiana. LIGO measures oscillations of space and time itself. It has detected gravitational waves generated by colliding black holes billions of lightyears distant from Earth. These observations were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017. Second, we will visit the LHC—the Large Hadron Collider, located near Geneva, Switzerland. This is the most energetic and largest collider on Earth. It produces head-on collisions of elementary particles, such as protons, to study the characteristics of elementary particles in the Universe. Studies conducted at the LHC resulted in the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics.