• Countdown to 11/29/11

    4. Where do energetic particles come from?

    Enrico Fermi proposed a theory on how particles could be accelerated by collisions with magnetic fields in the galaxy. Here are his notes showing the calculations he did for this seminal paper. Notice the date, Dec 4 1948. I did a quick check and found it was a Saturday! He did all these calculations over the weekend! Although we now know that acceleration occurs due to collision with supernovae shocks, but the central principle still holds. Here is a new paper in Science where this acceleration has been recently observed.

    A great way to start your day with freshly brewed cosmic rays!
    3. Found this interesting piece in Seed Magazine. If you only had a single statement to pass on to others summarizing the most vital lesson to be drawn from your work, what would it be? Notice Carl Sagan is quoted in it.
    2. In my opinion, even more exciting than the Curiosity launch would be the Sky Crane landing! Here is a good read. Sky Crane – how to land Curiosity on the surface of Mars.
    1. And finally…UFOs in the Large Hadron Collider!