While I chose words to be the tools with which to make my living, I am interested in science and mathematics too. I never pursued those fields of knowledge beyond college, but over the years I have read about them a lot, especially the field of science.
What has interested me most is the field of nuclear physics. I subscribe to Popular Science magazine, National Geographic, and The Smithsonian. Occasionally in one or the other therell be an interesting story about the advance in knowledge in the field of nuclear physics.
Atomic Physics or course deals with Atoms as a whole, nuclear physics deals with the inner workings of the atom or primarily the nucleus of the atom. When atoms are split a great amount of energy is expended. Even more energy is expended when atoms are fused together. Our sun is powered by nuclear fusion. Dr. Albert Einstein pointed out the awesome power in the atom in his famous equation where energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light squared. It is interesting to note that the atom was once considered the most basic part of matter. Now, nuclear physicists say there are small components of the atom such as quarks and other atomic particles. The word atom itself is derived from a Latin word that means indivisible.
Nuclear physicists are using sophisticated tests to try to find the ultimate particles of the universe. One particle scientists have a great interest in discovering is called the Higgs Boson. Finding it would surely make headlines because it is believed to be the foundation particle of the universe.
Scientists are using particle accelerators to try to find the Higgs Boson. Particle accelerators are machines that accelerate particles to extremely high energies. The Higgs Boson particle was named for Professor Peter Higgs who predicted it while working at Edinburgh University in 1964.
There are two types of accelerators: the linear and the circular. Both accelerate particles near the speed of light to collide with other particles to produce other particles. I suppose the most recent and largest accelerator is the circular one near Geneva, Switzerland. It is housed in a tunnel 17 miles in circumference and lies under the border of Switzerland and France.
Light travels at a rate of 186,000 miles per second. According to Dr. Einsteins Theory of Relativity light can go no faster. It is the ultimate speed in the universe.
I believe scientists will keep trying to find the secrets of the cosmos. Perhaps theyll find more as time goes by. Perhaps they wont. Anyway a few years ago, the atom was thought to be indivisible. Now we know it is not. And scientific enquiry continues.