An atom smasher, or particle accelerator, collides atomic nuclei together at extremely high energies, using engineering that exploits incredibly cold temperatures, very low air pressure, and hyperbolically fast speeds. Don Lincoln explains how scientists harness the power of both electric and magnetic fields to smash atoms, eventually leading to major discoveries about the matter in our universe.
All the stars in a spiral galaxy rotate around a center — but to astronomers, the speed that each star travels wasn’t making sense. Why didn’t stars slow down toward the edges as expected? Don Lincoln explains how a mysterious force called dark matter is (possibly) the answer — and why the search for an answer matters.
The oscillation of neutrinos from one variety to another has long been suspected, but was confirmed only about 15 years ago. In order for these oscillations to occur, neutrinos must have a mass, no matter how slight. Since neutrinos have long been thought to be massless, in a very real way, this phenomena is a clear signal of physics beyond the known. In this video, Fermilab’s Dr Don Lincoln explains how we know it occurs and hints at the rich experimental program at several international laboratories designed to understand this complex mystery.
Dr. Don Lincoln introduces one of the most fascinating inhabitants of the subatomic realm: the neutrino. Neutrinos are ghosts of the microworld, almost not interacting at all. In this video, he describes some of their properties and how they were discovered. Studies of neutrinos are expected to be performed at many laboratories across the world and to form one of the cornerstones of the Fermilab research program for the next decade or more.
Fermilab’s Dr. Don Lincoln explains some of the reasons that physicists are so interested in supersymmetry. Supersymmetry can explain the low mass of the Higgs boson, provide a source of dark matter, and make it more likely that the known subatomic forces are really different facets of a single, common, force.
In this video, Fermilab’s Dr. Don Lincoln describes the principle of supersymmetry in an easy-to-understand way. A theory is supersymmetric if it treats forces and matter on an equal footing. While supersymmetry is an unproven idea, it is popular with particle physics researchers as a possible next step in particle physics.
Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln describes the Standard Model of particle physics, covering both the particles that make up the subatomic realm and the forces that govern them.
Searching for the Higgs boson and other particles requires scientists to take into account statistics and probability in their analyses. Fermilab physicist Don Lincoln explains these concepts using simple dice.
Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln describes antimatter and its properties. He also explains why antimatter, though a reality, doesn’t pose any current threat to our existence!