frank-close

Frank Close

Bristol Cream: Fame and Infamy at the Heart of the Atom

Festival of Ideas/
Wed 13 September 2017

Frank Close

Bristol Cream: Fame and Infamy at the Heart of the Atom

frank-close
Wed 13 September 2017,

Distinguished particle physicist and popular science author Frank Close takes a journey to the heart of matter – and antimatter – which features four Bristolians: three Nobel Laureates and one spy.

Antimatter is the legacy of Bristolian Paul Dirac, who 90 years ago completed our understanding of atoms; today the Bristol Royal Infirmary uses antimatter in medical diagnostics. The atomic nucleus is the source of immense forces, whose agent – the ‘pion’ – was discovered 70 years ago at the University of Bristol by Cecil Powell. Meanwhile, nuclear secrets had been leaked during the 1940s by another agent – Klaus Fuchs – shortly after he completed his physics degree at Bristol. Finally Bristolian Peter Higgs explained why atoms and their nuclei have structure, and why the sun burns slowly enough for evolution to have happened, in a theory which was proved recently with discovery of the Higgs Boson.

This event is part of a day celebrating the 70th anniversary of the discovery of the pion, one of the major achievements in the history of physics at the University of Bristol.

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