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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Viscerally Intriguing Experimentation.

Do you feel this Advanced Test Nuclear Reactor
is really cool?
Yes! I haven't made a post for a long time now. Certainly not because my interests have disintegrated. Definitely not because I got a few job offers. No way in the world, If I graduated as a bachelor in technology but simply because I have fallen in love and its rather serious this time. Not exactly a romantic but rather along the lines of the 'science fiction adorer'.

And if you'd have a bet on me with the funding available to CERN, you would not be disappointed because that's right, there are no girls in this equation! But there are some from sets containing data that are as arduously natured as them. Experimental Physics. To be associated with a few sister projects in fusion sciences and technologies really is a full time job whether or not it requires one to be the one suited for them. Ask any plasma physicist or fusion technologist what he thinks are the chances of sustained, productive, and break-even fusion on earth and he will give you an answer straight out of a QM fundamentals books, as a probability from a point within 0 to 1. All the while knowing quite well that it puts his job on the same points of probability at sustaining his real life. Cause when work begins it translates almost into fictional fantasy uniquely understood through the reassuring cross nods of reality given to colleagues working in collaboration. Solely driven by the vision of awesomeness of the expected results (not necessarily obtained) and the impact of it on humanity.

At this particular insignificantly (in the universal scale) exponential time on the planet where Economics, Politics, Samsung and Apple are deciding the fate of millions, there are but a few who dare to think beyond driving in a Bugatti and running around for that fast buck, in their lives on the fast lane. Who are these people? These are the people behind those huge metallic doors, sizes of which could dwarf the main entrances of Disney World, investing time in laying out the foundations of the coming generations, visionaries. In laboratories the sizes of which have could have their own self contained eco-systems. These are the under hyped heroes of modern day marvels the Experimental physicists. In reminiscence, all modern day communications including what you read right now are only possible because a few noble guys named John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain thought it was cooler to experiment with materials and electricity,  rather than with the material aspirations and desires of the people.

I recount from personal experiences, an on and continuing relationship with my ExP(s) in a technologically and research driven nation. Having had finally made it to a well funded LAB that looks like it were a nuclear power production plant, one cannot avoid but be in awe of all the enormous tubes, gauges, consoles, valves, cylinders, status LEDs, multitude of wide screens, systems and stairs to places more of such stuff. At first glance all of this could only possibly remind you scenes from off the 'Matrix trilogy' motherships. You realize the beauty of the distant ceiling with a 30 tonne crane right through its heart like it were a Michelangelo and there you've fallen for it. The  humming sounds in the air, a waft of liquid nitrogen's aroma through the nostrils (though you actually cannot) giving the impressions of a cryostat simmering away close by like a curry on the stove. Having being related to the 'ITER' (International thermonuclear experimental reactor) and its various fusion sub-projects brings one closest to living in science fiction. Going to work everyday knowing that the fate of empowering but yet unemployed energy is quite a driving force. Such, is the rush involved that I would want to relay to many.

Square Cross Waves off the coast in France.
Natural Experimental setups that get one going 'how?'
This brings us to 'What is this that gets you here?' in the first place. A simple experiment whose results irks you enough, to feel the need to read every possible literature on it and when it begins to answer to you in ways which relate to 'why hadn't I thought of that?' are the first things that come to my mind. Everything else that follows is a coincidence. The question that constantly irked my mind back then, was that the photon ejection rate did not really affect the interference pattern observed on the photo electric screen; In the Young’s double slit experiment. To me, back then it was as if these quanta ‘knew’ exactly where to fall in order to rebuild the pattern every time. It has so far brought me here. All that is required again is one setup and a result that defies logic and intuition. To ignite one for a few more decades to come. Leaving, then again some unanswered questions about the applications of limitations of logic (translating to a new science) and how much of our intuition really, defines reality. 4 dimensions laying curved in a 5th one was once 'Surely, not real!', but not so much anymore. Entertaining and picking on thoughts that not just challenge the accepted perceptions of the world but toss them out into the ocean have become the order of the day for modern day physicists.

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