100 years ago (8 April 1911) the phenomenon of superconductivity was first observed by Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes at the Leiden Cryogenics Laboratory in the Netherlands. Since this discovery, superconductivity has become the underpinning technology for many of the world's most important international science experiments, with STFC instrumental in the developments.
A momentous event took place in November 2014, when a team of European scientists and engineers succeeded in performing the first controlled ‘touch down’ on a comet. At the time, comet 67P was 300 million miles away, and not visible from Earth. Signals to and from the Rosetta spacecraft were subject to a 25 minute delay.
Neat…orderly…beautiful even – the theory of ‘supersymmetry’, or SUSY for short, is a scientist’s dream. It tidies up many loose ends left by the so-called Standard Model of particle physics.
Call it Nature’s perfect practical joke. Call it the ultimate riddle posed by particle physics. Whichever way you look at it – if you could actually look at it – so-called ‘dark matter’ is a real cosmic enigma.
4th July 2012 was a day to go down in the history of science. Before the eyes of the world, Rolf-Dieter Heuer, Director-General of the European Organization for Nuclear Science (CERN), announced the discovery of the Higgs boson.
On 12th November 2014, ESA received confirmation that Rosetta’s Philae lander had successfully landed on comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko (often referred to simply as 67P, CG or Chury). The beginning of Philae’s up-close-and-personal science projects on the comet is the latest important milestone in Rosetta’s 12 year, deep space journey.
The world will be watching closely as scientists and engineers try something that hasn’t been done before – a controlled ‘touch down’ on a comet.
STFC have pledged support for the government’s Your Life campaign, which aims to encourage more women to take up careers in science technology, engineering and maths (STEM). One of the ways we can do this is to share stories about STEM women – whether engineers, scientists, technologists or mathematicians.
Two years of downtime for the accelerators have been used as an opportunity for consolidation and maintenance, but there have also been some major upgrades that will see the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at even higher energies next year. Particle collisions at higher energies can create heavier particles, which will never have been seen before.
October 1997 saw the launch of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, complete with ESA’s Huygens probe. After a long journey through the solar system, Cassini became the first spacecraft to enter Saturn’s orbit in 2004. Initially given a four-year mission, Cassini’s work has been extended twice – the Equinox mission finished in 2010. Cassini’s Solstice mission is ongoing, scheduled to continue beyond the Saturnian summer solstice in May 2017. On the 10th anniversary of Cassini’s arrival at Saturn, we’re de