Being a small piece of a large experiment is vital to the enterprise of science.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work as a small (but vital) part of a large collaboration, where hundreds or even thousands of experimental scientists get together to produce an experiment far larger or more complex than any one person could oversee on their own? Have you ever wondered where the line is between physics and astronomy, and whether it even makes sense to have a line at all in the case of astroparticle physics? And have you ever wished that people would be more honest about the recent toxic experiences that they had when they were starting out that are still relevant to young people in those shoes today?
I’m so pleased to have such a remarkable discussion with astrophysicist Niko Sarcevic (pronounced “SHAR-chev-itch” when comes out of my mouth) that’s was not only far ranging but incredibly enjoyable for me. I hope you like listening, and if you want to listen to me absolutely botch describing the XENON experiment (which doesn’t use the lead shielding I described; that was a different detector: SuperCDMS!), it’s well-documented for everyone to hear!
Starts With A Bang is written by Ethan Siegel, Ph.D., author of Beyond The Galaxy, and Treknology: The Science of Star Trek from Tricorders to Warp Drive.