August 8, 2010 ALP Monthly
Kevin Ty & Christopher Louie Lu
Last August 8, 2010, members of
the Astronomical League of the Philippines
(ALP) held their monthly meeting at the Manila
Planetarium at 3:00pm. Members who attended were
ALP President James Kevin Ty and son Kendrick Cole (KC) Ty,
Myra Lee and son Jason Lee, Andrew
Ian Chan, Belen Pabunan, Vincent Lao,
Christopher Louie Lu , Kevin Dagunan,
Crispin Riosa, Dante Cruz, Christopher Lee, Desiree del
Rosario, Marc Joven Cortel, Kristine Valdez, guests
Monica Morales, Jamilan Coching, Maricon Belisano and
Professor Albert Mirami.
The meeting started at around
3:30pm with ALP President James Kevin Ty
introducing ALPer Christopher Louie Lu as the
lecturer of the day. He discussed on the Large
Hadron Collider (LHC).
The Large Hadron Collider is the
largest highest energy particle accelerator in he world.
Large due to its size (approximately 27 km in
circumference), Hadron because it accelerates
protons or ions, which are hadrons, and Collider
because these particles form two beams travelling in
opposite directions, which collide at four points where
the two rings of the machine intersect. The facility is
located in between the borders of France and Switzerland
and is build underneath the Earths crust (100m average).
The LHC re-uses the tunnel that
was built for CERN’s previous
accelerator. The underground tunnel was the best
solution to house a 27‑km circumference machine because
it is cheaper to excavate a tunnel rather than acquire
the land to build at the surface and the impact on the
landscape is reduced to a minimum. In addition, the
Earth’s crust provides good shielding for radiation.
The LHC is co-funded, built and
maintained by the European Organization for Nuclear
Research or CERN. It was designed by 10k scientists
and engineers from over a 100 countries in collaboration
with a 100 universities and laboratories around the
world. At present, its Member States are Austria,
Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland,
France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands,
Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland and the United Kingdom. India, Israel,
Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of
America, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have
The main goal of the LHC is for our
current understanding of the Universe which is still
incomplete. The Standard Model of particles and forces
summarizes our present knowledge of particle physics.
The Standard Model has been tested by various
experiments and it has proven particularly successful in
anticipating the existence of previously undiscovered
particles. However, it leaves many unsolved questions,
which the LHC will help to answer.
The Standard Model does not
explain the origin of mass, nor why some particles are
very heavy while others have no mass at all. The answer
may be the so-called Higgs mechanism. According to the
theory of the Higgs mechanism, the whole of space is
filled with a ‘Higgs field’, and by interacting with
this field, particles acquire their masses.
The Standard Model does not offer
a unified description of all the fundamental forces, as
it remains difficult to construct a theory of gravity
similar to those for the other forces.
Cosmological and astrophysical
observations have shown that all of the visible matter
accounts for only 4% of the Universe. The search is open
for particles or phenomena responsible for dark matter
(23%) and dark energy (73%). A very popular idea is that
dark matter is made of neutral — but still undiscovered
— supersymmetric particles.
The LHC will also help us to
investigate the mystery of antimatter. Matter and
antimatter must have been produced in the same amounts
at the time of the Big Bang, but from what we have
observed so far, our Universe is made only of matter.
Why? The LHC could help to provide an answer.
In addition to the studies of
proton–proton collisions, heavy-ion collisions at the
LHC will provide a window onto the state of matter that
would have existed in the early Universe, called
‘quark-gluon plasma’. When heavy ions collide at high
energies they form for an instant a ‘fireball’ of hot,
dense matter that can be studied by the experiments.
ALPer Christopher Louie Lu
gave an interesting lecture on Large Hadron Collider.
ALP President James Kevin Ty
presents to ALPer Andrew Ian Chan the 2010 ALP 9
Ball Billiards Championship Trophy.
Manila Planetarium OIC Ma.
Belen Pabunan presented the 1st Runner-Up trophy to
ALP President James Kevin Ty.
ALPer Vincent Lao receives the
2nd Runner-Up trophy on behalf of ALP Treasurer
Henry So from ALP President James Kevin Ty.
ALP President James Kevin Ty gave a summarized eclipse
report of the July 11, 2010 Total Solar Eclipse which
was observed and documented by ALP honorary members
Edwin Aguirre and Imelda Joson in the Tatakoto Atoll in
French Polynesia. James showed the eclipse video and
images made by them to the members.
announced the winners of the recent July 18, 2010 5th 9
Ball Billiards Tournament in which ALPer Andrew Ian Chan
won the 2010 crown with ALPers James Kevin Ty and Henry
So settling for the 1st and 2nd Runner Up respectively.
discussed on the upcoming August 12-13, 2010 Perseids
observation in which ALP PRO Armando Lee will lead the
observation of the event at the AstroCamp Observatory in
SM MOA. There will also be an out of town
observing session at Caliraya, Laguna on August 14,
2010. Both events are weather dependent so please
let Armand and James know in advance in case you are
joining the event.
Last but not
the least, the annual Moon Cake Dice Game will be held
on September 12 which will coincide with ALP
anniversary party and meeting. Full details of the
event will be discussed with the members in the days to
The meeting ended at around