May 6, 2012 ALP Monthly Meeting Report
by James Kevin Ty

Last May 6, members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) held their monthly meeting at Manila Planetarium.  Members who attended were ALP President James Kevin Ty , Charito Ty and son Kendrick Cole KC Ty ,  VP Jett Aguilar, Secretary  Christopher Louie Lu , Treasurer Andrew Ian Chan and Iah Serna; PRO Armando Lee with wife Mia and son Jason Lee; director Edgar Ang, Bel Pabunan,  Desiree del Rosario,  Norman Marigza, Mike Enage , Mark Vornhusen, Jan Karlo Hernandez, Arnel Campos, Vincent Gella, Miguel Enrique Cajita, Ronald Sison with wife  Adriel, children Adrian, Aleecia and Aldrin.

Meeting proper started at around 3:00pm with ALP Secretary and NAW chairman Christopher Louie Lu who presented updates on the  Large Hadron Collider.  Below is the sypnosis of his lecture:

European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)

CERN is the international organization that manages, maintain & operates the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). CERN's member countries are:  Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom. Member Countries with Observer Status: Turkey, Russia, Japan, United States, India.


Brief History:

December 1949 – French Physicist Louis de Broglie made the first official proposal for the creation of a European Laboratory at the European Cultural Conference in Lausanne.

June 1950 – American Nobel Laureate & Physicist Isidor Rabi made a resolution authorizing UNESCO to “assist & encourage the formation of research laboratories in order to increase international scientific collaborations” at the 5th UNESCO General Conference in Florence.

December 1951 – In Paris, UNESCO held a inter-governmental meeting where the first resolution for the establishment of a European Council for Nuclear Research was adopted.  11 European countries signed the agreement establishing a provisional council.  CERN was born

October 1952 – During the Councils 3rd session, Geneva, Switzerland was chosen as the site of  the future laboratory. This site was then ratified in June 1953.

July 1953 – CERN was ratified by 12 member states: Belgium, Denmark, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom & Yugoslavia.

September 29, 1954 – Ratified by France & Germany, the European Organization for Nuclear Research officially came into being.

1957 – The first Accelerator built in CERN was a 600 MeV Synchrocyclotron (SC). It provided CERN's first particle & nuclear physics experiments. Until 1964 where it started to concentrate on nuclear physics alone. In 1967, combined with ISOLDE, SC carried out research ranging from nuclear physics to astrophysics & medical physics. In 1990, SC was shut down after 33 years of service.

November 24, 1959 – The Proton Synchrotron (PS) accelerated particles for the first time, becoming the highest energy particle accelerator at the time with a beam energy of 28 GeV. PS is still in use today as part of a stage to the LHC.

1968 – In the 1960's, particle detection normally involves examining millions of photographs from 'Bubble Chambers' or spark Chambers.  Georges Charpak, joined CERN in 1959 & developed the 'Multiwire Proportional Chamber', a gas-filled box with a large number of parallel detector wires, each connected to individual amplifiers which is then connected to computers that could achieve a counting rate a thousand times better than the existing detectors. This invention revolutionized particle detection which passed the manual to the electronic era. Georges Charpak was awarded the 1992 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on Particle Detector.

1971 – High energy particle collisions previously involves hitting a stationary target most of the valuable projectile energy is taken up by the target recoil & only a small fraction feeds the collision. But physicists realize that if two particle beams could be fired at each other, no recoil energy would be wasted, making a much more efficient use in energy collisions. Thus, the Intersecting Storage Rings (ISR) was approved for construction in 1965. 300 meters in diameter, the ISR became the precursor for innovation & technology for future particle accelerators.

- New high-vacuum techniques has to be developed.

- New methods for controlling particle beams mastered.

The ISR produced the first Proton – Proton collisions on January 27, 1971.

1976 – Measuring 7 km in circumference, the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) was the first of CERN's big rings. Initially used as a proton accelerator with a beam energy of 300 GeV, today it operates up to 450 GeV.

Achievements of SPS:

- Probed the inner structure of protons

- Investigated natures preference for matter over anti-matter

- Looked at matter as it might have been in the first instant of the universe's life.

- Searched for exotic forms of matter.

In 1983, Carlo Rubbia & Simon van der Meer, operating the SRS won the Nobel prize for their discovery of W & Z particles.

February 1985 – Excavations for the Large Electron-Positron (LEP) collider began with a 27km in circumference, the ring was completed on 1988.

- LEP consists of 5176 magnets and 128 accelerating cavities with a initial beam                                                          energyof 100 GeV.

- It was later upgraded to have 288 superconducting accelerating cavities to           double this energy.

            - Along its ring are 4 enormous detectors, ALEPH, DELPHI, L3 & OPAL.

            - Its experiments provided a detailed study of the electroweak force interactions.

- Its experiments also proved that there are three, and only three, generations of particles of matter.

The LEP served 11 years in Particle & Nuclear research.  On November 2, 2000, it was closed down to make way for the construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

 Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

This is the largest and most powerful particle accelerator/collider in the world. With a circumference of 27km, the LHC is found within the border of France and Geneva, Switzerland.  Number of Magnets: 9593, Number of dipoles: 1232, Number of quadrupoles: 392. Average depth: 100m, Lowest depth: 150m.


Experiments: ATLAS, ALICE, CMS & LHCb

ATLAS (A large Toroidal LHC ApparatuS - ATLAS is a general‑purpose detector designed to cover the widest possible range of physics at the LHC, from the search for the Higgs boson to supersymmetry (SUSY) and extra dimensions.

ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) - ALICE is a detector specialized in analyzing lead-ion collisions. It will study the properties of quark-gluon plasma, a state of matter where quarks and gluons, under conditions of very high tempera­tures and densities, are no longer confined inside hadrons.

CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) - CMS is a general‑purpose detector with the same physics goals as ATLAS, but different technical solutions and design.

LHCb (Large Hadron Collider beauty) - LHCb specializes in the study of the slight asymmetry between matter and antimatter present in interactions of B-particles. Understanding it should prove invaluable in answering the question: “Why is our Universe made of the matter we observe?”


What is the Goal?

1.)    Finding the Higgs-Boson partivcle

2.) Further understanding the unification of the 4 fundamental forces.

3.) Understanding and further discovery of Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

4.) The LHC will help us understand why we live in a universe with more matter        rather than antimatter.

5.) Give us a glimpse of the state of matter during the first moments after the Big Bang, known as 'Quark-Gluon Plasma'.



LHC updates:

1.)    Faster-than-light Neutrinos

2.) LHC to undergo upgrade & facelift..

3.) Closing in on the Higgs.

4.) Ramping up the speed.



ALP Secretary Christopher Louie Lu discussed on the latest updates on CERN as well as Hadron Large Collider.

ALP VP Jett Aguilar discussed on the upcoming May 21, 2012 Annular Solar Eclipse (Partial Solar Eclipse in the Philippines) and June 6, 2012 Venus Transit.

ALP President James Kevin Ty added experience info on what to expect if one will travel to the annular eclipse path to observe the annular eclipse based from his August 1998 annular solar eclipse experience in Malaysia as well as announced the different ALP eclipse teams set up for the May 21 event.

ALP PRO Armando Lee will head the Philippine eclipse teams set up at different sites.  He will also do live webcasting of the eclipse event.

Afterwards, ALP VP Jett Aguilar presented a detailed summary of the upcoming May 21 annular solar eclipse (partial solar eclipse in the Philippines).  The event will start at sunrise with the eclipse already started more or less 30 minutes already and will reach around 61.5% eclipse at maximum time of around 5:59am in Manila.  He also discussed the June 6 Venus transit event  which will be the last one for our lifetime to observe this century.  He describe what's the best site for one to observe the eclipse and transit here in the country as well as safety precaution in observing the events.  The use of a safe solar filter is recommended to observe the events  properly.

ALP President James Kevin Ty then announce the ALP eclipse teams that are formed.  Xiamen, China  team consisting of James Kevin Ty, Jett Aguilar and Mark Vornhusen ; Cedar Break , Utah team consisting of Christopher Go and Jun Lao ; Alburqueque , New Mexico headed by Eric Africa  and last but not the least the Philippine team consisting of observation sites in Manila Planetarium, AstroCamp Observatory and another undisclosed site that will be participated by numerous ALPers.  Aside from observing and imaging the event, they also have plans to do live webcast of the event via twitter.  Lastly, ALP PRO Armando Lee will head the local eclipse team here to coordinate the local observation site here,

Meeting ended at around 5:30pm.




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