Q&A with Dr. Jonathan Hays, QMUL.

On Wednesday 16th July I spent the morning with Dr. Jonathan Hays from Queen Mary’s University, London.  This was a interesting discussion, and it has had a significant the impact on the final project outcome and also helped clarify my research statement.

Dr. Hays is a particle physicist based in the UK. Dr. Don Lincoln put me in touch with Dr. Hays for a personal discussion. I spent 2 hours talking to him, but could have quite happily spent the entire day discussing the science of particle physics. Dr. Hays has worked at the LHC, Switzerland as well as at Fermilab, Chicago. He was instrumental in designing some of the internal sensors on the LHC particle accelerator detector. I cannot pretend to understand everything that he discussed with me, but I still found it incredibly exciting and interesting.

Some of the key areas we discussed were:

  • Avagrados numbers
  • The methods utilised for detecting particle collisions on the LHC and how that data is analysed
  • The fundamental basic theories of particle physics
  • Muon detectors and the LEP accelerator
  • The 4 forces that bind atoms together: gravity, strong and weak forces and electromagnetism
  • Binding energy
  • The mechanisms that determine mass and how it is created
  • Virtual particles

As you can see we covered a broad array of information, the vast majority of which has been invaluable to my research. One aspect of the work I have been stuck on is the sound, or how to represent particles through sound. I posed Dr. Hays this question to get his suggestions for ideas. He came up with a very interesting concept of relating the size of particles to frequencies. This is an avenue I am currently exploring with the development of the soundtrack and will be discussing this further in an upcoming post.

Finally I just wanted to say thanks to Dr. Jonathan Hays for finding the time to discuss this with me!

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