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The

News

 

19Aug2008

Brian Cox



Hi all
Sorry I haven’t written for a while…Been a bit all over the place.
Listeners to my Planet Rock show will know about the weekly sci­ence spot, well next Sunday I have a treat for you if you do..
This morning I finally got to talk to Brian Cox, one of the physi­cists working on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN…(He also used to play key­boards for D-​​​​Ream, so in his case, I guess things really did get better..)
Holy shit­ting Christ..What a DUDE!! He man­aged to talk about mind-​​​​meltingly hugely pro­found physics con­cepts with a clarity and sim­plicity that has to be heard to be believed.
(What’s more he does it in a seduc­tively lilting Mancunian accent, more Johnny Marr than Liam Gallagher if you know what I mean, and he’s got a cooler haircut than either of them to boot..)
What the good folk at CERN are about to attempt is simply aston­ishing. On Sept 10th, they will have cooled down the 27km par­ticle accel­er­ator to 2 degrees above absolute zero…That’s colder than the space between galaxies..They will then start firing pro­tons at each other at 99.999% of the speed of light in order to recreate the con­di­tions in the Universe ONE BILLIONTH OF A SECOND after the Big Bang!!!!!!
The idea is to find the so far elu­sive Higg’s Bosun, the so-​​​​called ‘God’ par­ticle that give things mass, and try to detect why we can’t detect dark matter…I was going into an ecstatic spin lis­tening to him talk about this stuff, and it was all I could do to not jump off my chair shouting “Yippeee!“
He also does it with a keen­ness and humour that is utterly cap­ti­vating, and makes me bit­terly regret having dropped out of Physics at school. (Although to be fair I blame my Physics teacher’s excru­ci­at­ingly long winded and tedious exper­i­ments ver­i­fying Hooke’s Law for that..)
Physics is the big daddy of all the sci­ences, and right now it’s on the verge of break­throughs that are beyond immense, like Biology in Darwin’s time I expect. In terms of making Physics sexy, appealing and acces­sible someone like Brian is worth a thou­sand Stephen Hawkings, and needs to be cel­e­brated as such.
We’ve had Comedy as the new Rock’n’Roll, well let’s make the next one par­ticle physics!
Check out

http://​public​.web​.cern​.ch

Also, some of the sci­en­tists have done a rap!! It’s actu­ally a bril­liantly simple expla­na­tion of what they’re up to..

It will cer­tainly be better than last weeks show, which was plagued with mishaps, and I can only apol­o­gise to my guest Chris Spedding for the sham­bles…

xxGuy

30 comments

  1. Nate - August 20, 2008 12:20 AM

    Sounds like a good inter­view Guy, although I have not lis­tened to you in a long while 🙁 It’s about time that some ‘sci­ence’ was applied to the PR Listen Again fea­ture! It would be nice if it worked on a Mac for example 😉
    Do you listen to the Guardian Science Podcast? I think you would like it 🙂

  2. Phoenix - August 20, 2008 5:57 AM

    Woo, Guy on bass in the Olympics. I’ll have to tune in for that.

    As for all the CERN stuff, very exciting. And I just get a grin reading this and hearing your voice in my head as if you were reading it over the air. Just like a little kid with mas­sive glee going on there.

    Cheers,
    Nix.

  3. Karen - August 20, 2008 8:03 AM

    Ok, after the first reac­tion, of what the hell is it ?

    I think it is the largest/​longest par­ticle accel­er­ator used to smash atoms and test.

    Physics was some­thing I gen­er­ally forgot after the last exam, I did actu­ally do quite well, amazing as that may seem

    Nic speling of Olympics by th wy

  4. Thomas Robinson - August 20, 2008 2:01 PM

    Great news about the inter­view. Roll on sunday is all i can say, mainly because i’m com­pletely lost about the rest of it at the minute.

    I wouldn’t call last weeks show a sham­bles. OK there was a problem with Chris’ micro­phone or some­thing like that and the CD player just doesn’t know when to stop but it was a long way off a sham­bles.

    OK so Terry Wogan knows how to use all the bits and bobs in the studio but he also sends half the lis­teners to sleep. Your show is always enter­taining, even if you don’t always mean it to be.

  5. Caroline - August 20, 2008 4:48 PM

    Whoa…absolutely fan­tastic news about the inter­view!! While I always look for­ward to the sci­ence spot, I will def­i­nitely, DEFINITELY look for­ward to this upcoming Sunday’s spot. Even if I can’t wrap my head around at least half of what will be discussed…as much as I hate saying it, espe­cially after having gotten to know how much you adore the sub­ject, Guy, I am not much for physics or its sib­lings like chem­istry (*tiny voice*please don’t kill me!!*tiny voice*). I’d prob­ably be better at and enjoy those sci­ences more if I was more of a math-​​head. Math has always been my one weakest subject…and you’d think it would be oth­er­wise con­sid­ering that my dad majored in math­e­matics (and eco­nomics) at UNC. But no, I’ve always had more of a mind for arts, writing, and history/​world culture/​geography…

    But all of that said, I will always have admi­ra­tion for those who know and take delight in the details of physics/​chemistry, like you Guy. 🙂

    - Caroline

  6. Karen - August 21, 2008 1:51 AM

    Um, we have been dis­cussing this at work.

    Looks like you have started some­thing.

    Apparently two pseudo sci­en­tists are suing to stop them firing it up, some­thing about cre­ating a mini black hole that will con­sume the earth or the like…

  7. Phoenix - August 21, 2008 7:46 AM

    And when they throw the switch on the 10th and the earth doesn’t go kerblooey, the ghost of Mel Blanc will arise from his grave and plain­tively ask, “Where’s the kaboom? There’s sup­posed to be an earth-​​shattering kaboom…”

    And we will giggle like little kids.

    Or I will anyway. XD

    Nix.

  8. mondo - August 21, 2008 3:23 PM

    Hey that was a cool blog to read. I love things like that. And Brian Cox seems like the kinds of bloke I could hear talking about stuff like that for hours. Very cool guy.

    Good to see you back blog­ging after so long Guy!

    As for physics being sexy? There is nothing more sexy than being smart. 🙂

  9. Caroline - August 21, 2008 3:25 PM

    Ah…you can cer­tainly bank on me joining you in that gig­gling, ‘Nix. 😀

    One of the greatest car­toon char­ac­ters ever crafted…

    I claim this planet in the name of Mars, hmmmm. Isn’t Mars lovely, HMMMM?!”

    And it just dawned on me that it’s a good thing that it was Mars from whence he came and not Pluto…there’s enough ridicu­lous ‘editing’ in ‘toons as it is these days… *sighs*

    (Yes…it is a *very slow* day here at work.)

    - Caroline

  10. Thomas Robinson - August 21, 2008 4:05 PM

    Ah i finally realised you were talking about Marvin the Martian from Duck Dogers weren’t you? Sorry im very slow on the uptake at the minute. Will CERN give mars a nice view of venus when its turned on?

  11. Nate - August 22, 2008 6:37 PM

    You could restore your orig­inal post now Guy as Thomas (above) did some detec­tive work. He tweeted the fol­lowing 5 hours ago: “but Guy wasn’t the first to reveal it http://​tinyurl​.com/​5​u​d​ctt” That Mirror article is dated 5 days before your blog post 🙂 Old News… Move On… Nothing to see here…

  12. Phoenix - August 24, 2008 7:06 PM

    Or to trans­late Nate’s com­ment into geek-​​speak: These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…

    XD

    Nix.

  13. mondo - August 24, 2008 7:33 PM

    hehehe!!! Just lis­tening to your show and you said about you let­ting A Whole Lot Of Love out the bag early! Doh!! hehe. Made me giggle.
    I really hope you didn’t get in too much trouble for that.

    Great show by the way. 😀

    –mondo

  14. Karen - August 25, 2008 8:41 AM

    Thoroughly enjoyed the Brian Cox inter­view. Thank you.

  15. Dragonlady - August 25, 2008 10:34 AM

    I remember when the were building the LEP, (in 1978). I was just ten but I loved physics, I wanted to work at the CERN later… but my math skills are really not up to that.
    Instead I have my best friend who became an astro­physi­cist.

    I must really try and go visit again, I live 2 hours away from Geneva.

  16. Josip - August 25, 2008 11:12 PM

    Hello, Guy! I just came across your web­site. I regret that I missed Ferry’s show in Zagreb some time ago. I wanted to say hello and get my copy of “Bass and other ani­mals” signed. Perhaps there will be another chance. Cheers from Croatia! Josip

  17. Thomas Robinson - September 6, 2008 4:03 PM

    I’ve just noticed that Guy’s show has been moved back an hour, so his show is now 8-​​10pm. Phil Manzanera’s got a new show thats on from 7-​​8pm.

    Planet Rock’s own newsletter still has Guy’s slot as 79 but if you go to the on air schedule it’s been changed, but the fact that Guy hasn’t said any­thing makes me wonder if maybe planet rock have for­gotten to even tell him!

  18. Caroline - September 6, 2008 9:44 PM

    Hopefully, Guy has been made aware one way or another…once a few weeks ago, he hinted at a pos­sible schedule change. I started to wonder if it that change had been dropped. But obvi­ously, no it was not…that said, I may have to tune into Ray’s hour. I cannot help but be quite curious about it, being one who loves me some Roxy.

    Even though I agree that Planet Rock could have done a better job in let­ting us and/​or Guy know about his show being bumped up an hour (I could very well be wrong, but I’m liking to think that Mr. Manzanara’s show was not a spur of the moment arrange­ment), I have to say that I am just glad that the show will still be on Sunday evenings (or after­noons over here).

    - Caroline

  19. Phoenix - September 10, 2008 9:00 AM

    Well, CERN’s fired up the hadron col­lider and Mel Blanc’s spirit has asked his plain­tive ques­tion.

    I guess this means I have to go to work tomorrow…

    Nix.

  20. Ronan Casey - September 15, 2008 5:52 PM

    My con­do­lences, Guy, on the sad passing of your father-​​in-​​law. May he rest in peace and con­tinue to shine on in all our lives cour­tesy of his great music.

  21. Caroline - September 15, 2008 6:25 PM

    My brother e-​​mailed me the news a few min­utes ago, and my heart dropped. 🙁 My con­do­lences and sym­pa­thies to you and yours, Guy, as I will cer­tainly honor your father-​​in-​​law and his music and spirit with not only a Floyd ‘marathon’ of sorts when I get home from work today, but will also ded­i­cate one of the black­light paint­ings I’ve been working on lately to him.

    As Ronan beau­ti­fully stated, may Mr. Wright RIP and always shine on through his out­standing music and work.

    - Caroline

  22. Phoenix - September 15, 2008 6:59 PM

    My thoughts and deepest sym­pa­thies are with you and your family, Guy. I will play some of his stuff again this Friday on my show, comedy music be damned.

    *hugs*

    Nix.

  23. alternate gilmour - September 15, 2008 7:29 PM

    I’m so so sad. My thoughts are with you and yours.

  24. Paul Sexton - September 15, 2008 7:35 PM

    Heart felt con­dolances to all, Guy.

  25. AlX - September 15, 2008 7:48 PM

    My con­do­lences to Guy, Gala and all the family.
    Rest in peace Rick. We will miss you.

    Shine on

  26. Sarah S. - September 15, 2008 7:53 PM

    My thoughts are with you and your family. May family, friends, and beloved mem­o­ries com­fort you through this very dif­fi­cult time. I am ter­ribly sorry for your tragic loss. Richard will be ter­ribly missed.

    ~Sarah

  27. Genevieve - September 15, 2008 7:54 PM

    All my sym­pa­thies for you and your family, spe­cially Gala.

  28. Phoenix - September 15, 2008 7:59 PM

    Mr. Padua, could you please hook us up with a sep­a­rate entry to com­ment in whilst Guy is away?

    Thank you.

  29. Thomas Robinson - September 15, 2008 8:08 PM

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss Guy, and my thoughts are with all of Rick’s family and friends.

  30. Alex Paterson - September 15, 2008 9:09 PM

    My con­do­lences to all the family and friends.