LIVE FROM THE EDGE OF SPACE AND TIME Maria Spiropulu Herman White
Tuesday April 3, 2001
Dynamic young physicist Maria Spiropulu, from Fermilab, takes us on a tour of America’s largest
and most powerful accelerator: from a small flask of hydrogen atoms inside the Cockroft-Walton
chamber we follow the path of particles of matter as they speed faster and faster, through miles
of tunnels, towards a collision with particles of anti-matter.
Herman White says that Fermilab
may in fact be producing more anti-matter than any other place in our Universe at this time! We
ride the Tevatron tunnel in golf-carts as Maria explains the process, and arrive in the heart of
the massive Collision Detector Facility: since the accelerator is not running we’re lucky to be
able to see inside one of the world’s premier instruments for exploring the edge of space and
time where the laws of physics as we know them may break down. Graphics and animations explain the
highly energetic processes studied at Fermilab and by CHANDRA, where the unit of measure is
kilo-electron volts, KeV and even higher energies such as TeV and GeV rather than temperature!