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2Physics Quote:
"About 200 femtoseconds after you started reading this line, the first step in actually seeing it took place. In the very first step of vision, the retinal chromophores in the rhodopsin proteins in your eyes were photo-excited and then driven through a conical intersection to form a trans isomer [1]. The conical intersection is the crucial part of the machinery that allows such ultrafast energy flow. Conical intersections (CIs) are the crossing points between two or more potential energy surfaces."
-- Adi Natan, Matthew R Ware, Vaibhav S. Prabhudesai, Uri Lev, Barry D. Bruner, Oded Heber, Philip H Bucksbaum
(Read Full Article: "Demonstration of Light Induced Conical Intersections in Diatomic Molecules" )

Thursday, October 20, 2005

One Decade of Top Quark

A decade ago in this week, experimental physicists representing seventy-four institutions in Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan, and the United States announced the discovery at Fermilab of the top quark, a fundamental building block of matter and the universe.

The name "quark" was taken by Murray Gell-Mann from the book "Finnegan's Wake" by James Joyce. The line "Three quarks for Muster Mark..." appears in the fanciful book. Gell-Mann received the 1969 Nobel Prize for his work in classifying elementary particles. There are 6 different kinds of quark: Up, Down, Charm, Strange, Top and Bottom. Being in a confined state, they act as constituents of fundamental particles like Proton and Neutron but not, for instance, electron. The confinement of quarks implies that we cannot isolate them to measure their masses in a direct way. The masses and their existence must be implied indirectly from scattering experiments. To know more about quarks at your own pace, visit
these pages of hyperphysics.

Fermilab will celebrate 10 years of discovery of Top quark and the new possibilities it opened for science in a half-day symposium entitled "Top Turns Ten" on Friday afternoon, October 21, at Fermilab. The agenda is here.

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