Scotland Celebrates Big Bang Science

Published on Thursday, 07 February 2013 11:45
Written by Vicki Mitchem

Scotland is this week celebrating its vital role in the Large Hadron Collider, which explores the science of the Big Bang.

From the scientists and engineers who have worked on the creation of the LHC to the man who gave his name to the Higgs Boson particle, Scotland has a lot to be proud of.

At a reception held today at the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh, science icon Professor Peter Higgs and Deputy Presiding Officer Mr John Scott MSP joined the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the Chairman of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Sir John Arbuthnott along with key Scottish science and parliamentary figures to celebrate the important contribution made by Scotland in the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson particle.

Speaking about that contribution Professor Higgs said "Last year culminated in what really was an amazing testament to the skill and dedication of all the engineers, technologists and others who have made this superb machine called the LHC such a great success. The extraordinarily successful detectors of the four experiments are testaments to the achievements of their collaboration teams. 2012 was certainly the year in which they should be recognised. I am sorry that myself and other theoreticians have put them to so much trouble!

"We should also recognise the central role that STFC has had in supporting those from the UK and in particular teams in Edinburgh and Glasgow that have contributed so much."

Along with activities such as the LHC on tour exhibition and the prizes associated with my name I hope that these will inspire the young scientist of today to be part of these endeavours here in Scotland and elsewhere in the future."

Mr Scott MSP said "This exhibition is both a celebration of the great tradition of Scottish science and an education on the theories of Professor Higgs and the remarkable Large Hadron Collider experiment. The Scottish Parliament is delighted to be able to play its part in promoting Scottish science through this exhibition."

Organised by STFC and the RSE the reception was being held at the visiting exhibition of the 'LHC on Tour' which includes a full-size replica of a section of the LHC tunnel funded by STFC and which is currently on display at Holyrood.

Professor John Womersley, STFC Chief Executive and a particle physicist himself said "Scottish scientists, researchers and engineers have been very important to the success of the world's largest science experiment at CERN. From the theoretical work undertaken by Professor Higgs at the University of Edinburgh forty years ago to the young researchers collecting their data there now and the latest innovations in electronic protection systems supplied to CERN by Scottish engineers, Scotland can be proud of its role in the incredible experiments at the LHC and the advances it makes in our understanding of the Universe."

Over 80 men and women in Scottish Universities contribute to the work of the LHC and their work is showcased in the exhibition at the Scottish Parliament building. Visitors are able to walk through the full-size replica of a section of the LHC tunnel, as well as being able to meet and chat with Scottish physicists who have been involved in the Higgs boson discovery.

The replica tunnel is a 3.8m wide reproduction of a section of the LHC tunnel which lies 100m beneath the Franco-Swiss border at CERN.

Source: ©STFC

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