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Smash hit for science: Physicists at the LHC rock on for a worthy cause


Huntingdon, UK – Goodfellow, an international supplier of high-purity metals and other materials for research applications, reports that it was intrigued to learn recently about an unusual development at Geneva-based CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), the world’s leading laboratory for particle physics and a long-time Goodfellow customer. It seems that in addition to probing the origins of the universe, scientists involved with the ATLAS experiment in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are making music – really good, professionally recorded music – and have just released a double CD of their original works.

“Resonance: Music from the ATLAS experiment” features 19 bands (68 musicians) over two CDs of music from rock to classical, plus a DVD with footage of the recording sessions and interviews with some of the musicians. It is available as an electronic download from iTunes; and the music can be previewed at www.atlas-resonance.ch. All proceeds from the sales will go to the Happy Children’s Home (www.happychildrenshome.org) in Pokhara, Nepal to help build an orphanage.

ATLAS scientists are searching for new discoveries in the head-on collisions within the ATLAS detector of protons of extraordinarily high energy and learning about the basic forces that have shaped the universe since the beginning of time.

The Resonance project was conceived following a series of live performances by predominantly ATLAS scientists marking the completion of the ATLAS detector in October 2008. It was apparent from these performances that a large number of the researchers were accomplished musicians, and in the spring of 2009, bands got together in earnest to begin work on Resonance.

Nick Barlow, a post-doctoral scientist for ATLAS with the University of Cambridge, plays 12-string guitar with “The TLA’s”, whose song “Point of Origin” is featured on the CD. Nick sees an important connection between music, physics and the LHC, especially for young people.

“If people hear our music and it gets them interested in finding out more about what we do, about the ATLAS experiment, or just about science in general – that’s great,” he says. “We’re happy to spread the word. We’re also pleased that any success our CD has will benefit the children at the Happy Children’s Home in Nepal.”

Indeed, all the scientist-musicians at CERN are aiming for a smash hit for science and for the orphanage at Pokhara. We wish them well!