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Understanding Science seminar: “How does Nature beat the Large Hadron Collider? Cosmic Rays, the most energetic particles in the Universe” by Prof. Luke Drury (DIAS)

On September 10, 2018, ISSI-BJ organized an Understanding Science seminar on “How does Nature beat the Large Hadron Collider? Cosmic Rays, the most energetic particles in the Universe”. The talk was held by Prof. Luke Drury, an astrophysicist in the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies specializing in particle acceleration theory and interstellar gas dynamics. For the first time, the seminar took place at the Sculpting in Time Café in Wudaokou, Beijing.

Prof. Drury started the seminar by introducing the history behind the discovery of the cosmic rays. After surveying the history of the field, and describing some of the recent developments, he also introduced some very interesting open questions in the field. How is it that Nature manages to accelerate particles to energies way beyond anything we can achieve on Earth?  Where and how are they accelerated?  What effects do they have on the structure and evolution of our own and other galaxies? 

In this compelling seminar, it was brought to our attention that even now, over one hundred years after their discovery, and despite great advances in our understanding, the Cosmic Rays remain in many ways mysterious. This is why this is an exciting time where new and much improved observational data is being acquired, some from Chinese experiments, and old ideas are being challenged by the rapid progress of astroparticle physics and multi-messenger astronomy.

The audience enjoyed the talk and asked many well-thought questions, some waited to talk to Prof. Drury face to face after the end of the seminar.    

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