Bringing the Heavens Down to Earth

We all are of the citizens of the SkyCamille Flammarion

The Flammarion woodcut. Flammarion’s caption translates to “A medieval missionary tells that he has found the point where heaven and Earth meet…”

The widely circulated woodcut of a man poking his head through the firmament of a flat Earth to view the mechanics of the spheres, executed in the style of the 16th century cannot be traced to an earlier source than Camille Flammarion’s L’Atmosphère: Météorologie Populaire (Paris, 1888, p. 163) [38]. The woodcut illustrates the statement in the text that a medieval missionary claimed that “he reached the horizon where the Earth and the heavens met”, an anecdote that may be traced back to Voltaire, but not to any known medieval source. In its original form, the woodcut included a decorative border that places it in the 19th century; in later publications, some claiming that the woodcut did, in fact, date to the 16th century, the border was removed. Flammarion, according to anecdotal evidence, had commissioned the woodcut himself. In any case, no source of the image earlier than Flammarion’s book is known.

I thought I would borrow the title of this blog posting, “Bringing the Heavens Down to Earth,” as it exemplifies some of the understanding I have of what is happening we point our fingers to the sky and beyond. What we shall see taking place in the earth’s Environ then as we recognize Earth’s Earthbound?

The ole woodcut above I think explains this nicely. It’s like “breaking a barrier” that has been imposed on our thinking. Too reveal, that the experimental procedures had been progressive and laid out the understanding of where new physics shall reside. It comes after the cross over-point, and in this respect it is important that we recognize where this focus is allocated to help orientate in a most generalizable level where such experimental procedure has taken us.

Peter Steinberg, when at Quantum diaries, lead us through this.

The creepy part of these kind of discussions is that one doesn’t say that RHIC collisions “create” black holes, but that nucleus-nucleus collisions, and even proton-proton collisions, are in some sense black holes, albeit black holes in some sort of “dual” space which makes the theory easier.

Cosmic rays have been long been recognized as a background to the search for rare new physics processes in collider experiments. This was the case for the LEP detectors and it will certainly be the case for ATLAS and CMS. A thorough understanding of the development of cosmic rays in the overburden of ATLAS will be a useful tool in understanding the cosmic ray background and consequently how to minimize this background.

This page is aimed at those of us who wish to use the tools developed by the group working on simulating the development of cosmic rays (mostly muons) in ATLAS with a view to studying cosmic ray backgrounds to future searches.



  • Man Looking into Outer Space
  • Cascading Showers from the Cosmos
  • Time as a Measure
  • This entry was posted in Atlas, CMS, Neutrinos, Oh My God Particle, Pierre Auger. Bookmark the permalink.

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