The field of nuclear physics has come a long way since Ernest Rutherford first published his discovery of the atomic nucleus 100 years ago this month, but there is still a long ways to go. While high energy machines like the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, is well on the way towards unveiling the intricate interactions of the tiniest of particles, new machines are needed to explore the vast unknowns on the scale of the atomic nucleus.
This is the idea at the heart of a commentary recently penned by Michael Thonnessen and Brad Sherrill that was published in the May 5 edition of Nature magazine. The piece details a bit of the history of nuclear physics, what progress has been made and what might still be out there for bigger accelerators to discover. The duo makes the argument for continued funding for such machines around the world, specifically mentioning a few examples.
To read the article titled “From isotopes to the stars,” visit the online publication at http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v473/n7345/full/473025a.html.