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Nicole Ackerman | SLAC | USA

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EXO in Symmetry Breaking!

I spend too little time tracking scientific news – such as perusing the latest papers in relevent journals – but I am kept somewhat up-to-date by SLAC Today, a daily newsletter delivered to my inbox containing both science news and more general info for the SLAC community. Today I was interested to see there was an article on EXO, which was an excerpt from a Symmetry Breaking story on EXO. The story focuses on the barium grabbing work done by many of the groups in our collaboration. Since it isn’t an aspect I’m involved in at all, I even learned something from reading it!

My Favorite Symmetry Cover

My Favorite Symmetry Cover

The only way I usually see notable science outside of particle physics is through BBC news. While I have some trust in their international affairs coverage, their science coverages seems less reliable. I can’t judge their medical or environmental coverage, but their physics coverage is quite disappointing. I’m glad magazines like Symmetry exist to provide factual information to those who don’t have the expertise to differentiate the science from the sensationalism (that is often sells issues and books and movies…).

My step-father, a reporter for a regional newspaper in Ohio, received an issue of Symmetry out of the blue in 2004. He has covered science topics before, which is why we think he received a copy. I was excited to read it, as I was a college freshman at the time and interested in particle physics. It presents real physicists, their research, and the big ideas in a straightforward manner. While it might not be as exciting as a Dan Brown novel, you can be sure everything you are reading is actually true! I find it valuable as a guide to communicating science. Their “explain it in 60 seconds” articles usually cover a topic I am familiar with, but provide a great example of how I can share it with my grandparents or a person sitting next to me on a plane. Their May 2005 cover (shown right) is the best representation I have seen of the non-orthogonality of the mass/CP eigenstates of the neutrinos!

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