Laura Dattaro

In December, the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel released its recommendations for the future of the field. Among the top priorities was research and development toward future accelerator technology, with a specific mention of the concept of building a muon collider in the U.S.

As technology improves, scientists discover new ways to search for theorized dark matter particles called axions. Four decades after they were first theorized, axions are enjoying a moment in the sun, and may even be on the verge of detection, poised to solve two major problems in physics at once.

This summer, physicist Larry Lee had festival-goers dancing to the sounds of science. He uses his musical training and an interest in collider machinery to create a new instrument of sorts. Using a piece of standard lab equipment, Lee has created a science-inspired, electronic music-backed light show.

Respondents to Symmetry’s survey about what it’s like to earn a Ph.D. in particle physics or astrophysics offer their views of the experience. Nearly 2,000 people worldwide complete the scientific rite of passage each year. Yet for many people, the process remains mysterious.
The more than 300 responses to Symmetry’s survey described a challenging, multifaceted experience that goes far beyond job training, and even beyond the scientific goal of studying the fundamental nature of the universe.