[ASC-media] Brian Cox, UK scientist and former pop star, to speak at Ultimo Science Festival

Shore, Jesse JesseS at PHM.GOV.AU
Tue Aug 1 11:20:20 CEST 2006

>From pop to physics
Muso-turned-scientist to mull over the big issues of the universe

British science commentator and guest of National Science Week 2006,
Brian Cox, hasn't always been known for his muscular brain. His early
days were spent living out the dreams of every young wannabe; as a
keyboard player in the UK band Dare (with ex-Thin Lizzy muso Darren
Wharton), and later with electronica act D:REAM.

While pursuing his love of music, Brian was also exercising another part
of his brain, earning a PhD in high-energy particle physics. 

Now he works at the world's largest particle physics laboratory, CERN
(European Organization for Nuclear Research) on a giant particle
accelerator (27 kilometres in circumference) that lies under the
French-Swiss border. Known as the LHC, (and featured in author Dan
Brown's Angels and Demons), when this machine is activated next year it
will recreate the conditions less than a billionth of a second after the
big bang.

"When we turn the machine on in 2007, we'll certainly be entering
unexplored territory," Brian says. 

"We hope to answer some of the great unanswered questions about our
universe. What really happened at the Big Bang? Why do the particles
that make up you and me have mass? Why is gravity so weak (ten thousand
billion billion billion billion times weaker than the familiar
electromagnetic force)? Why is there any matter in the universe at all? 

"Answers could come in the form of the creation of mini-black holes or
the discovery of extra hidden dimensions in the universe," he says.

Sydney audiences will have two opportunities to hear Dr Cox speak on
Sunday August 20 as part of Science Week's inaugural Ultimo Science
Festival (www.ultimosciencefestival.com), organised by the Powerhouse
Museum, University of Technology, Sydney, the ABC and Sydney Institute
of Technology TAFE. 

At 2pm on Sunday, Dr Cox will present, "Master Matter Blaster and the
beginning of time: What makes up the universe?" at the UTS University
Hall. At 5pm, Dr Cox will take on ''The Biggest Questions in the
Universe" when he is joined by ABC science presenters Bernie Hobbs and
Paul Willis and a panel of local astronomy experts to ponder Dark
Matter, Multiple Universes and Extra-Terrestrial Life, among other
things, at UTS's Glasshouse Bar. Dr Cox's tour is supported by the
Australian Government and the British Council Australia as part of
National Science Week.

For a bio, images or interviews with Dr Cox, contact Quick Thinking
Communications on 0403 343 275 or qtcom at optusnet.com.au. For more
events, see www.scienceweek.info.au

The Ultimo Science Festival has been made possible with funding from the
Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training, the
City of Sydney and the NSW Office for Science and Medical Research.


Dr Jesse Shore
Senior curator, Sciences
Powerhouse Museum
PO Box K346
Haymarket, NSW 1238
Tel: +61 (0)2 9217 0176
Fax: +61 (0)2 9217 0355
email: jesses at phm.gov.au

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