A Particle Full of Charm

The Xicc++ particle will become a tool to observe the strong force in another light.

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By Shelby Traynor

Collage by Alex Hanson using an image representing the new particle observed by LHCb, containing two charm quarks and one up quark. (Image credit: Daniel Dominguez/CERN)

Almost two-hundred metres beneath the France-Switzerland border, physicists at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider have observed a new particle. A charming particle. They’ve been on the look-out for him for some time, and now they’ve got him— Xicc++.  

The name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but this guy is more than meets the eye. He’s heavy. He’s charming. He’s a subatomic particle, and he’s a real catch. CERN’s particle smasher— based near Geneva, Switzerland— spotted the fellow during the Large Hadron Collider beauty experiment, or the LHCb experiment for short.

Xicc++ is the elusive brother of the proton, neutron, and of a number of other composite subatomic particles. These particles are all a part of the same family, because they’re all made up of three quarks. What are quarks, you ask? Well, let’s dive in. Continue reading “A Particle Full of Charm”

Instagram Photo Diary: Museum of Science

Documenting a day at the Museum of Science, with a special spotlight on the POPnology exhibit.

Photos and text by Alex Hanson

My mom and I took a trip to the Museum of Science in Boston yesterday, and had a total blast interacting with the exhibits and taking photos along the way. Below, find my Instagram photo diary of the trip. 

Continue reading “Instagram Photo Diary: Museum of Science”

“We Are All Matter, and We All Matter”

In class last week, Melody pointed out her love of a sentence on the final page of the paper.

By Alex Hanson

This semester I have been granted the absolute highest honor of taking a class with my friend and HERpothesis collaborator Melody Xu. Our class focuses on feminist science studies,  science and technology studies, and tinkering in technoscience. Last week, we read a paper called “Animal Performances: An Exploration of Intersections between Feminist Science Studies and Studies of Human/Animal Relationships,” by Lynda BirkeMette Bryld, and Nina Lykke. The title is a bit intimidating, and the text offers theoretical concepts that required me to reread several paragraphs, but it is overall a really interesting look at the way feminist science studies can apply to human’s relationship and perception of animals. (If you’re interested, you can find the paper here!)

In class last week, Melody pointed out her love of a sentence on the final page of the paper: “We are all matter, and we all matter.” In the context of the paper, it is addressing each individual’s ability to blur the separation between humans and animals. On it’s own, I think this quote is beautiful because it connects humans to the rest of the universe as “matter”— that inanimate “stuff” that makes up everything but also feels very separate from us as human individuals— and addresses the individual power we hold because we are made up of that matter. Since Melody brought it up in class, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. I made this image of the quote in order to do its some justice with bright colors and a bold font.

Saran Toure On Interning At The American Museum of Natural History

“I get to inspire them to think deeper and encourage them to deepen their interests. Those people are the reason I show up at the museum every weekend.”

Interview by Alex Hanson
Photo: Saran working at the museum. Courtesy of Saran Toure.
One of my favorite place in New York City is the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). Naturally, I find myself there often, and on one of my most recent visits I met Saran Toure, a high school student and Saltz Intern at AMNH. Saran was posted at the upper level of the Hall of Ocean Life, at a cart fitted with tanks of plankton, dishes, and magnifying glasses. She was answering questions from museum visitors as well as facilitating plankton observation and dishing out amazing facts about the tiny sea creatures, including the fact that jellyfish are a type of plankton! I was struck by Saran’s impressive ability to share her knowledge in a fun and engaging way, so I caught up with her in an email interview in December to ask her about her amazing internship and her goals for the future.

Continue reading “Saran Toure On Interning At The American Museum of Natural History”

One Year of HERpothesis

Celebrating our contributors!

Featured image by Charlotte Southall

Hey all!

Today marks one year since HERpothesis launched as an online publication. It’s been an absolute honor to work with the women who have contributed their writing and art to the site. They see the world in so many colors and dimensions intersecting at a million points. Highlighting these intersections, fascinations, and illuminations with them, in their words, and with their art, is the most fun project I could ask for. It brings me such joy to work with these amazing ladies— their ages range from early teens to early twenties, their interests bridge STEM and the arts, and they’re tackling the big questions with curiosity and humor. I want to give them a big thank you for making HERpothesis what it is, and to thank all their friends, family, and fans for reading, sharing, and discussing their work.

Below, I want to give a shout out to every lady who has contributed to HERpothesis in the past year.  Continue reading “One Year of HERpothesis”

HERpothesis Coloring Pages

Download your own HERpothesis coloring pages!

Coloring is awesome: it’s creative, fun, colorful, and easy to turn into a social activity. All you need is a bucket of crayons and a crew of people ready to color. This is why HERpothesis paired up with Cookie and Coloring Club at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized to for a HERpothesis coloring event! We turned a few illustrations from the HERpothesis site into coloring pages and let the fine people of Cookies and Coloring make them their own. Check out some photos from the event below! Keep scrolling to find the coloring pages we used at the event, so you can create your own HERpothesis art. Send a picture of your creation to herpothesis@gmail.com so we can share your coloring masterpiece on our social media.

Happy coloring!

Much love,

Alex Hanson

Editor-in-Chief  Continue reading “HERpothesis Coloring Pages”

Nancy Drew and the Secret to Keeping It Fresh

Long before I knew what a feminist was, when I was a mere indoorsy only child with a library card and a beige Windows 98 desktop, I was already a fan of Nancy Drew.

By Ariana DiValentino

Gif by Alex Hanson

Long before I knew what a feminist was, when I was a mere indoorsy only child with a library card and a beige Windows 98 desktop, I was already a fan of Nancy Drew.

Wishing to combine my affinity for the mystery novels with my already fully-fledged attachment to the computer, I remember telling my grandmother (also a Nancy Drew fan from her childhood) that I wished there were Nancy Drew PC games. And like a grandmotherly miracle worker, sure enough, she procured one for my 7th birthday.

I was instantly hooked, and so was the rest of my family. It took several of us to get through that first game— Stay Tuned for Danger, about a soap opera star who has been receiving death threats. But I flew through every other game in the series, and 15 years later, I’m still looking forward to diving into the next game over a long weekend.

What I immediately loved about the games, which are made by an independent gaming studio in Bellevue, Washington called Her Interactive, was that they were far richer both in game environment and in story than any other roleplay game I had played as a child. My cousins and I had come up on, primarily, Barbie games, but Barbie Detective and Barbie Spy were no match for the complex mysteries and puzzles put before Nancy Drew. They were exciting and intriguing, with more focus on writing and art than any game I’d played before (keeping in mind that this was 2002). Gameplay relied more on following actual leads and solving layered puzzles than fast reflexes or finding random items with the assumption that you’ll find a use for them later, like most PC mystery games up to this point. Continue reading “Nancy Drew and the Secret to Keeping It Fresh”