Magic Light Machines

A variety of technological devices have fueled discovery through time, but two closely related technologies have done most of the heavy lifting: microscopes and telescopes.  Variants on these two technologies have exposed the world of the small and the world of the large.  In biology, they have revealed the workings of the cell and the molecular engines that make them work.  In physics and astronomy the atom, the nucleus, and the world of the planets stars and galaxies have been revealed.

For the past century and one half, our most powerful microscopes have relied on acceleration of particles, so much of the work depends on virtual rather than real photons.  Is the LHC our last, best microscope?

Sabine H. and like minded colleagues would like it to be, and they have some good arguments, but I can't agree.  I suppose that my opinion is driven mostly by emotion, but I just hate the thought of giving up on our long, amazingly successful journey "inward bound" to borrow the phrase from Abraham Pais.


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