The experimental physicist and professor at the Kent Ohio University from Mesolonghi gave an all-inclusive interview at iAitoloakarnania.gr!
Interview with Thanasis Bika
Date Published: 04.12.2017
Ο Σπύρος Μαργέτης είναι ένας από τους «πρεσβευτές» του Μεσολογγίου στην αντίπερα όχθη του Ατλαντικού. Ένας από τους αμέτρητους Έλληνες επιστήμονες που διαπρέπουν στο εξωτερικό και μας κάνουν περήφανους με τα κατορθώματά τους.
He was sailed next to the lagoon salty and forged by the adversities in the Parthenon shadow until he left 1985, and since then as an experimental physicist he has made a sense of the world scientific community with his experiments and discoveries.
Since then, he has been a professor at Kent University in Ohio, where, apart from passing on his knowledge to new physicists, he continues his praiseworthy experiments.
Μάλιστα, διετέλεσε επικεφαλής ενός σπουδαίου πειράματος με τον Σχετικιστικό Επιταχυντή Βαρέων Ιόντων (RHIC) προσπαθώντας να αναπαράξει τις συνθήκες που επικρατούσαν μερικά μικροδευτερόλεπτα μετά τη Μεγάλη Έκρηξη, η οποία οι επιστήμονες πιστεύουν ότι γέννησε το σύμπαν πριν από 13,7 δισεκατομμύρια χρόνια.
And once you get a taste, enjoy Spiros Margetis in a unique interview where he recalls his first steps in Messolonghi, analyzes his experiment in detail, talks about science and space, compares the educational systems of America and Greece, and commends Donald Trump and the entity of Greece in the global scientific community.
Initially, how were your childhood years in Messolonghi? What is it that remains indelible in your memory?
"I was born and grew up in Messolongi, where I had a lab and made old radio stations. I definitely remember that I was the neighborhood's computer. I have liked to experiment and discover new things from then on. Also, at that time, I remember being influenced quite by the mission of "Apollo 11" on the moon. Then dealing with nuclear physics was a big deal, today people have a negative view since they have connected it to weapons, although they are not related to what we do. "
How easy is it for a young child to cultivate these concerns in Messolonghi? Are there people or infrastructures to direct it?
"Naturally, stimuli for nuclear physics are scarce, but space exploration, astrophysics, interplanetary research on the solar system are more accessible to new Internet children, but also through NASA and ESA programs. It is not a dream, as long as the bases of school are right and they want it a lot, the rest will come along.
Εδώ να τονίσουμε ότι δε χρειάζεται να έχεις χρήματα και μέσα για να ακολουθήσεις αυτή τη διαδρομή και το επισημαίνω διότι κι εγώ ήμουν παιδί μιας φτωχής οικογένειας. Δεν ήμουν καλός μαθητής από την αρχή του σχολείου, απλώς είχα ένα ενδιαφέρον, το γονίδιο του I was a member of a six-member family with a modest financial situation, there was no means but it was my dream to go to university and then go abroad. "
Is it possible through the internet to monitor the scientific community?
"Of course, but there is so much information on the internet that one should be tilted in one direction to judge and choose accordingly."
What was the reaction of your parents when in a provincial city in the 70 decade they saw their son dealing with physics and space?
"Okay, I saw that I had a tilt in there, even the teacher saw my worries from the municipal. Generally, when there is a particular talent in a child it seems and can not be hindered, unless there are other businesses in the house. I had older brothers who were already studying in Athens, so the street was open to the capital. "
Really, how was the transfer to university?
"I came to 1976 in Athens, where I got a scholarship. Then I was a bit amateurish with acting and music, but my love for physics was unaltered. Until a university professor chose me among other people going to CERN at the European Research Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. There, I experienced an unprecedented experience! "
And from Athens, you were preparing bags for the outside ...
"I went to 1985 for a week abroad and since then I never came back. There, I liked the environment, the whole atmosphere of the research, which won me and I stayed forever abroad. "
Do you often visit Greece?
"I come every summer and sit for about two months. I have a day-to-day contact with America, my students and research. We have relatives and family friends in Greece. We come to enjoy the tranquility in Messolonghi. "
What are the images / feelings that come from Aitoloakarnania for a person living in America?
"I, as a Messolongi, carry with me this flatness of the lagoon, its sweetness, tranquility and tranquility. And only that I bring it to my mind calms my mind. However, whatever I may have, I Mesologigitis went to America and as a Messolongist I turn to my places. "
What are the experiences you have gained from CERN, the largest research center in the world?
"There are large groups of hundreds of people to be able to design and set up experiments, of course, with the main funding coming from Germany, France and other major countries. Greece has a large stake in human resources. In recent years, Greek teams have been involved in undertaking specific areas, that is to say, making a piece of a detector, its electronics and various studies, otherwise making scientific software and analyzing data.
I enjoyed this atmosphere especially since everything you do there afterwards will be discussed with all the people and will then be published to become widely known. Everything that happens there is publishable because it does not concern thepunitive applications, it is pure research as we are saying. There is a unique beauty in an area with so many associates of this level. "
A story was published that said you participated in one of the biggest experiments in the world. Can you explain to us what is happening with the RHIC accelerator who has been notified by the media?
"Initially, in the design of the experiment we found a strange behavior from some heavy particles and we wanted to do a special study. To explain, they have the property once they are immediately created to break into other tiny subpopulations at a distance from their production point of about 1 / 20 per millimeter. Imagine, therefore, a collision of gold or lead cores, resulting in 4.000 particles, we are looking to find particles that at a distance as much as a human hair break down. requires a microscope with immense precision.
So, we made a silicone chip detector, essentially like the cell phone chips, but more. We, around the tube containing the accelerator bundles, made two cylinders containing 400 such chips with 1 million pixels each and nail size that record the trajectories of the particles produced.
The experiments ranged from 2014 to 2016, during this time we recorded approximately 5 bipolar conflicts, which we then analyzed one by one in the orbits to find these small particles and scan them. I was the head of the software and that's why I was a bit of a mess with myself and the experiment.
Was there any financial help from the US government for the experiment?
"Yes, this detector cost us about 20 million dollars that the US government funded to study the behavior of these particles. Indeed, when we published the first physics result, the Department of Energy of America had posted on its central website the University that I am working as an example of research at universities in the country. Relevant communications were also made by the Brookhaven National Laboratory (New York) and Berkeley Lab (California) who participated in the results. The truth is that we did not expect to find the concrete results, nature once again surprised us. Such successes help the scientific community in general because it is true that Trab has made cuts in research. So everyone has fallen with the nuts to persuade the government that research funding should not be cut off to strengthen the army and make more weapons. "
How important is it and what expectations are born of the Bozon Higgs or "God's particle"?
"If we did not find him, we would be harmed. Although it is not my research field, I have some knowledge about a subject that has been of great concern to the scientific community. It was first called "the particle of God" by an error, by luck. Scientists had no business to talk about God. Well, because they could not find the particle, a writer wrote a book, "The God-Damn Particle," "The Cursed Particle." The publisher did not agree with this title and cut the "damn" and eventually made it "The God Particle" meaning "The Particle of God". So that's what happened!
Now, when the Universe was microsecond after the Big Bang there was pure energy that began to freeze, like a bomb after it exploded, its temperature drops and freezes accordingly. Well, when temperatures began to drop in the Universe, about a few hundred trillion degrees (!) Was a critical moment where a separation between forces and matter took place. This separation was through the Higgs particle which gave these particles an initial mass which was a bit different for each. It is like particles to walk in a field, like a swamp, that prevents their movement. So in the field of Higgs they are blocked as if they want to go from the front of a bus full back. And this slowness translates to us as a resistance to movement, Newton's definition of inertial mass.
The discovery of this particle, which proves that the corresponding theory is true, was something very important for science, a cornerstone in order to close what we call a standard model, a basic model of physics. From now on, however, with the data from CERN we have to look for new physical, supersymmetry, small black holes and other similar problems. Nature gives us some clues, that is, clues, that they all have a common denominator, a common fundamental force, which then differs in the rest. That's why we look at all these differentiated ones to unite them and come to a uniqueness.
We want a lot of work, and we have to look for new things and by closing this standard model we can continue to look for what else nature is hiding to us or we do not understand and we have to change our models to approach differently the most advanced issues. "
You mentioned the Big Bang, that is, we have come up with a ... bam born all?
"The Big Bang now has several columns (proofs) where you upstage. We know that the galaxies are moving away from each other just like the fragments of something exploding. To note dots with a marker on a balloon and when you inflate it, the dots begin to move away from each other. So the universe expands and the galaxies move away. The expansion is done at an increasing rate due to the presence of an unknown yet dark energy factor. Also, another element is that if we calculate that the universe is 13,8 for two years, then if hydrogen originated and started burning, in the thermonuclear reactions in the hearts of Sun-Sun stars, we should find specific helium, hydrogen, deuterium and tritium in the Universe. The measurements have confirmed these predictions with unrealistic accuracy.
Another important point is that during the explosion, when the Universe "exploded", the initial light began to diffuse. We have calculated the frequency of this light that we must have today and we have discovered that there is indeed the original radiation in the universe, just as we expected it. That is, the evidence that the Big Bang is not a simple but strong and well-founded theory is terrifying. "
Can all these discoveries bring science into conflict with religion?
"I think religion has no particular problems with these issues, and science should not be disturbed by spirituality. As far as science is concerned, it gives specific information and, instead of the stories of wise men and visionaries, there is scientific evidence and knowledge that can be used to improve our lives. For example, religions always spoke of a "birth" of the Universe, which is the same as science in the big explosion. On the other hand, in the past, there was the belief that its planets are moving angels, something that is not true, it is not necessary in modern scientific perception. It is positive that modern religious leaders appreciate the intervention of science, the Dalai Lama, who said: "If science is firmly demonstrating something that comes against religion, then we have to change religion and not science." Generally, I do not think science has a problem with spirituality or the other way around. But there are fanatics on both sides who are fighting the opposite view. For example, in America, which is considered a modern society, in a poll, half of the participants argued that the theory of evolution is wrong and want to get Darwin out of the books of biology. This is madness. The theory of evolution is perhaps the greatest, the most beautiful idea that has emerged in the consciousness of humanity. The very explosion theory itself is only one instance of this principle. There is a religious organization that believes that the world was created around 2.000 BC. We are talking about extreme and fanatical incidents. The sure thing is, however, that our ideas about God and the essence of spirituality can not be unaffected by the discoveries of science, even if it means this to everyone.
From time to time in your articles you have made references to Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Steve Hawkins. Who is thought to have or made a special contribution to human evolution?
"Each of them has done fundamental things for his time, making no comparison. It's like looking at the sky and seeing three bright stars and saying it's bigger. It makes no sense and no comparison can be made. Of course, Hawkins is still alive and we have hopes for further things. However, we are talking about huge minds with a huge contribution to the evolution of man. However, it is worth mentioning that our ancestors such as Demokritos, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Plato, Aristotle and others have played an important role in this evolution. "
How do you imagine the end of the world? Will the earth be absorbed by the sun?
"Yes, the sun will grow like a red giant, but it will take hundreds of millions of years, which may not make sense, because we may be self-destructing much earlier."
Is it possible to switch to another planet?
"Of course! Given the jumps that are being made and the fact that we want to build Moon and Mars stations. It sounds a little crazy to set up human communities in such inhospitable environments and while we have a beautiful and hospitable planet not to be of any significance and to destroy it by greed. "
What was the reaction in America when Trab announced the withdrawal from the Paris Treaty on climate change?
"In the world, the world is divided in a fanatical way. On the one hand, there are the progressive people we claim to be wrong to leave, but theirs declare positive. They say that they are dealing with the issue from all sides and that when Trab said he would not be part of the Paris Agreement he meant he would renegotiate certain aspects of the deal, he did not declare his full retirement. It was, of course, a global turmoil. The Paris Convention plans to give several billion US dollars to underdeveloped countries to develop green technologies. Thus, Trab temporarily wanted to "freeze" these costs and consider whether it would be beneficial if the funds were taken. The feelings of the world are still mixed. Let us hope that it will not become irreparable evil. "
Really, what is the world view of Donald Trump?
"The world seems to show confidence in his face because he is a businessman says and because he has billions not to buy him lobbies, that is, they promote the interests of big banks and businesses. In this sense, they believe they will collide and work for the good of the American people. We will see. However, it generally has an arbitrary style and an absolute attitude that has scared us a bit. "
He is taught at Kent Ohio University and has a lot of experience from the US education system. What are the main differences with Greece?
"I'm 20 years in Ohio where I teach at a state university, subsidized by the state. The educational system in America can not even be compared to the "inhuman" Greek system. I have nurses and children of friends who pass tests through a sad process. It is a huge mistake to move from school to school. That is, if, while I want to become a physicist, I would end up with a topographer because the introductory units were enough only for a topographer, so to follow an irrelevant space.
In America, the student is admitted, depending on his performance, in a field but can then switch to any school he or she prefers. They try without being punished until they end up somewhere that suits their talent. But they pay tuition fees, the state contributes only a few to the tuition fees of the student, and only to the state-subsidized universities.
On the other hand, in Greece most students do not attend classes, only run in the laboratories and in the examinations. On the contrary, students abroad are obliged to attend and every week they will get a job for the house to make progress. Otherwise, if he starts laughing at the end or becomes an eternal student or drops out of school.
Finally, in Greece, when the university finishes, it can not find a job because there is no job creation in the labor market. This in America and Europe is not much, since universities are watching and not making more graduates in any specialty than the market needs. When they see that a job or profession has high unemployment rates then they automatically reduce students' positions in the university. However, it is a big debate. "
What is your view of Greek students? Are there any schizophrenia and what are their distinctions?
"The truth is that those who come to America are at a very good level. They have good training because the "filters" in Greece are very hard. There is a fairly good level of study and it is a fact that most who come out excel. "
Do you believe that the launch of the Greek satellite Hellas Sat 3 is a jump for our country?
"I have no information about it. I do not know what the satellite is about, what are its goals, what it is watching, etc. However, I know that Greece participates in the ESA and, by extension, in CERN, where it pays its subscription every year, which is minimal. There may be strategic reasons for sending the satellite, but I do not know more, I am generally skeptical. "
In Greece, is there a good ground for research and experimentation?
"Old researchers, at least in my field, were going and working in Democritus or university professors. I now hear that teachers are leaving the universities and instead of replacing them with their counterparts, they bring lecturers from the high schools and do their lectures to cover the needs of the teaching staff in order to reduce the costs. I consider this to be a downgrade.
Από την άλλη, στον τομέα μου, υπάρχει μια ομάδα Ελλήνων επιστημόνων από το Πολυτεχνείο και Φυσικό οι οποίοι δουλεύουν στο CERN, και αλλού, που κάνουν φοβερή δουλειά. Για τον μικρό πληθυσμό και τα άσχημα οικονομικά της Ελλάδος κάτι κινείται, γίνονται πράγματα και έχουμε καλή παρουσία σαν χώρα. Στο επιστημονικό πεδίο έχουμε καλό όνομα απ’ ότι στα οικονομικά. The University of Crete also has a good name. As a new institution was built properly and this is shown by its work and reputation. "
What would you advise a young student who is starting to shape his career?
"He should follow what his heart says, otherwise he will be tired continually. Work with joy, and do the job of hobbies so they will not be tortured. Surely he should do what he wants at any cost. Foreigners say, "You'd better regret something you did, rather than something you did not do."