Brian Cox and Jeff Foreshaw's Big Bang

What is infinity? Is the Milky Way omelette-shaped? Guardian readers ask particle physicists Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw to unscramble some of the universe's mysteries


Particle physicists Jeff Forshaw, left, and Brian Cox in London. Photograph: Katherine Rose for the Observer


It was a scientific match made if not in heaven, then in manmade conditions approaching the big bang: Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw first met at a particle collider in Hamburg 15 years ago. They have collaborated on various scientific projects ever since and are now both professors at Manchester University's Particle Physics Group and are involved in research projects at Large Hadron Collider at Cern, Geneva.


Jeff explains their relationship thus: "Apart from Brian's pretty face, it's the fact that we both have this very direct, visceral love of physics, so we both really love what we're doing."


Their second book together, The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen, is published by Allen Lane on Thursday. It's as breezily a written accessible account of the theory of quantum mechanics as you could wish for – from the Planck constant to the Higgs particle and everything theoretically in between. Observers looking for evidence that science is the new rock'n'roll should note that the book jacket is designed by Peter Saville of Factory Records fame.


Brian's frequent TV appearances, handsome features and drainpipes have led to him being described as "something of a sex symbol" by the Daily Mail, a spoof column in New Scientist and satirical YouTube clips. Jeff, however, cuts a more conservative jib.


We asked readers to send in questions via email, and Twitter and you responded magnificently with queries both theoretical and practical, covering subjects from the subatomic to the infinite. Here is a selection of their replies.


Read the rest of the artcle at the Guardian

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