by Kenneth Read. Published: 18 December 2012

+1 for Hot Physics at the LHC.

The fall 2012 Hangout with CERN series concluded with some of the hottest and coolest physics at CERN … literally. On 6 December, the topic was Hot Stuff: The Early Universe with discussion concerning the hot, dense QCD matter present in both LHC Pb+Pb collisions … and the primordial universe. Participants included ALICE physicists David Chinellato, Despina Hatzifotiadou, Antonin Maire, Leticia Cunqueiro Mendez, and Ken Read; ATLAS physicists/hosts Pauline Gagnon and Steve Goldfarb; CERN theorists Stefan Flörchinger and Urs Wiedemann; and Fraser Cain, publisher of Universe Today. Producers Achintya Rao (CMS) and Kate Kahle (CERN Communications) provided key behind-the-scene planning and coordination. Watch the video for a live report from the London Science Museum, to see what questions the public posted live during the show (800 comments within an hour), how the expanding universe is actually much more like raisin bread than soufflé, and just which 19th century writer actually proposed an expanding universe (with subsequent contraction) a century before the term Big Bang was coined.

Click here to watch.

The 2012 series of CERN Hangouts concluded with a visit to the CERN cryogenics laboratory. Intended for a young audience, and in coordination with Google Science Fair and GirlStart, the Hangout fielded live questions and guesses from school children about very cool experiments involving liquid nitrogen.

Oh, and that 19th century writer? Edgar Allan Poe.