When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote his high fantasy classics The Hobbit and the three-volume The Lord of the Rings, works that are among the world's most popular 20th century fiction, he could not have imagined what scientists of the early 21st century would invent - a new fellowship of the ring.
A new generation of geniuses is creating dreams-come-true in an exploration of nature light years away from planet earth.
At a free public lecture to be held at The University of Western Australia next week, you can find out about their space-age fellowship from Professor Sylvester James Gates, who featured in television programs such as The Elegant Universe and Superstring Theory: The DNA of Reality.
The ring, nearing completion at the CERN Laboratory in Geneva, is called the LHC - or Large Hadron Collider. The scientists working on the ring-shaped machine, who quip that they are the ‘fellowship of the ring', are helping the rest of us humans find out about an array of hypothetical objects that are as compelling as Tolkien's Bilbo Baggins, Frodo, Sam and Saruman.
Due to recent developments in physics, including an idea known as super-symmetry, or SUSY, physicians believe that nature may soon reveal the existence of "super-partners" - new forms of matter and energy. And they have already allocated names for these new forms: selecrons, squarks, sneutrinos and winos.
Professor Gate's lecture will be held at 6pm, on Wednesday, March 26, in UWA's Social Sciences Lecture Theatre.