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Topic: Matthew Tierney

100 Trillion Neutrinos Flow Through Your Body Every Second: Midday at the Super-Kamiokande by Matthew Tierney

The Super-Kamiokande, a Cherenkov detector, is a large stainless-steel tank holding 50,000 tons of ultra pure water, sunk deep underground in the Kamioka-mine of Hida-city, Gifu, Japan. These conditions make it possible to observe the oscillations of solar, atmospheric, and man-made neutrinos—illustration of the creation of matter in the early universe. The detector also searches for evidence that protons decay; as the Super-Kamiokande home page notes, “if the proton decay is observed it may be possible to prove the GUTs [Grand Unified Theories].” If we believe the scientists (and Google), about 100 trillion neutrinos flow through your body every second.

Nimbly probing: Matthew Tierney’s The Hayflick Limit

Matthew Tierney’s _The Hayflick Limit_ opens with an excerpt from Joseph Brodsky’s winter eclogue, which in its 13 words raises at least as many questions: if each body “falls prey” to the telescope, is distance the hunter? Is proximity? Discovery? Is being preyed upon a relief from the indifference of time, death an acknowledgment of existence? The brevity and the stab of those lines pries us open, leaving the reader far more vulnerable than the poet, though Brodsky evidently knew whereof he wrote. Even my grumpy expectations are not so high as to compare Tierney to his epigraphist, but what a lesson in how to offer poems to their readers. In this second collection, Tierney offers up our world, from the commonplace to the contemporary to the cosmic, with craft and cleverness, but he shies away from that Brodsky-esque eviscerating evocation. …