Here's how scientists are preparing that super high-speed collision to unlock the secrets of the universe

Thanks to the site Neatorama, I’ve found a great link that explains the workings of the huge particle accelerator that today made headline news.

You can check out the video here, but first a little background, because it needs some explaining.

Physicists are excited about these upcoming experiments. They say they could unlock some of the secrets of space and time. The experiments are linked to today’s successful test run of the world’s largest particle accelerator, known as the Large Hadron Collider.

Built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the gigantic ring structure lies underground between France and Switzerland. Its circumference is 27 kilometres and it contains thousands of powerful magnets needed to accelerate beams of sub-atomic particles to near light-speed (almost 300,000 kilometres per second).

On September 10th, scientists succeeded in sending hydrogen protons, the positively charged nuclei of hydrogen atoms, all the way around the outer ring. They proved the complex machine works as designed.

Physicists believe that by colliding supercharged protons and recording their destruction, they will learn more about the history of time, the laws of the universe (do other dimensions of space really exist?) and what actually makes up the “empty space”

The collisions are said to replicate the instant immediately after the Bing Bang created our universe. Scientists want to find the so-called “Higgs boson,” a theoretical sub-atomic particle that could help explain what “fills up” the universe, because this is still a mystery after all these years.

Opponents of these super-high-speed collisions are scared. They say the experiment could actually destroy our planet. They say scientists run the risk of creating super densities like Black Holes that would squeeze the entire planet into them. It sounds weird, but they’re serious.

These experiments could keep us with baited breath and hold us enthralled.

The first high-speed particle collisions will be recorded in a few months. Stay tuned.

For more on the news of the successful first test, see these links:

Globe and Mail

New York Times

Related in Zanepost:

Are parallel universe real?

The changing view of space

The photo, top left, is of the CERN particle collider.

> To send this to a friend, click on the envelope icon.

No comments:

Post a Comment