The Large Hadron Collider, in Brief
September 22, 2011 Leave a comment
In the context of a meeting of CERN scientists last weekend, the Telegraph posted an article briefly explaining the work CERN is doing with the Large Hadron Collider, trying to find the all-important Higgs boson.
After years of setbacks, the £4.4billion machine has been smashing together protons using three times the speed and energy of previous experiments.
The collider, which is housed at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), 300ft below the Franco-Swiss border, aims to recreate the conditions present just after the Big Bang at the beginning of the universe, 13.7billion years ago.
It allows researchers to examine the origin of stars and planets.
The collider has been described as a 17-mile racetrack around which two streams of protons run in opposite directions before smashing into one another and breaking up into their smaller components.
Reaching 99.99 per cent of the speed of light, each beam packs as much energy as a Eurostar train travelling at 90mph. Shooting the particle beams at each other over such a distance is the equivalent of firing needles at each other from either side of the Atlantic.
If you’ve heard the LHC being thrown around in conversation in the past couple years but never really knew what it was about, here’s a good chance to get an overview, before they spring back into headlines and conversation again. Again, the full article is here.