Hadron Collider Roundup and Rap

First test:  “The world’s largest particle collider successfully completed its first major test by firing a beam of protons all the way around a 17-mile (27-kilometer) tunnel Wednesday in what scientists hope is the next great step to understanding the makeup of the universe.” (AP)  Hey, and what do you know, the world’s still here. Except this was just an initial test of operations. The actual proton smashing doesn’t begin until next month.

What exact is the Large Hadron Collider and how does it work?

Inside the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), massive, powerful magnets chilled to a few degrees above absolute zero — colder than outer space — will zip beams of superenergetic protons and lead nuclei in a loop at speeds within a hairsbreadth of the speed of light, then collide them head-on. The energy released will be so vast that the impacts will recreate conditions in the universe as they existed just a fraction of a second after the big bang. If the LHC performs as expected, it could at last nail down that holy grail of contemporary physics, the Higgs boson — known as the “God particle” because it is thought to lend mass to matter. It may even finally unveil the secret of dark matter, the mysterious entity that makes up 85 percent of the universe — thereby shedding light on as-yet-unexplainable motions of galaxies.

  • Or, if you prefer a video explanation (complete with music), check out the Hadron Collider Rap. (Video length: 4:49)

Is it the end of the world?

LHC Game: Check out the Large Hadron Collider Game here.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Monitoring the End of the World at Ray Fowler .org

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