Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Big Crash

Many people know of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) located near Geneva, Switzerland. However, few understand its true purpose. There are rumors that this collider may allow us to create black holes or unlock the secrets of time travel. The current truth is much more realistic, but just as interesting. This collider is a result of research conducted by CERN, the nuclear research organization for the European Union. CERN employs over 10,000 people from dozens of countries to work on the LHC, essentially a huge particle accelerator. The LHC is an underground ring stretching 17 miles in circumference. It is designed to model the first few moments of the Big Bang. Utilizing thousands of enormous superconducting magnets, each cooled using liquid helium to a temperature colder than space itself, the accelerator can smash protons together at nearly the speed of light (99.9999991% light speed, to be exact). In recent years the collider has brought forth new information regarding the composition of atoms. We learn in school that atoms are the smallest form of matter. However, new information from the LHC reveals that this is not entirely true. There are even smaller things, called quarks, that make up the protons and neutrons found in the nucleus of an atom. The discovery of these quarks has led to much deeper understandings in the field of quantum physics.  In addition to quarks, many pairs of anti-quarks appear and disappear at random inside a proton. Additionally, the LHC has led to the discovery of the Higgs Boson, initially only theorized. This is the substance thought to be the fundamental source of mass. The LHC has had the ability to make these discoveries due to the aid of one of the largest computer-grids ever created. This grid has the ability to process the 25 petabytes of information produced by the LHC each year, that's 25,000,000 gigabytes. The new understandings resulting from this huge amount of data may not yet lead to the creation of black holes or time travel, but it is providing us with new ways to view the world around us, and the universe beyond. The study of quarks and Higgs Boson may seem far removed from our daily lives, but could one day lead to inventions that now seem the stuff of science fiction.


http://home.web.cern.ch/topics/large-hadron-collider
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/particles/proton.html

5 comments:

  1. Mr. Feen I saw your app for this

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  2. Eloquently written! I really enjoyed reading this post... I am always intrigued by science and the ability of scientists around the globe to unlock what seem to be the secrets of the universe. Not only is the topic interesting, but the picture is stunning! I am so impressed with the content, quality, and allure of this post. Very cool.

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  3. Do you think there is something smaller than quarks? That would be one Fein discovery.

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  4. I really love this article, extremely interesting. Keep these posts coming boi!

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