Large Hadron Collider
The Large Hadron Collider is the biggest and most Expensive machiene ever built, with the finally sum expected to cost $220.127.116.11 Billion. It was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and has had over 8,000 Physicists and 85 countries involved in the project. With 100's more University's and Laboratories involved. The circiut is 17 miles long and lies 50 / 175 metres underground on the Franco / Swiss border between the Jura Mountains and Alphs, Geneva, Switzerland. The Hadron Collider has taken many years to create and was finally switched on, on the 10th September 2008. The first High Energy Collisions are expected 6-8 weeks after the switch on. The Collider has such a huge amount of information to be collected that scientists had to create the LHC Computing Girid, basically a big computer :-)
Millions of Particles and Protons were wizzed in all different directions and forced to collide with one another head on. These Protons travel at 99.999999% the speed of light and take less than 90 microseconds to travel a full 17 mile circle around the ring. The beams are kept on path with 1,232 dipole magnets and 392 quadrupole magnets to keep the beams focused.
Scientists are hoping to prove the existance of the Higgs Boson which could fill in many blacks and empty links in science. They are also hoping to have certain questioned answered. For Example:
Is the Higgs Mechanism for generating elementary particle masses in the Standard Model indeed realised in nature? If so, how many Higgs bosons are there, and what are their masses? Are electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force just different manifestations of a single unified force, as predicted by various Grand Unification Theories? Why is gravity so many orders of magnitude weaker than the other three fundamental forces? See also Hierarchy problem. Is Supersymmetry realised in nature, implying that the known Standard Model particles have supersymmetric partners? Will the more precise measurements of the masses and decays of the quarks continue to be mutually consistent within the Standard Model? Why are there apparent violations of the symmetry between matter and antimatter? What is the nature of dark matter and dark energy? Are there extra dimensions , as predicted by various models inspired by string theory, and can we "see" them. On the 13th September 2008, just 3 days after the Hadron Collider was switched on, The Greek Security Team hacked into the Computer Grid. They left a message saying "GST: GST - W are group 2600. Don't mess with us" They left another message saying "We're pulling your pants down because we don't want to see you running around naked looking to hide yourselves when the panic comes". They only deleted one file, but were steps away from the the main system which would of given them access to turn of import parts of the machene.
There are many theries about what could happen:
Black Holes - There were concerns that once the Hadron Collider was switched on, it might make Miniture black holes - These Black Holes would become bigger and out of control - The Black Hole would burry Itself into the core of the Earth and after several minutes would completly suck the entire planet into it. To be honest I was actually a bit concerned about this - I imagined that having all these particles slammed into eachother could possibally make a black hole and destroy the planet - Although I was actually more bothered about the though of missing my Blue Gillespie gig - I'm a dedicated fan :-D
Time Travel - Another theory is Time Travel - A wormhole could be created which will litterally rip a hole in Space and time, making it possible to go back into the past (or posibally even the future). The wormhole
Strangelets - I'm too thick to understand this - Somebody please help me with this one :-)
Vaccum Bubbles - I'm too thick to understand this - Somebody please help me with this one :-)
The above photo was found through Google Images - All rights belong to the original poster.