Tuesday, March 27, 2007

When Worlds Collide

On February 28, a 1,920-ton magnet, the equivalent of five jumbo jets, was lowered into an underground cavern at the multinational center on the Swiss-French border near Geneva. The magnet is part of the Large Hadron Collider which, when completed later this year, will be the largest machine on the planet at 17 miles long (circular). (Click on the pictures to get a better view.)

The collider will be run by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, and it's purpose will be to accelerate subatomic particles to near light speed in the effort to answer fundamental questions about our universe and ourselves. Among other things, CERN scientists hope to find an as-yet unseen particle called the Higgs boson, nicknamed the God Particle, which is is thought to be responsible for the physical property of mass in the universe. The article that I read mentions that "the project could bring new knowledge such as the possible existence of dimensions beyond the four of traditional physics (width, length, height and time)."

Wow, not only will this be the largest machine in the world but it's potential for unlocking some secrets of the universe seems to be limitless. It's amazing to think that experiments performed with this accelerator could actually change the world as we know it.

I just thought I'd mention this in case anyone was interested. Any recent 'news' concerning this could have been easily overlooked since most of the televised news broadcasts have been busy dealing with the really important news surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith.

No comments: