Big bang 2.0

Hadron particle collider

by Elayne Millar

On Tuesday, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a particle accelerator, which is located at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), set a record-breaking proton beam collision, attempting to solve questions about the makeup of the universe.

The LHC, also known as the “big bang machine”, is located in a 27-kilometer-long underground tunnel spanning from France to Switzerland.

Physicists managed to create a seven-trillion-electron-volt (TeV) collision, the highest energy a particle accelerator has ever achieved.

Scientists believe the resulting debris from the subatomic collision could further the search for the Higgins boson particle, or the God particle, among other things.

The God particle is, what theorists believe, the atom responsible for the mass in the universe, according to National Geographic.

Although the machine has been a rousing success, researchers are saying that results should not be expected in the near future.

“Major discoveries will happen only when we are able to collect billions of events and identify among them the very rare events that could present a new state of matter or new particles,” Guido Tonelli, LHC spokesman, told BBC News.

According to BBC News, once the experiment is done, which is to last 18 to 24 months, the LHC will be shut down for maintenance for up to one year and after which it will re-open to begin experimenting with 14 TeV collisions.

The event that occurred on Tuesday is being described as one of the largest scientific undertakings ever, as well as a new era in science.

“This is not going to happen tomorrow. It will require months and years of patient work,” Tonelli said.

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