Home > news, science > The Large Hadron Collider opens – a great day for science

The Large Hadron Collider opens – a great day for science

Today, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Geneva was tested for the first time.

It was run on very low power: the full functionality is still possibly a year away. Nevertheless, the accelerator worked well.

The test particles were protons. They were accelerated in a clockwise direction – the anti clockwise direction is yet to be tested. A successful test of that would mean that there are no major problems.

So what does this mean for science, and physics in particular? To begin with, scientists now have more power to smash atoms and bring out their innards than ever before. Acceleration of heavy nucleons into the multi-TeV ranges means that the very core subatomic and subnucleic particles have a chance of showing themselves. One such particle that scientists hope to find is the Higgs boson – if found, it could be the answer to one of the longest standing physics questions: what is the smallest building block in nature?

Moreover, at the highest power, the LHC could emulate the Big Bang effect, albeit on a microscopic level. That alone has the potential to redefine our understanding of physics.

No matter what is finds, or fails to find, this LHC stands as the cumulative product of the work of thousands of scientist from across the globe, and it could reclassify our understanding of the world, the galaxy, the universe, and perhaps most importantly, even us.

More reading here.

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