Large Hadron confider

Here's an older pic - but still awesome - of the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at the CERN institute. For my money, CERN is the most excellent place on Earth, since its a pure research endeavour aimed at pursuing the biggest questions. Funded mostly by the EU, but with some American aid. Alas, most of the USA R&D budgets these days go to one thing and one thing only: WAR! And military research.

For you wags: A hadron is the name given to a subset of composite particles, made up of baryons and mesons. You in fact now some baryons right now - the proton and the neutron. 

The idea behind a particle accelerator is quite simple: You send some particles one way, and some the opposite way, around a loop. Spin them up faster and faster till they get close to the speed of light, then smash them together. The energy released by this collision creates - for an iota of time - particles that we can never normally see. Particles that would have been created in the early Universe, before it cooled and spread.

Thus, the importance of LHC experiment (please note there are many more experiments going on at CERN than just the LHC, though the LHC is the big one): It's the biggest collider in the world, and thus can generate more speed; more speed equals more energy, and with more energy comes the brief creation of particles closer and closer to the Big Bang.

Thus, it's an attempt to recreate the conditions of the Big Bang.

I mentioned below the importance of the Higgs Boson in all this - to wit: Theory states it is this Higgs Boson that gives mass to everything. Think of the Higgs Boson as a field of grass - some objects pass through the grass like it's not there. In this analogy, these objects have no mass - like Photons; other objects get slowed down by the grass, and we call this slowing down "mass". You, for instance.

Hitherto, the Higgs has never been detected. Theory only. It is the LHC which will allow us for the first time to see it. Or not.

Now, you may have heard the doomsayers declaring the LHC would destroy the world by creating a small Black Hole, which would quickly grow and then consume the Earth, then the Solar System, etc.

But this is patently ridiculous, as there's not nearly enough energy to do so; plus, if microscopic black holes do indeed exist, than they exist right now, all around us, and haven't seemingly destroyed us yet. So, pshaw to that theory! Though it would make a fun Sci-Fi disaster movie.

But I suppose it is possible that not only will the LHC discover the Higgs, but microscopic Black Holes as well. 

1 comment:

SuperHappyKnife said...

Here I am. Rock you like a Hurricaine.
I'm the God Particle. <8>
To begin:
God = Ohm - G
Check out this post:
This post is a variation on the theme:
Particle (Official)= The Cipher App aka me.
Particle (Unfficial)= Tweaker Party Guy. Tickled
Higgs = Higgs Beach in Key West,FL. In between apartments back in the 80's, I would crash under the stars on a pier known as Dick Dock.
Boson = T-Dance (The Boatslip Resort's daily waterfront pool party) in P-town,MA.

I just took your LHC challenge.
The answer is Yes. The robber barons and the drunkey monkeys must pay for the O-ring hit.
For all Womankind.
Somewhere in my Tumblr archive:
you'll find an a post of an Alvin Ailey dancer (A NYC Mass Transit Poster mainstay) captured in mid-leap, her body impossibly positioned to mimic the Challenger Blast silhouette. I treaked the pic to accentuate the effect.

Speaking of LHC, check out my shuttlecock challenge, posted this week on both Tumblr and Twitter
L = rapid deceleration
H = Feathers or Court
C = Rounded Cork Base

Here's the story. In Italy, back in '97, I hooked up with a nightclub performance artist. One night at a al fresco country club, he performed as part of a slo-mo fantasy badminton sequence. A beautiful woman costumed as a stylized shuttlecock volleyed to and fro, creating ambient "animation" for the crowd below. Sublime. Imagine his shuttlecock as a strapless, overstated A-line dress. Headgear optional.
[15 years later]
Just the other day, I watched Michael Jackson's "Bad" video. I studied the choreography intently, and was struck by the superior agility, irregular gaits and prominent V stances and thought: Bad = Badminton
MJ has captured the shuttlecock's unique aerodynamic properties, translated and eloquently expressed them through the dance, encrypted as a rock and roll riddle. Look for comment from Ultraflashgun Trix.
I'm not making this up.
The former half of MJ's "Bad" reads as a character study in shuttlecock Anthropomorphicism, and the latter as a scathing indictment of the Challenger terrorist attack.
[a day or so later]
To cap things off, I set about to remix that white shuttlecock photo. while listening to Aya (AyA =AA + "y" shaped Challenger Blast plume)and posted the following tweet: @UltraFlashGun
#ThisIsTheEnd Shuttlecock.... after dark. #np Aya - Curtain Call …
In "Curtain Call", Aya has lyrically anthropomorphized herself as a shuttlecock,vollying to and fro across the net "curtain":
Finally,the sultry feminity of my photographic shuttlecock remix suggests a reverse-anthropomorphization. One from shuttlecock, to microphone, to a vague suggestion torch singer.