Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How to Recreate the 'Big Bang' 101

Today there is a lot of energy flying around Geneva and I'm not talking about the ski season coming up. Its time to send some particles flying and letting them collide into what would be a 25 year long project to reproduce the 'Big Bang' (On a much smaller scale of course).

This summer, in the most expensive machine on earth ($9 Billion) Large Hadron Collider, scientists at CERN, the world's largest particle physics laboratory, will be smashing atoms at full power to monitor debris in the hopes of learning more about the origins and workings of the universe.

The device is located deep beneath the border of France and Switzerland (Just outside Geneva), firing protons around a 27-kilometer (17-mile) tunnel at over 11000 times a second. Today they kicked off the first particle beam running counterclockwise and then clockwise. It will still be about a month before beams traveling in opposite directions are brought together in collisions that some skeptics fear could create micro "black holes" and endanger the planet. The results are hoping to teach them more about "dark matter," antimatter and possibly hidden dimensions of space and time.

These are great conversation pieces. I try not to talk about work with friends that I've made from CERN. They usually go into tangents that leave me looking like deer in headlights.

You may have not known, but the internet was created at CERN, not by Al Gore.

Below is an overview of cern:

They also have a rap about the project that is getting a lot of hits on youtube.

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