The Atom Smasher – Are u worried?
I have been fed up watching people scared about how the mad scientists are trying to end life on earth. A simple news story on a very popular news channel in India had this as the headline. “Pull the switch and the World ends” , as expected the show gets the highest viewership for the day. These channels use cheap graphics, including a poor video from a very old english movie showing a mad scientist working on a machine trying to rule the world. People around me have been discussing this for days and i have been trying to end them by simply telling that if it was aimed at mass destruction, would the world let it happen?
I had not watched a news story for the fact that i believed it was crap, It made no sense to me. I managed to catch a glimpse of it when my sister was switching channels and there she was explaining what these people were talking about. Thanks a show called ‘Mega Structures’ on national geographic channel, i was able to explain the experiment in more simple terms to my family and also explain why ‘Pulling the switch meant a lot to these scientists’. After talking to different people i noted that these people only knew the story from the angle the news channels were trying to tell, They did not know that work on the project had started 15 years ago, and it was to be tested for the first time in September. here is my insight into the biggest project in the history of science.
A LHC is basically a particle accelerator, It will guide two proton beams in two opposite directions around a 17 mile underground tube that will be maintained at temperatures far below freezing point (1.9 K i.e minus 300 deg centigrade) . Over 1600 magnets are placed on its path to keep the protons rotating on the circular path, these magnets will help accelerate the speed of the protons. Some of these magnets will be used to focus the beams on the correct path for maximum impact. At collision, they are expected to reach speeds almost equivalent to that of ‘speed of light’. They are expected to carry a lot of energy, big enough to create ‘matter’ which is how universe was created.
These collisions present data, that the physicists think will help them understand the creation of the universe. If all goes right, matter will be transformed by the violent collisions into wads of energy, which will in turn condense back into various intriguing types of particles, some of them never seen before.These results are expected to indicate how earth and other planets are formed as a part of the universe.
Some scientists around the world have also been concerned of the fact that this collision may create a huge black hole that might suck the earth’s core and end all life on earth by causing mass destruction. These claims have been nullified by the researchers saying that even if these black holes were created they would be negligible in size and would decay. More interesting information is said to be revealed by this billion dollar experiment. The machine has been started on September 10, 2008 and the collisions are expected to be on October 10, 2008.
Scientists are also looking at proof to an illusive theory called Higgs Boson, sometimes referred to as the “God particle.” Scientists have theorized that the elusive Higgs Boson, if it exists, is what gives particles mass, but researchers have not found it. They hope o find it as a part of the experiment. The results of the experiment are aimed to close all loop holes into the most proven theory of ‘Creation of the Universe’, The Big Bang.
For more insight into the project read the following links.
- Download 6 minute video that explains the working of the project and the outcome
- Wiki – LHC
- Simple One page article to understand LHC
- Is the atom smasher safe?? (Video)
- “Worst Case Scenario” National Geographic News story, September 9 2008
- Read this 6 page article If u r looking at something more informative than pure science.