Most of all, the LHC is a machine with the purpose of breaking the known laws of the Universe.
Us QD folks appreciate all the questions and comments we get about the Large Hadron Collider, what we do there, and how we do it. Being head-deep in physics, though, I sometimes get the rug pulled from under my feet when I am asked,
What is the Large Hadron Collider?
It is a fun question with plenty of answers. So take your pick which is your favorite answer, or add your own in the Comments Section below. Oh, and stay tuned for posts and updates! The summer conferences kick off next week with Pheno 2012 (hashtag: #Pheno2012), and from what I gather quite a few QDers will be there.
- richard (@bravelittlemuon)
10 Answers to ‘What is the Large Hadron Collider?’
- It is a machine on the verge of identifying the object responsible for electrons’ massiveness and photons’ masslessness [ATLAS,CMS].
- It is a science experiment with the goal of replicating, on a sub-nanoscopic scale, the Big Bang in order to search for missing antimatter [LHCb,QD].
- It is, believe it or not, a machine that may be capable of producing microscopic black holes [ATLAS,CMS].
- It is an instrument being used to look for a new, higher-energy version of radioactive decay [ATLAS,CMS].
- It is a tool that, if it is even possible, may be able to split the quark [ATLAS,CMS].
- It is an instrument that may discover, and help explore, new spatial dimensions [ATLAS,CMS].
- It is an effort to push computing power to its limits, and beyond!, by generating over 15 million gigabytes (15 petabytes) a year and distributing it all over the world [CERN]!
- It is a science experiment attempting to generate the same substance (dark matter) that makes up 25% of the known Universe and is likely passing through our bodies at this very moment, but has yet to be experimentally detected [CMS].
- It is a machine testing for the existence of a fundamental relationship between matter (quarks and leptons) and those particles that mediate all known forces of nature (gauge bosons). [ATLAS,CMS,LHCb]
- It is a cleverly designed experiment to determine at what point the predictions of our current theory of particle physics, the Standard Model, deviates from experimental results.[ATLAS, CMS, QD]
- As a bonus: It is a demonstration of the human race’s inherent nature to work together, and evidence that we have much more in common than what we may believe [CERN, SESAME].