Wednesday, March 24, 2010

LHC on Speed

CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been in the news for some time - mainly because of its technical difficulties. But now that its up and functional it has been colliding particles at faster and faster speeds. And now the LHC is going to try to collide particles at the highest energy level so far in the attempt to recreate Big Bang conditions. Twin beams, which accelerate through a 16.78 mile circular underground tunnel, are currently at 3.5 tera-electron volts (TeV) and will be traveling at 7 TeV on March 30th. Of course, lining the beams up and getting particles to collide is a challenge, but once they start seeing results the plan is to run continuously for 18-24 months. That's a lot of data!

Dark matter, Higgs boson, and the birth of the universe...oh my!

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