CERN Prepares for LHC Operations

Posted on May 17, 2007  Comments (1)

A Giant Takes On Physics’ Biggest Questions

The physicists, wearing hardhats, kneepads and safety harnesses, are scrambling like Spiderman over this assembly, appropriately named Atlas, ducking under waterfalls of cables and tubes and crawling into hidden room-size cavities stuffed with electronics.

They are getting ready to see the universe born again. Again and again and again – 30 million times a second, in fact.

Starting sometime next summer if all goes to plan, subatomic particles will begin shooting around a 17-mile underground ring stretching from the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, near Geneva, into France and back again – luckily without having to submit to customs inspections.

Crashing together in the bowels of Atlas and similar contraptions spaced around the ring, the particles will produce tiny fireballs of primordial energy, recreating conditions that last prevailed when the universe was less than a trillionth of a second old.

Wow that sounds impressive. Oh yeah, it is impressive. Good writing too.

Related: New Yorker on CERN’s Large Hadron ColliderCERN Pressure Test FailureLHC Milestones

One Response to “CERN Prepares for LHC Operations”

  1. CuriousCat: Higgs - the "God Particle"
    November 22nd, 2007 @ 10:10 am

    “at the very beginning of the universe, the smallest building blocks of nature were truly weightless, but became heavy a fraction of a second later, when the fireball of the big bang cooled…”

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