At six minutes past noon, after 25 years of preparation and several expensive setbacks, mankind yesterday came closer to knowing the origins of the universe.Scientists cheered as the £5billion Large Hadron Collider finally smashed beams of sub-atomic particles into each other at greater force than ever before.And they say the results will yield a much better understanding of what happened at the Big Bang - the birth of our universe.The historic moment, at 12.06BST, ends years of scepticism about the collider, built at the European Organ-ization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva.It also marks the beginning of the search to reveal the mysteries of matter and anti-matter and the origin of stars and planets.In a control room, scientists erupted with applause when the first collisions were confirmed and colleagues from around the world tuned in by remote links."That's it!" said Dr Oliver Buchmueller of Imperial College London. "We are going where nobody has been before." And CERN director general Rolf Heuer said: "It's a great day to be a particle physicist."The collisions took place with an energy of seven billion electron volts (7TeV) at just under the speed of light in the 27km (16.8 mile) collider tunnel, 100m below the Swiss-French border.The record beats the 2.36TeV that CERN recorded last year.Fears the experiments could lead to the creation of mini black holes threatening the Earth have been dismissed as "silly" by scientists.Cern plans to run the collider for up to two years before closing it down for repairs to allow it to reach its full potential. By then it is hoped to have enough data to reveal the composition of a quarter of the universe.Britain has invested more than £500million in the LHC.
We are living interesting times.
And on the software side, it runs Linux. Woohoo!
Quote from: zridling on March 31, 2010, 11:32:53 PMAnd on the software side, it runs Linux. Woohoo! This is why we're all going to die.
I think that the title of this post is incorrect. The Large Hadron Collider does not smash atoms, it smashes ... hadrons.
or 'Hardons' as the telegraph so elegantly put it!
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