Friday, September 12, 2008

Big Bang: The end of physics as we know it?

By Deane Morrison

Like Alice taking the plunge down a rabbit hole, the world's physicists Wednesday went underground in search of exotic forms of matter, extra dimensions of space, and an answer to the question of how matter acquires mass.

The biggest experiment in physics got its start 100 meters below the French-Swiss border near Geneva, when a mammoth machine called the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, had its first trial run. The LHC is a project of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, and it is the fruit of 15 years' labor by more than 1,700 physicists and engineers around the world, including about 25 from the University of Minnesota.

The purpose of LHC is to recreate in miniature a hot, energy-charged environment that hasn't existed since a few milliseconds after the Big Bang. This is expected to generate forms of matter never seen before, such as the mysterious "dark matter" that forms the bulk of the matter in the Universe.
Read more:

No comments: