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A Look At The Awesome Large Hadron Collider

December 29th, 2012 by Michael Tabor

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the largest man – made machine ever built – 17 miles long and between 165 to 575 feet in circumference. It is a circular tunnel – shaped structure below ground, situated near Geneva and it is so huge that it crosses the border between France and Switzerland four times. Its function and purpose is to unfold and reveal to mankind the seemingly untenable mysteries of where human beings came from, a much deeper understanding of the laws of nature, and how the universe got started. This unfathomable feat is accomplished in a nutshell, by accelerating sub – atomic particles (protons) in opposite directions to the speed of 186,000 miles a second (speed of light) and then smashing them together to create new particles, particularly the particle of all particles – Higgs Boson or “The God Particle.” (don’t ask me for the specifics of Higgs Boson, I’m not a physicist and I just have a general understanding of it).

In the process of colliding these prodigiously small particles (when I say small. I mean unimaginably small. We human beings can never see an atom, not even with the most powerful microscopes in the world and we’re smashing stuff even smaller than atoms —- sub – atomic [protons] particles. This is all approximate, but we can fit 100 trillion atoms nicely on a pinhead and to get an image of how small a proton is [located in the nucleus] just imagine if an atom was the size of Giant’s Stadium, a proton would be the size of a marble. Wild stuff – ahh?) we will also learn all about different dimensions (String Theory), dark matter, supersymmetry, and a whole lot of other stuff that physicists will finally get to discover and with which, advance our understanding of the natural world in which we live.
I won’t overwhelm you with all the technical specifications (most of this is over my head anyway) but I had to simply just write a little about, what in my mind, is one of man’s most important achievements.
So WHADAYATHINK? What do you think ? It’s simply hard to fathom   how these brilliant scientists were able to conceptualize and then build something so prodigious, complex, and precise as the LHC. It’s also hard to wrap your mind around the fact that this incredible structure is used for the sole purpose of accelerating and then subsequently smashing infinitesimally tiny sub – atomic particles (invisible particles) traveling at the speed of light.

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