Friday, September 12, 2008

CERN -The Beginning of the Mini Big Bang Experiment without Hype or Panic

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Scientists at CERN launched the Big Bang experiment on 10th September 2008, i.e.  last Wednesday this week.

The Scientists at CERN under the guidance of project leader Lyndon Evans, from Aberdare in South Wales, began the first launch at 8.30 am British time.

They were  successful in sending the particle beam that traversed the 27-km long  tunnel. The beam of proton was accelerated by the LHC and sent in both the directions at two different moments.

Once in the clockwise direction before 9.30 a.m. and the second in an anti-clockwise beam after 2 P.M. BST.

During both occasions the beam of proton achieved ‘full beam’, meaning that the stream of sub-atomic particles were able to gain enough energy that enabled it to cover the total length pf LHC’s 27 kilometre-long circular tunnel at just under the speed of light. 

The long tunnel that houses the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)  runs alongside the Jura Mountains 100 meters below the earth surface  in the border between Switzerland and France. 

This experiment is an attempt under controlled laboratory condition to determine what the universe was like when it was still in a Plasma state at a moment which is suppose to be 23 times less than a second, i.e. billionths of a second after the Big Bang had occured, that supposedly triggered the formation of the Universe.

The whole experiment is being carried out in the biggest and most complex machine ever to be built, which is the £5 billion Large Hadron Collider, a particle accelerator, at CERN  in Geneva.

With the help of this powerful accelerator two beams of subatomic particles called 'hadrons' which could be either protons or lead ions would be made to travel in opposite directions  inside the circular accelerator, each time gaining energy with every lap.

The two beams of sub-atomic particles would be made to travel in opposite direction in two separate beam pipes or tubes kept in ultrahigh vacuum and guided by strong magnetic fields from Super Conducting Magnetic coils kept in liquid helium at a temperature colder than Space i.e at around ‑271°C. 

For the final collision special magnets would guide the two beams that would put them in a collision course before the actual 'Mini Bang' happens. 

The Hadrons or protons would be made to travel in opposite directions with  respect to each other at almost the speed of light on October 22 and made to collide in a manner that they smash into each other with cataclysmic force thereby causing the quarks that make up the protons to be released  during the process. 

Scientists are interested to study the behaviour and force of these sub-atomic particles created during such a collision and when separated with each other as a result, using special detectors. 

By recreating the universe's Big Bang, particle physicists hope to learn more about the physical universe that would help overcome an anamoly in the Standard Model regarding the presence or absence of mass and matter. 

For example, scientists believe they will learn more about the actual mass of particles, and about the nature of dark matter, and whether there are 26 dimensions, or just 12.

The whole experiment regarding this particular aspect of particle physics has generated lot of interest the world over particualrly amongst  ordinary men and women including in India. 

Instead of hype it was panic which created such a lot of interest amongst the common people who feared that the machine would trigger the Doomsday and create a massive catastrophe as some maverick scientists had earlier warned of. 

It was all because of a calculation that went awry that pointed out if such an experiment is actually created under labrotary condition it would create a mini black hole.

This would begin an uncontrollable chain reaction through time and space and in turn would ultimately not only  swallow the Earth but could also rip apart the whole universe. 

The CERN team are confident that such an experiment does not carry any  threat to either the Earth or the Universe.

In case such a possibility does arise it would at best destroy the laboratory, but certainly not the Earth.

They appeared totally relaxed and joked amongst themselves as they turned on the most sophisticated and highly impressive machine that man ever built. 

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