The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) that started preliminary experiments on September 10, 2008 in CERN, Geneva, and the planned International Linear Collider (ILC) will carry out a series of experiments in the future to validate the standard model of particle physics. The model predicts that Higgs boson particles gives mass to all fundamental particles and explains the existence of dark matter, or invisible matter in between galaxies.
The LHC is a 27 kilometer long circular high energy particle accelerator which took more than 20 years and USD $9 billion to build. In the next few weeks the machine will collide opposing beams of protons charged with approximately 7 TeV of energy resulting in cataclysmic conditions that will mimic the beginning of time, a re-creation of the Big Bang. It is reported that the studies could also help treat diseases such as cancer, improve the Internet, develop systems for destroying nuclear waste and provide insights into climate change and open the door to travel through extra dimensions.
An upgraded version of the LHC was announced, nicknamed the "super LHC". The new accelerator will perform ten times the number of collisions as the current LHC over the same time. The upgrade will feature a new injection system and enhanced detectors to cope with the increase in data packets from collisions.
The bigger International Linear Collider, nicknamed "Einstein's telescope", is planned by the International Technology Recommendation Panel (ITRP). The ILC will have a collision energy of 500 GeV and will collide electrons with particles of antimatter, called positrons, along a 30-40 km completely straight tunnel. The ILC's two giant "guns" pointing at each other would be able to accelerate electrons and positrons to near-light speeds before smashing them together.
"The LHC smashes protons together to discover new particles but also generates lots of debris that obscures the fine detail. The ILC would be a much cleaner machine and tell us far more about their real nature." says Brian Foster, professor of experimental physics at Oxford University and European director of the project. The host country for the ILC has not yet been chosen but it is planned to have the machine constructed by late 2010. The new machine will cost an estimated USD $7 billion to build. Physicists hope that ILC might be able to resolve some of the questions raised by Einstein's theories of relativity.
The experiment could help scientists confirm existing theories about the origins of matter, mass, and the universe. If not, it could reveal unexpected information leading to new theories about creation.
I wonder what will they come up with. Knowing the origin of th universe sure is an intriguing thing. How the universe is created? Why is it created? Hopefully by successfully recreating the Big Bang, these unanswered questions will gradually be figured out. With these questions gradually getting its true answer, we will have a lead to the ultimate nature of this world - the essence of life. What is the purpose of life?Why do we live?
I'm sure most of you had ponder upon those questions. Of course, I'm talking through a scientific point of view. So do not give comments through a religious point of view. I don't want to talk about religion :)
Let's just hope the physicists will not destroy the Earth in the process :)
Pictures are taken from the great guys at Deviant Art.
Blog shared between Desmond, Edison and Nazrin. Edison is no longer a sleeping partner. What D.E.N. stands for is self-explanatory.