- uploaded: Jul 4, 2012
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We are all aware that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the most powerful machine on planet earth and not yet operating at its full capacity. Since 2008, scientists at the CERN physics lab have slowing been increasing the intensity of the particle beams, with each time seeming to break its previous record. It was but a few days ago that the LHC lit up the headlines once again for breaking a world record of beam intensity previously achieved by Fermi's Tevatron in Batavia, Ill. In 2010, the Fermi Tevatron set the record for a beam intensity of 4.024 x 1032cm-2s-1 and the LHC recently broke that record on April 22nd at around midnight Geneva time by reaching a luminosity of 4.67 x 1032cm-2s-1. As a result of these high energy collisions, billions of points of data are being crunched and is a tremendous success for the CERN physics lab.
As the intensity of the beams is increased, the hopes of scientists around the world is also being increased. There are hopes that the machine will finally be able to shed a bit of light on the questions humans have been asking themselves for thousands of years, including the very secret of why we even have a universe to begin with. Also, we might finally be able to answer some of the bizarre questions usually reserved for philosophers and theologians such as the existence of parallel universes and if some of those allow for time travel.
The two things you’ve probably been hearing about the most since the LHC had its first collision is the possibility for creating dark matter and the discovery for the elusive Higgs Boson (God Particle). With the thousands of subatomic particles that make up a jigsaw puzzle, it’s always had one missing piece in the center that we have yet been able to discover and that’s the Higgs Boson. Physics doesn't really have any answers to explain where mass comes from or why matter has mass in the first place. The discovery of it will not only complete the Standard Model as it exists today but will literally shake the very foundation of our understanding of the Universe we live in.