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Large Hadron Collider Gets An Energy Boost

  • Ghost32
  • uploaded: Feb 18, 2012
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BY LEAH BECERRA

ANCHOR ANA COMPAIN-ROMERO

Scientists at CERN working on the large Hadron Collider near Geneva plan to give the particle accelerator an energy boost.

And if science fiction is the only reference you have for what that is -- ABC has a quick explanation for you.

"... two beams of energy are fired in opposite directions around [a] 27-kilometre pipe before slamming into each other, spawning particle collisions that recreate what happened a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang."

Scientists hope the increase will aid in discovering Higgs boson before November. Discovery News explains the Higgs importance to science as we know it.

"The Higgs boson is a long-theorized subatomic particle that is thought to endow all stuff in the Universe with mass. It is the cornerstone of modern physics -- if the Higgs doesn't exist, some fundamental physical theories would have to be rewritten."

Scientists believe the key to finding the Higgs, or discovering "new physics," is all in the power level. Those who've seen too many sci-fi flicks don't need to worry about the LHC creating a black hole either. The BBC reports on an interview with the director at CERN to address safety issues.

DIRECTOR: "Two good years of operational experience with beam and many additional measurements made during 2011 give us the confidence to safely move up a notch ..."

The Christian Science Monitor, which refers to the Higgs as the "God particle," hopes for results soon.

"Whether the existence of the Higgs is proved or disproved, a definitive answer would be a momentous event in modern physics, which ... is rapidly pushing back the frontiers of knowledge about the universe."

Higgs or not, though, the LHC will shut down for 20 months of upgrades in November.

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