KV Baramulla Library


Library Media Centre

What is the LHC Trying to Accomplish?

What is the LHC Trying to Accomplish?

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the most complex physics experiment ever constructed. Located underground, straddling the French-Swiss border, the 27 km-long ring of electromagnets is designed to accelerate protons and heavier charged particles to speeds close to that of the speed of light. The LHC is located at, and managed by, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

INTERVIEW: What is the LHC? What does it do? What is the Higgs Boson? Discovery News Editor-in-Chief Lori Cuthbert discusses the Large Hadron Collider with Space Producer Ian O’Neill to nail the basics about the LHC.

As of March 30, 2010, the LHC began high energy collisions, attaining collision energies of 7 TeV, three times higher than ever before.
What will it do?
At strategic points around the accelerator ring, counter-rotating “beams” of accelerated particles are steered to collide head-on by the most precise electromagnet technology on Earth. At these collision points, huge particle detectors are located to track and measure the resulting high-speed smash-up.

When the LHC runs at full capacity, the energy conditions shortly after the Big Bang will be recreated for a very short period of time. This is the reason why the LHC is often dubbed the “Big Bang machine.”

Making these highly controlled mini-Big Bangs allow physicists to have a glimpse at what our universe is made of, creating particles that the universe hasn’t seen since its birth, 13.75 billion years ago.

WIDE ANGLE: The LHC has the potential to revolutionize modern physics, but what precisely are physicists hunting for and what technology are they using to help them?
What will it discover?
The LHC will probe the limits of physics theory, possibly turning up evidence for the elusive Higgs boson or uncovering the nature of mysterious “dark matter” that is thought to dominate the cosmos. It is, however, the Higgs boson that is the prime focus of the particle accelerator’s mission.

The Higgs boson is the “exchange particle” that is theorized to give stuff mass.

Without the Higgs particle, the universe cannot exist, but if the Higgs particle isn’t discovered by the LHC, it means our understanding of how the universe works is wrong. The non-discovery of the Higgs would be as profound as its discovery, potentially revolutionizing physics.

INTERVIEW: What happens if the LHC doesn’t find the Higgs particle? Perhaps the universe has something more exotic in store, a prospect that excites LHC physicist Prof. Jon Butterworth.
What’s the plan?
By the end of March 2010, LHC scientists hope to push accelerated protons to record-breaking speeds, topping an energy of 7 trillion electron volts (an electron volt — or eV — is a unit of energy used by physicists when describing the kinetic energy of subatomic particles).

The LHC initially broke the world record in November 2009 when accelerating protons to an energy of 1.18TeV. 7TeV will be 3.5 times more powerful than its nearest competitor, Fermilab’s Tevatron in Batavia, Ill.

As this experiment is very complex, long periods of “down time” are required for CERN scientists and engineers to upgrade and repair the “Big Bang machine.” Although a recent BBC article alluded to some kind of unexpected shutdown at the end of 2011 for a year, this is actually standard operating procedure.

According to a March 10, 2010, CERN press release:

Traditionally, CERN has operated its accelerators on an annual cycle, running for seven to eight months with a four- to five-month shutdown each year. With the LHC, things are different. Being a cryogenic machine operating at very low temperature, the LHC takes about a month to bring up to room temperature and another month to cool down. A four-month shutdown as part of an annual cycle no longer makes sense for such a machine. That’s why CERN decided at the end of January 2010 to move to a longer cycle with longer periods of operation accompanied by longer shutdown periods when needed.

So, the LHC is scheduled to run at half power until the end of 2011 when it will be upgraded to operate at full capacity.


Filed under: Article of Week, General Knowledge, ,

You are the Visitor, Number

  • 465,152

RSS Quotes of the Day

  • Doug Larson
    "A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience."
  • Mark Twain
    "Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more."


March 2010
« Feb   Apr »


CBSE & NCERT Sample Q.papers, HOTS study materials, Question Banks Click the "Download:CBSE,NCERT Sample Papers,NCF" link in the category section below on this sidebar

RSS Tell ME Why-Facts

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS History On This Day

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS DiscoveryNews-Top-Stories

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Article of The Week

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Books News,Rviews and Authors Interviews

  • Over and Out by Henry Blofeld – digested read
    ‘In the commentary box were several cases of vintage claret – we were squiffy for the entire five days. At a guess, Australia won by an innings and 112 runs’My dear old things, how awfully kind of you to join us as a pigeon circles overhead and three red buses make their way down the Harleyford Road. What’s that? Oh, I’m most terribly sorry, we’re not at the […]
  • The 20 best food books of 2017
    From Ottolenghi’s cakes to Locatelli’s home cooking, here, in no particular order, are Observer Food Monthly’s picks of the yearPhaidon, £29.95 Continue reading...
  • Han Kang: ‘I was looking for answers to fundamental questions, then I realised so is every writer’
    The South Korean novelist on the death of her sister, the transformative power of writing – and how migraines helpedHan Kang is a South Korean writer whose novels in translation include Human Acts and The Vegetarian – for which she won the 2016 International Man Booker prize. Her latest work, The White Book, is a moving autobiographical meditation on loss an […]
  • Beneath Another Sky by Norman Davies – review
    This footloose historian’s journey across the planet is gripping, gruelling – and a great read“Travelling,” historian Norman Davies writes near the end of this enthralling book, “had allowed me to think freely about the subject I have spent most of my life studying.” From the journeys described in these pages he has confected a fragrant stew of history, lite […]
  • Carrington’s Letters, edited by Anne Chisholm review – life, love and the Bloomsbury group
    Dora Carrington’s observations of the Bloomsbury set via her obsessive admiration for Lytton Strachey are revealing but exhaustingDora Carrington was the star of her year at the Slade School of Art. But her life’s work was, in the end, not her painting; it was Lytton Strachey, the writer to whom, in spite of his homosexuality, she almost certainly lost her v […]

Periodicals Articles Alert

Bachhon ko Nishulk Aur Anivaarya Shiksha Ka adhikaar Adhiniyam 2009, Pratiyogita Darpan,May2010,P.1823-1825 ; E-Kachara Prabandhan: Ek Chunauti Aur Upaye, Pratiyogita Darpan,May2010,P.1832-1834; Vitamin Truths & lies,Reader Digest,May2010,P.52-56; Surface Area and Volume, Education Trend,May210,P.65 ; Metals and Non Metals, Education Trend,May210,P.77; The rise of Nationalism in Europe, Education Trend,May210,P.91; Linear Equations in two variables, Education Today,May2010,P.5-15,Federalism, Sectors of Indian Economy and Water Resources Education Today,May2010,P.16-29 ; Acids, Bases and Salts, Education Today,May2010,P.30; Prehistoric Creatures,Tell Me Why,May2010; Disappearing Herbs,Out Look,May24,2010,P.56

Periodicals Arrival in the Library

%d bloggers like this: