Skip to content

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider fires up for third time

The European Organization for Nuclear Research also known as CERN operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world founded in 1954.  As one of Europe’s first joint ventures it was built astride the French Swiss border near Geneva and now has 22 member states. CERN provides particle accelerators colliders administration and other infrastructures needed for conducting high-energy physics research. It is also home to the famous Large Hadron Collider. Researchers at CERN are using some of the world’s biggest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic building blocks of matter otherwise called fundamental particles by colliding particles together close to the speed of light.

Physicists can see how particles interact which can provide insights into explaining the laws of nature. There are a total of 24 experiments around the site many of them connected to other machines in the complex each with beams used for experiments requiring lower amount of energy. The Alpha experiment located on the antiproton decelerator storage ring at CERN successfully trapped atoms made up of antimatter for over 16 minutes. This is long enough to begin to study their properties in detail. This was a world’s first in comparison, to the previous antimatter trap lasted only two-tenths of a second. The Large Hadron Collider is the largest and most powerful particle accelerator in the world with a 27 kilometer ring of superconducting magnets accelerating two beams of particles to almost the speed of light in opposite directions.

The LHC tunnel is located 100 metres on the ground. The majority of its length is on the French side of the border. It costs a total of 10 billion dollars to build.  So what does the Large Hadron Collider actually do. It ionizes hydrogen atoms to get protons a hydrogen atom consists of only one proton and one electron. When it ionizing the atoms it is removing the one electron to give it a net positive charge۔

The hydrogen protons are then directed through the collider by electromagnet in order for the magnets to be strong enough. Cold temperatures  are required.

So the inside of the  colliders tunnels are cooled by liquid helium this keeps the temperature at around minus 271 degree Celsius which is colder than space itself. The beams of particles travel at energies of up to seven trillion electron volts for speeds up to 99.9%. That of light producing collision debris in the form of new particles which fly out in all directions over a billion particle interactions take place in the Atlas detector every second a data rate equivalent to twenty simultaneous telephone conversations held by every person on earth only one in a million collisions are flagged as potentially interesting and are recorded for further study.

The detector tracks and identifies particles to investigate a wide range of physics from the study of the Higgs boson and top quark to the search for extra dimensions and particles that could make upnature Matter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.