The Project Notebook

Projects to Watch: “An Ambitious Project”

About 2 hours ago the Reuters service carried news of the malfunction of the world’s largest physics experiment, the $9B Large Hadron Collider (LHC) located beneath a CERN research center near the Swiss-French border. A 30-ton transformer designed to cool the magnets to -456.3F malfunctioned. The resulting helium leak into the 17 mile tunnel housing the equipment resulted in a shut down and its estimated to take two months to fix.

With this largest, most complex machine ever built, scientists are hoping to simulate the “Big Bang” conditions theorized to have taken place at the birth of the universe. Some of the things they will be looking for include:

– dark matter
– Higgs bosons (believed to give mass to all other particles)
– other exotic particles, possibly newly discovered

While critics are predicting the end of the world in small black holes which could be opened by the machine, the experts apparently feel its close to 100% safe.

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