Giant complicated machine ....
Mike Sterling for CCNews
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The biggest and most complicated machine ever built is cranking up to continue to probe the nature of the universe. It's the fabled Large Hadron Collider LHC. It is increasing its power for 2012 to 4/7ths of its maximum. Hold on, that power is 7 Trillion Electron Volts!
This giant machine spanning the border of France and Switzerland has worked well in looking for the elusive proof that the Higgs Boson exists or does not. Has it found it? Not yet, but it's narrowing the search. It could be or it might not be. If not found, they are back to the drawing board on a number of key elements of the universe. Most experts bet they will find it.
The machine is in a giant oval 16 miles around and 300 feet deep inside the bedrock. It is a huge energy user and it sends particles screaming around deep inside the carved out tunnels at almost the speed of light. They crash into each other producing showers of sub-atomic particles that are in turn captured at a fierce rate to be analyzed later.
What is so important about the Higgs Boson? Modern physics does not know what gives mass to the universe. If found, the Higgs Boson might tell scientists much about what is hidden from us. They have this giant theory called "The Standard Model". Without the facts about mass, they cannot explain why many things happen the way they do.
Scientists need to know because without knowledge of the nature of mass, they cannot explain to a child why the adult standing before them does not fall apart into a pile of atomic particles like so much invisible dust to be swept away by a magnet. Oh, oh, what's the nature of a magnet?
Mass is the key to many things. This is not about how much does 'stuff' weigh, but about why is it hard to move a stationary body and why does it stick together?
Isn't it amazing that the human mind can puzzle over problems and build things like the LHC to find the secrets?
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Monday, February 13, 2012