March 15, 2011
CERN Stages First Speed-of-Light Particle Collisions
CERN scientists announced on Monday that they have staged their first speed-of-light particle collisions of the year over the weekend.
"It started up well, with stable beams. We are even a little ahead of schedule after the winter break," spokesman James Gillies told Reuters.
The $10 billion project's leading physicist, Oliver Buchmueller, told Reuters that the top priority in 2011 and 2012 would be finding evidence of super-symmetry, extra dimensions, dark matter, black hole production and the elusive Higgs boson.
These ideas are the new frontiers of science research as it pushes into the realms of what was once science fiction, giving new motivation to cosmology and theorizing on whether the known universe is alone.
Steven Hawking and mathematician Brian Greene are looking to the LHC to turn up at least strong signs that there was another universe before the Big Bang or that others exist in parallel to our own.
CERN started what it calls "New Physics" in the giant underground LHC on March 31 last year.
The 17-mile LHC was stopped on December 6 for servicing of its complicated equipment.
The subterranean near-circular tunnel creates mini-explosions like the Big Bang of 13.7 billion years ago, which led to the formation of the known universe and everything in it.
The similar Tevatron collider at Fermilab near Chicago is scheduled to close later this year.
Both colliders were fixed on finding the Higgs boson, which is a particle whose existence was posited about 35 years ago as the agent that turned the matter created by the Big Bang into the mass that became stars and planets.
However, CERN scientists are now suggesting that by the middle of the decade, more should be known on topics that were once thought of as science fiction.
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