'Big Bang' collider to re-start

2010-03-23 22:13

Geneva - The world's largest scientific experiment will try to collide particles at the highest energy level so far from March 30, recreating conditions at the "Big Bang" birth of the universe 13.7 billion years ago, Cern said on Tuesday.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), centred in a 27km circular underground tunnel beneath the French-Swiss border, began circulating particles last November after being shut down in September 2008 because of over-heating.

Twin beams are currently circulating at 3.5 tera-electron volts (TeV), the highest energy ever achieved, and will accelerate in coming days, according to the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern).

"The first attempt for collisions at 7TeV (3.5TeV per beam) is scheduled for March 30," it said in a statement.

"It may take hours or even days to get collisions," said Rolf Heuer, Cern's Director-General.

Dark matter

The multiple collisions at 7TeV will each create mini-Big Bangs, producing data that thousands of scientists will analyse for years to come.

"Just lining the beams up is a challenge in itself: it's a bit like firing needles across the Atlantic and getting them to collide half way," said Steve Myers, Cern's director for accelerators and technology.

Once the high-speed collisions are established, the plan is to run continuously for 18 - 24 months, with a short technical pause at the end of 2010, Cern said.

Dark matter, which scientists believe makes up 25% of the universe, but whose existence has never been proven, could be detected, officials said.

Astronomers and physicists say that only 5% of the universe is known currently, and that the invisible remainder consists of dark matter and dark energy, which make up some 25% and 70%, respectively.

"If we can detect and understand dark matter, our knowledge will expand to encompass 30% of the universe, a huge step forward," Heuer told a news conference earlier this month.

  • mad hatter - 2010-03-24 08:14

    Totally awesome !

  • trueblue - 2010-03-24 08:52

    The Big Bang was the singularity where time itself came into being, trying to "recreate the conditions at the big bang" is surely an exercise in futility. Time now exists. We cannot ever go back to where time came into being. Its too late.

  • VanGough - 2010-03-24 09:10

    If nothing existed before the big bang then recreating the big bang will recreate nothing

  • Watcher - 2010-03-24 09:18

    The big bang theory is just a theory. Its not a fact, i will say it again not a fact. It hasnt been proven, there is too many grey areas in that subject. This religion must stay out of sience now and out of kids text books, its disgusting so good luck with those experiments because you will reach a dead end again as the others.

  • Michael - 2010-03-24 10:09

    @Watcher - that it is and one should always keep an open mind, this means you too. It may be close to the truth, or it may not. But to not try to find out would be like sticking your head in the sand. When faced with a choice between the big bang, and the universe being created by some higher power who I can't begin to understand, but who wants me to wake up early on a Sunday, get overdressed and go and sing his praises, grovel and apologise for being human, I'll take sides with the white lab coats.

  • Michael - 2010-03-24 10:15

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that those CERN people could have saved a lot of money if they just came and asked the opinion of some people on the internet, like trueblue, van gough and watcher. They apparently know everything, and all those scientists with their genius IQ's are just wasting their time. The irony is, these know-it-alls are communicating on the internet, something born out of technology and understanding that wasn't there 50 years ago. It's called scientific progress, we start making sense of how things work, by experimentation, and I think it's quite obvious that those bright people who advance our technology on a daily basis, understand it a little better than you keyboard-cowboy scientiests. So I'll wait with baited breath to see if they find what they're looking for, rather than give a crap what the naysayers, creationists, and other zealots have to say.

  • Wally Bauermeister - 2010-03-24 10:29

    Awesome and spectacular!! do not let archiac religions slow down this science like they have been doing for thousands of years.

  • blacque - 2010-03-24 11:01

    JUST A THOUGHT:what if this experiment does create dark will we control it since as the white coats say has been expanding the universe. will it not cause the tunnel to expand as well as it feeds on energy around it, what if it cant be shut down after power down? what if this is the end of humanity as we know it ? on the other hand not trying to find out would be a travesty ....dark matter or anything that created such a vast universe is not to be taken lightly. from creation its been expanding aand creating galaxies. do we really wanna create that in such a small set up called earth?

  • Fourie - 2010-03-24 11:09

    As long as the thing doesnt blow up good luck to em ;)Something like that could make an awfull mess of the countryside.

  • @Michael - 2010-03-24 11:25

    The theory of the big bang is perfectly compatible with the book of Genesis. In fact, the theory confirms creation at a singularity and if time came into being then time itself must be the product of something else, outside of time. We know God to be the Infinite One. Keep those church pants neatly pressed.

  • ZION PAY - 2010-03-24 11:39

    From my own reading it seems that about 95% of persons in the scientific fields that is Astronomy, Physics in most of its fields, cosmologists and scientists believe in the "Big Bang" theory coupled to an oscillating universe. What is also rather interesting here is when new discoveries are made then those discoveries enhances Albert Einsteins work. Einstein and his work plus Hawkings work indicates a bigbang as the origin of the universe as we know it today. Just by the way to gain a perspective: An electron volt is equal to 1.602X10-19 joule so 7.2Tvolts is about1.1534X10-5jouls not enough to light up a torch.

  • Fred - 2010-03-24 11:40

    1. " Physicists will use the LHC to recreate the conditions just after the Big Bang..." (CERN)
    AFTER! Not the state the universe was before and then create the big bang... as close as possible "after"
    2. Time is a perception. The perception does not allow for “no” time, so before the big bang what was then? Uhmmm? The big bang theory is only the starting point of what we see as the beginning of the current state of the universe.
    3. I bet you those people in "white coats" are devoted Christians. Shame on you for trying to hijack this experiment to give substance to your lack of faith. Have you ever considered that God might have created the Big Bang or the universe before it?
    4. Michelle, please write a small essay describing your purpose in life without religion (please include that of your family as well). Comes to nothing doesn’t it?

  • Michael - 2010-03-24 12:32

    @ Fred - So, if I understand what you're saying, there is no purpose without religion... Fine. There is no purpose. Inventing a purpose, doesn't make it true. So you can carry on talking to your imaginary friend, and I'll carry on enjoying the little time available to me, instead of wasting it on unfounded beliefs.

  • Marika - 2010-03-24 12:32

    Wow !! this could really muck things up for the Mayan predictions....jumping the gun a bit....or what ?

  • ZION - 2010-03-24 12:57

    Time is a function of matter and the gravitational distortion of space. The one cannot exist without the other. Nothing can exist outside the universe because time is absent and atoms can only exist in a dynamic form of spinning. Spinning is a function of time. Some physicists believe the primordial singularity may have existed in another dimension prior to blowing up and forming the universe as we know it. That "5th dimension" arose in Einsteins calculations but he could never decipher it. (John Gribbons)

  • @Fred - 2010-03-24 13:07

    Before the LHC there was no way of even trying to conduct experiments of this proportion. And everything prior was merely speculation, be it from Einstein or Hawking. It remains speculation. The same speculation you have that the "white coats" are devoted Christians. Some of them may be, some of them not. The fact there is that despite their religion, they continue conduct the experiment without bringing their faith into it. As you have with your argument.Is it so hard to open your mind and wait for the results as Michael said ?In terms of your point 4, where you ask him to write a short essay describing his and his families purpose in life, I think first of all, it is quite rude and uncalled for. Secondly, you definitely do not need religion to have a purpose. I don’t have a religion anymore and my purpose in my life is to live it as best I can for as long as I can. To learn as much about our universe as possible. Not a narrow minded prat. There is an unfathomable amount of things we don’t know. Sitting on a small little planet called earth, posting on how your life has no purpose without religion is a little biased. Keep an open mind, see what the results say before you slam people with their own beliefs and opinions.

  • pamela - 2010-03-24 13:14

    why should my purpose in life be defined by religion? Why should I believe what other PEOPLE preach about what God wants me to do? Where is their proof? Faith?
    Faith is an excuse not to question what you're told. It enables dictators and it vilifies people who strive to understand the world around by experimenting and questioning.
    I can't wait to see the results of their experiments and I hope it makes us all re-look at the way we understand our universe.

  • Alan - 2010-03-24 13:17

    A lot of idiotic comments here, as there always seem to be when someone feels as though their beliefs are threatened.
    @Fred, I do not need your definition of an afterlife to create meaning for my life in your terms. Please have respect for other's beliefs and not try to force your own on ours.
    The Cern is a fantastic project to further our understanding of what happens around us. That people actually feel the need to debate the furthering of human knowledge when it is to no-one's detriment is beyond me. How small minded must you be to try and stop development even for developments sake? Every thing around you, that you use have all come from similar experiments - to stop now would be detrimental to the human race We have monumental problems that we need to conquer, it is experiments like these where the salvation of the human race lies! A little ironic isn't it?

  • Fred - 2010-03-24 14:54

    @Zion, sounds right. There is also the theory that the Big Bang "could" be repeating cycle. It makes you wonder if there could be "time laps" between the two states and if this is considered another state? @Michael The reason why I asked what is your purpose is to make you think a bit about what you're saying, because: 1. Without any reason attacked the fundamental belief of most people. This article is about the LHC and about trying to conduct empirical experiments. Never was it mentioned that this is to disprove the existence of God. So I feel it is in my right to respond to your comments 2. I said mostly likely devoted Christians, because if you take a look around, most successful and motivated people are religious. 3. You’ve given me a speculative reason why God might not exists. You argue against a Being that has all knowledge, what makes you think that you could possible perceive your question in the correct context? So, what I did was turned it around, instead of wondering about things that no man could ever understand, I’ve asked you about what do you understand about yourself. Something that you should have intimate knowledge of. If you are without purpose, since I had to invent it for you, then maybe you should really consider not being. @Looser that doesn’t even state his name Calling me a narrow minded prat might also be considered a bit rude. Secondly, read Michael’s comments again before you insult me, he clearly attacked my religion first. Thirdly, you have given me your purpose for existence. So you’re a hard drive that farts, forgets things and has an expiry date? I asked what the purpose of his family is, because it might be something he holds dear, if not himself, to give him some food for thought. Furthermore, it seems that you’re the narrow minded “prat” if you can’t do a simple self reflection without getting all emotional on me. One can never be purely objective, but you can at least conduct research out of a Christian frame of mind. Ps, not believing in something can also be considered a religion since you also have no facts to base your assumptions on and it effects your perception just as much.

  • ZION AGAIN - 2010-03-24 16:06

    If I may say and finally. I find it rather easy to intergrate a divine being into cosmology and evolution. I consider the intelligence and rationality found in the universe as a deity in itself.There is no chaos only form. No, I cannot communicate in any way with this deity but only strive to understand it. God does not play dice with that which IT created.

  • eja - 2010-03-24 17:23

    @ Fred. When ignorance meets wisdom it portrays the pearls before swine that the Holy Book speak about. Dont waste your time -they dont understand that they were born from their parent's nature which is Creation's expression of life. They draw their very breath from that what they oppose - the Ultimate of life that was the beginning and we call God because we respect that what is greater than us - that what has formed all life. Whether it was a mere molecule or atom is not the discussion. It is the very core of our beginning without which we would not exisit and it expanded and evolved to the vastness that we cannot comprehend. If people dont even have respect for other people's deep insight to a Greater, how can they respect that what is the Greater than every living being not only on the planet, but the entire Cosmos?
    @ Pamela. On her father's sentiment of give me the proof of a God - my then 6 year old daughter pipped up 'Its all round you - Nature'. Yep - she was wise at that age already.

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