Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Big Bang: Take 2

This morning, scientists on the Franco-Swiss border will flip the switch on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) - a.k.a. The Big Bang Machine - a 12 storey high, 17-mile long underground ring, built at a cost of £5b, buried more than 300ft under the Alpine foothills, where subatomic particles will be accelerated to astonishing speeds and then smashed into each other.

The LHC will blast protons - one of the building blocks of atoms - at a velocity close to the speed of light, generating temperatures of more than a trillion degrees centigrade. Each proton beam will pack as much energy as a Eurostar train travelling at 150 kilometres per hour. The resulting collisions will hopefully replicate conditions found in the moments following the Big Bang - or the beginning of the universe - and scientists will study the fallout. Let's just hope nothing goes wrong!

And if you're worried that man's meddling is going to create a black hole under the Alps which will suck the Earth into it, then have a look at this to help calm your nerves.


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2 Comments:

Blogger Al said...

where did you find that video?!

It's awful, but it makes it all very easy to understand. Maybe all science classes should be done in rap?

September 10, 2008 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Green said...

Oh Youtube, via the 10 o'clock news on BBC1 last night!

September 10, 2008 at 10:00 AM  

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