News / Europe

Scientists: Atom Smasher Achieves Record Power

The Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest atom smasher, has set a record for high-energy collisions.  The multibillion dollar LHC has crashed proton beams at energy levels three and a half times higher than previously achieved at a particle accelerator.  

After getting off to a rocky start in the fall of 2008, the $10-billion Large Hadron Collider is finally living up to its promise.  

Physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, hope the LHC will explain what happened in the first split seconds after the Big Bang,  the theoretical explosion some scientists believe created the universe nearly 14 billion years ago.

The LHC's record-shattering proton-proton collisions created a combined energy level of seven trillion electron volts.  Head of CERN's accelerator operations group, Mike Lamont, calls this a major milestone.

"We really are making a big step between what has been done before," he said.  "The nearest rival is the Tevetron at Fermilab in Chicago in the States.  This is three and a half times the energy that they are running at.  We really are pushing the boundary.  There is a good chance, we will discover new stuff out here," said Lamont.  

The new stuff, as he calls it, includes answering question about the existence of antimatter and possibly finding the Higgs boson - an elusive particle physicists theorize could enable them to explain why matter has mass.



Lamont says it will take quite awhile before physicists are able to analyze the data they get from the collisions and get some results.

"We really are looking for a very, very small needle in a very, very big haystack here," said Lamont.  "It depends on what you are looking for.  If you are looking for Higgs, we need to roll the dice an awful lot of times before the experiments can be sure they have seen it.  If there is something new and exotic out there, it might be staring at us in the face very soon," he added.  

The LHC is built in a 27-kilometer tunnel below the Swiss-French border near Geneva.  Four major experiments are now gathering data from the collisions produced by this massive machine.  CERN calls this a historic moment.

Physicists say the collisions produced in the LHC will address some of the major puzzles of modern physics such as the origin of mass, the grand unification of forces and the presence of abundant dark matter in the universe.  They say exciting times are ahead.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid