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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More