Frankly speaking, before today morning when my friend told me about this experiment, I was conveniently and completely unaware of this Large Hadron Collider. I had to spend some time on the internet and watch some news channels to know what it exactly does.
As per my understanding it is the most complex scientific instrument ever built in the scientific or engineering history of mankind. The Large Hadron Collider or the LHC promises to recreate the conditions right after the Big Bang. (Remember the big bang theory of evolution?) By revisiting the beginning of time, scientists hope to unravel some of the deepest secrets of our Universe.
As we all know (and as I read wikipedia) within these first few moments the building blocks of the Universe were created. This was the moment when the fundamental particles were created and this is the only moment when the appeared. The search for these fundamental particles has occupied scientists for decades but there remains one particle that has stubbornly refused to appear in any experiment. It is the Higgs Boson. (read it on wiki) The Higgs Boson is so crucial to our understanding of the Universe that it has been dubbed the God particle. It explains how fundamental particles acquire mass, or as one scientist plainly states: “It is what makes stuff stuff…”
The LHC, which is world’s largest and the highest energy particle accelerator has now started functioning and is gearing up for the first collisions of proton particles. When activated, they say that the collider will produce the elusive Higgs boson, and help in explaining how other elementary particles acquire properties such as mass. Now there are large theories circulating which say creation of the conditions that existed just after the big bang is dangerous. Some even say that there is a minute chance that the experiments could lead to a catastrophic conditions and distroy the earth. Meh! They released the first beam through the collider in the morning today and nothing has happened yet (Today is 10th September 2008. Lets see what happens when the first high-energy collisions are planned to take place on 21 October 2008.
Alright, after writing a page full of LHC I have just one question. What is the reason to go back in time? I don’t believe they spent over $6 billion on this experiment. Even India has contributed over $100 million. Gosh!