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The Biggest Experiment in History. Well, a tiny piece of it at least… And a glimpse 12bn years back in time To the edge of the observable universe So.

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Presentation on theme: "The Biggest Experiment in History. Well, a tiny piece of it at least… And a glimpse 12bn years back in time To the edge of the observable universe So."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Biggest Experiment in History

2 Well, a tiny piece of it at least… And a glimpse 12bn years back in time To the edge of the observable universe So what was there before? Hubble Ultra Deep Field [NASA]

3 Before atoms Before light Before space Before time Before the B of the Bang… Big Bang [CERN]

4 When the universe was a hundredth of a billionth of a second old Unimaginably hot and dense… And the size of a football When the laws of physics were being written… WMAP [CERN]

5 Is it really possible to recreate the conditions at the very beginning of the universe, as it was 13.7 billion years ago? WMAP [CERN]

6 Near Geneva, in a circular tunnel 27km long and buried 100m underground, that’s just what scientists are doing, right now. It’s the most complicated machine ever built. It’s the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. LHC Tube in Tunnel [CERN]

7 The world's largest particle physics laboratory On the border between France and Switzerland Thousands of scientists from dozens of countries study the building blocks of matter and the interactions between them Aerial view of CERN [CERN]

8 Protons and neutrons are examples of hadrons Hadrons are not fundamental particles: they are made up of quarks E=mc 2 describes the equivalence of mass and energy High energy collisions create particles that haven’t existed in nature since the Big Bang This is the only way to find out what makes the universe tick at the most fundamental level Proton showing quarks [Wikipedia]

9 Pulsing electric fields accelerate bunches of protons to % light-speed, increasing their energy to 7TeV Sending two beams round in opposite directions doubles the energy when they hit head-on Powerful magnets steer and focus the beams, which intersect inside 4 enormous detectors Result: the highest-energy proton collisions ever, 14TeV, recreating conditions less than a billionth of a second after the beginning of the universe Simulated collision event [CERN]

10 To find out: What is the missing 96% of the universe made of? What causes mass? Where did the antimatter go? Are there more than 4 dimensions? Map of dark matter [NASA]

11 Almost a million collisions every second that will create new particles Most decay almost instantly, but leave a tell-tale shower of decay products We can’t see them, so 4 huge detectors record their paths and energies Then scientists piece these clues together to reconstruct what happened and identify any new particles or phenomena Simulation of Higgs decay in CMS [CERN]

12 Recording and processing all this information uses computers all round the world, networked together in the Grid The LHC experiments create enough data to fill a DVD every 10 seconds – that’s 3 million DVDs a year It will take months to process this information and confirm a new discovery PC Farm [CERN]

13 Scientists come up with ideas to explain what we see in the universe Sooner or later ideas need to be tested to see if they hold up Nobody knows what the LHC experiments will reveal… …But the LHC will change our view of the universe It’s a journey into the unknown! CERN control centre [CERN]

14 Play the Particle Detectives Simulator LHC UK websiteLHC UK website Log on to the LHC UK website to find out moreLHC UK website Watch this 5 minute film d_feature_film_lords_of_the.php d_feature_film_lords_of_the.php


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