From Richard Ruiz at US/LHC via Quantum Diaries: A Short Course in The LHC

Richard Ruiz

What is the Large Hadron Collider?

The Grand Tunnel

An aerial view of the Geneva region, showing the position of the LHC tunnel (Copyright CERN)

1. It is a machine on the verge of identifying the object responsible for electrons’ massiveness and photons’ masslessness [ATLAS,CMS].
2. It is a science experiment with the goal of replicating, on a sub-nanoscopic scale, the Big Bang in order to search for missing antimatter [LHCb,QD].
3. It is, believe it or not, a machine that may be capable of producing microscopic black holes [ATLAS,CMS].
4.It is an instrument being used to look for a new, higher-energy version of radioactive decay [ATLAS,CMS].
5. It is a tool that, if it is even possible, may be able to split the quark [ATLAS,CMS].
6. It is an instrument that may discover, and help explore, new spatial dimensions [ATLAS,CMS].
7. It is an effort to push computing power to its limits, and beyond!, by generating over 15 million gigabytes (15 petabytes) a year and distributing it all over the world [CERN]!
8. It is a science experiment attempting to generate the same substance (dark matter) that makes up 25% of the known Universe and is likely passing through our bodies at this very moment, but has yet to be experimentally detected [CMS].
9.It is a machine testing for the existence of a fundamental relationship between matter (quarks and leptons) and those particles that mediate all known forces of nature (gauge bosons). [ATLAS,CMS,LHCb]
10.It is a cleverly designed experiment to determine at what point the predictions of our current theory of particle physics, the Standard Model, deviates from experimental results.[ATLAS, CMS, QD]
11.As a bonus: It is a demonstration of the human race’s inherent nature to work together, and evidence that we have much more in common than what we may believe [CERN, SESAME].”

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Brookhaven Lab