big experiment

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CERN's Large Hadron Collider (Wikipedia, CERN/LHC website) outside Geneva will begin operation tomorrow; at 27 miles in circumference, it is the largest and most complex experimental device ever built. Physicists hope to create a Higgs Boson, which is the only elementary particle predicted by the Standard Model that has not yet been seen.

I don't claim to understand particle physics in any great detail, but what I do understand fascinates the hell out of me. Super-geeks (and parents of little geeklets) who want to show some love for the subatomic bestiary can head over the The Particle Zoo tomorrow for a special low price on the Higgs Boson plush toy:

20080909-higgsboson.jpg

Oh, and I wouldn't worry too much about the LHC destroying Earth by creating a microscopic black hole--TreeHugger has a visualization here--I trust the physicists inside CERN on the issue of safety much more than the crackpots outside.

< aside >
My spell-checker doesn't recognize either "hadron" or "hardon" (as in "Large Hardon Collider") as valid words...it's a good thing that I proofread this entry!

links:
"Crash Course" (New Yorker)
"At the Heart of All Matter" (National Geographic)
"LHC: The Guide" (CERN)

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2 Comments

All I want is for the Large 'Hardon' Collider to reduce the pull of gravity right above the scale in my bathroom.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on September 9, 2008 4:14 PM.

has it really been that long? was the previous entry in this blog.

drill, baby, drill! is the next entry in this blog.

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