The LHC (Large Hadron Collider) is scheduled to come online come August 2008 in Europe. For seven thousand scientists, it is finally show time after 10 years and 8 billion dollars. It might end the quest to find the Higgs boson aka the “God particle” because it gives mass to itself and all elementary sub atomic particles. Peter Higgs proposed the Higgs field/mechanism in 1964 and predicted the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson. Other expectations of the LHC include elucidating the nature of dark matter/energy and gravity.
Here is a wiki on the LHC:
The LHC is being funded and built in collaboration with over two thousand physicists from thirty-four countries as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories.
When activated, it is theorized that the collider will produce the elusive Higgs boson, the observation of which could confirm the predictions and “missing links” in the Standard Model of physics and could explain how other elementary particles acquire properties such as mass
Another article here from Scientific American:
Physicists expect the LHC to bring about a new era of particle physics in which major conundrums about the composition of matter and energy in the universe will be resolved.
Who is Peter Higgs?
Peter Ware Higgs, FRS, FRSE, (born May 29, 1929), is an emeritus professor at the University of Edinburgh.
It was at Edinburgh that he first became interested in mass, developing the idea that particles were weightless when the universe began, acquiring mass a fraction of a second later, as a result of interacting with a theoretical field now known as the Higgs field. Higgs postulated that this field permeates space, giving all elementary subatomic particles that interact with it their mass.
Why is the Higgs particle nicknamed the “God particle”?
Higgs is reported to be displeased that the particle is nicknamed the “God particle”, as Higgs is an atheist.This nickname for the Higgs boson is usually attributed to Leon Lederman, but it is actually the result of Lederman’s publisher’s censoring. Originally Lederman intended to call it the goddamn particle because of its elusiveness.
Here is the wiki on the Higgs boson:
The Higgs boson is a hypothetical massive scalar elementary particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics. It is the only Standard Model particle not yet observed, but would help explain how otherwise massless elementary particles still manage to construct mass in matter.
There are some concerns that the LHC will unleash mini black holes, magnetic monopoles or strangelets which could destroy the earth:
The main danger could be now just behind our door with the possible death in blood of 6.500.000.000 (US notation 6,500,000,000) people and complete destruction of our beautiful planet. Such a danger shows the need of a far larger study before any experiment ! The CERN study presents risk as a choice between a 100% risk or a 0% risk. This is not a good evaluation of a risk percentage!
Our desire of knowledge is important but our desire of wisdom is more important and must take precedence. The precautionary principle indicates not to experiment. The politicians must understand this evidence and stop these experiments before it is too late!
Is the LHC a doomsday machine or is the experiment which will determine the nature of physical reality?
Exciting stuff indeed! What do you think?