Posted by: mrpeatie | September 21, 2008

The End of the World Will Just Have to Wait

A mere 36 hours after it was turned on, the Large Hadron Collider has been shut down after a faulty electronic connection led to some damage. The Collider operates at absolute zero for optimum efficiency. The section damaged will have to be warmed up for it to be fixed, then cooled back down for experiments to resume. This process could take up to 2 months.

 

The $10 billion particle collider has been in design and construction for over 2 decades. Located under the Swiss/French border, the collider is essentially an atom smasher. It sends beams of protons around a 17 mile tunnel at nearly the speed of light. When the particles collide, they create conditions similar to those just after the big bang. The hope is to find out more about dark matter, antimatter, and a crazy hypothetical particle called the Higgs boson. 
Its the end of the world as we know it?

Its the end of the world as we know it?

Although there have been smaller colliders operational for decades, there have been none built to this size, scale, and power. Some fear that a collision of protons on this scale could have unforeseen consequences, like the creation of an earth-swallowing black hole.

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