“Big Bang Machine” set to go online - Macleans.ca

“Big Bang Machine” set to go online

World’s largest particle collider should offer up surprises


The so-called “Big Bang Machine,” otherwise known as the Large Hadron Collider, is expected to soon start delivering information on the origins of the universe, moving to full power by next year, according to a project leader. Yet the world’s largest particle collider might not hit top speed until 2011, physicist Steve Myers said of the machine, which sits across the Swiss-French border at the CERN research lab. The $10 billion experiment, which involves scientists from around the world, was relaunched this weekend after an accident over one year ago brought it to a crashing halt, just nine days after it started. According to Myers, particle beams were sent around the 27-km tunnel on Friday, and everything went smoothly. The machine was created to discover how the universe was formed after the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago. In previous experiments using an earlier collider, scientists produced energy close to that of the Big Bang. They’re hoping the Large Hadron Collider will help resolve what anti-matter is and whether the theoretical Higgs boson particle, which is thought to give matter its mas, really does exist.


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