The name CERN is derived from the acronym for the French “Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire”, or European Council for Nuclear Research, a provisional body founded in 1952 with the mandate of establishing a world-class fundamental physics research organization in Europe. At that time, pure physics research concentrated on understanding the inside of the atom, hence the word “nuclear”.
Today, our understanding of matter goes much deeper than the nucleus, and CERN’s main area of research is particle physics – the study of the fundamental constituents of matter and the forces acting between them. Because of this, the laboratory operated by CERN is often referred to as the European Laboratory for Particle Physics and is the world’s largest physics lab.
In 2012, scientist and Professor Stephen Hawking warned the world about CERN, stating that “CERN had the potential to destroy the universe.” He further mentioned that Higgs-Boson could cause time and space to suddenly collapse and “We wouldn’t even see it coming”. It was later decided by developers of CERN that a disaster of this nature was very unlikely; physicists claim that they do not have large enough collider (particle accelerator). Keep in mind that Hawking argues the safety and observes that Higgs has the potential to become megastable at energies above 100bn giga-electron-volts (GeV).
However, Professor John Ellis, a theoretical physicist at Cern, said: ‘One thing should be made clear. The discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) did not cause this problem, and collisions at the LHC could not trigger the instability, because their energies are far too low.’ Most scientist agree that the Higgs boson particle is part of the mechanism that gives matter its mass, but they still do not fully understand it yet.
Essentially, The Large Hadron Collider was repsponsible for discovering something called the Higgs or “the god particle“, and although this was a huge breakthrough in physics, scientists suspect that there are even more exotic particles in the universe that we don’t know about because they simply don’t interact with the electromagnetic force. But if these ‘dark sector’ particles have mass, they will interact with the field associated with the Higgs boson. Hence, after a 2 year break (shutdown) , CERN has decided to fire up the collider again, but this time they will double it’s capacity!
What exactly is a particle accelerator and what are it’s uses??
There are more than 30,000 accelerators in operation around the world. Accelerators are all over the world, so CERN is not the only game in town. Particle accelerators are best known for their role in particle physics research, but other roles include: creating tumor-destroying beams to fight cancer; killing bacteria to prevent food-borne illnesses; and helping scientists improve fuel injection to make more efficient vehicles.This is known as Nuclear medicine.
Example in Nuclear Medicine :
“Making copper-67 takes many steps, but the conversion of zinc into copper first uses a high-powered electron linear accelerator. An electron accelerator speeds up electrons, an elementary particle, to nearly the velocity of light. The researchers put the element zinc and a “converter” in the sights of the new accelerator. The accelerator, in turn, shoots electrons into the converter, a material that creates another high-energy particle – a photon. That photon travels into the zinc atoms and knocks out a proton, producing copper-67.
Copper-67 is a relatively unique isotope because it emits a particle that can kill cancer cells and a gamma ray that can be used to show doctors where the cancer is located in a patient. Copper-67 is able to do these two beneficial actions simultaneously when it is bonded with monoclonal antibodies, which basically are proteins that are created to attach to the cell walls of cancer cells.
When injected, the antibodies and copper-67 together travel down the bloodstream, find cancers cells and attach to them. The copper-67 then decays, killing the cancer cell, and emitting a gamma ray that shows the physicians exactly where the tumor is located.” IDAHO UNIVERITY
Accelerator based treatments fall into the category of radiation therapy. Presently about 50% of all patients with cancer will undergo radiation therapy often in conjunction with other treatments such as chemotherapy or surgery. The most common form of radiation therapy is external beam radiotherapy where a beam of radiation is fired into the body by a particle accelerator.
Can CERN’s Hadron Collider be used as a Time Machine?
Particle accelerators are the closest things we have to time machines, according to Stephen Hawking.
Back in 2010, physicist Stephen Hawking wrote an article for the UK paper the Daily Mail explaining how it might be possible to travel through time. We would just need a particle accelerator large enough to accelerate humans the way we accelerate particles, he said.
A person-accelerator with the capabilities of the Large Hadron Collider would move its passengers at close to the speed of light. Because of the effects of special relativity, a period of time that would appear to someone outside the machine to last several years would seem to the accelerating passengers to last only a few days. By the time they stepped off the LHC ride, they would be younger than the rest of us.
Hawking wasn’t actually proposing we try to build such a machine. But he was pointing out a way that time travel already happens today. For example, particles called pi mesons are normally short-lived; they disintegrate after mere millionths of a second. But when they are accelerated to nearly the speed of light, their lifetimes expand dramatically. It seems that these particles are traveling in time, or at least experiencing time more slowly relative to other particles.
Man from the future?
In 2012, a man was arrested at the LHC in Switzerland claiming that he was from the future. Eloi Cole, said that he had traveled back in time to prevent the LHC from destroying the world.
Mr Cole was seized by Swiss police after CERN security guards spotted him rooting around in bins. He explained that he was looking for fuel for his ‘time machine power unit’, a device that resembled a kitchen blender.
Police said Mr Cole, who was wearing a bow tie and a tweed suitwould not reveal his country of origin.
“Countries do not exist where I am from. The discovery of the Higgs boson to limitless power, the elimination of poverty and Kit-Kats for everyone. It is a communist chocolate hellhole and I’m here to stop it ever happening.”
In 2011, a Japanese physicist Masao Ninomiya and Danish string-theory pioneer Holger Bech Nielsen publicly stated that the Higgs boson was so “abhorrent” that it somehow caused a ripple in time that prevented its own discovery.
All kidding aside, Switzerland’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) can be called a time machine in one sense: it enables us to examine conditions as they were during the universe’s early stages.
SCROLL down if you want to read the answers from CERN Scientists.
What do CERN Scientists hope to find?
According to the standard model in physics , scientists now theorize that Higgs Boson could be the “missing link” that could explain various forces at play – essentially becoming the mechanism that gives all particles mass. But in order to prove it existed, scientists had to find a way to accelerate particles much faster than they were able to at the time. When CERN, created the Large Hadron Collider scientists announced that it had been able to discover the Higgs boson by data interpreting the collisions of particles. CERN then shut LHC down while scientists worked to double its capacity to accelerate particles and deepen our understanding of the fundamental nature of the Standard Model of physics. “
Concerns in September 2015: Does CERN have the potential to open up worm holes?
In January of 2015, The New York Times reported some very disturbing news regarding CERN.
Even though CERN’s collider has years yet to run, the world’s physicists are designing even bigger colliders. In 2014, a Chinese physicists announced a proposal to build a pair of colliders 32 miles around, twice as big as CERN’s. The giant scintillator detector called JUNO,is already in the works in China, and plans for a huge water-based detector The machines could be scaled up to reach energies of 100 trillion electron volts. With an air of competition, CERN scientists have suggested tunneling under Lake Geneva to build a supercollider. Japan is also interested in having a Higgs factory built there known as Hyper-K. Japan’s project Hyper-K has already won international support from institutions in 13 countries, with the largest groups coming from Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Switzerland and Canada. In January the ICCR announced a cooperative agreement to pursue Hyper-K with the Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies in Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Organization. About 200 researchers are already working on the design of Hyper-K, and the collaboration is still welcoming new members. They hope to begin construction in 2018.
Some scientists have taken their research to a competing collider at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in the United States. Most Americans are completely unaware of the facility known as FERMILAB that is located in Batavia, ILLINOIS. The project housed there is called DUNE (Deep underground Neutrino Experiment).
There is a big scintillator detector, JUNO, in the works in China, and plans for a huge water-based detector, Hyper-K, in Japan. Gravitational wave detectors such as LIGO could pick up additional information about the density of matter and what’s happening in the collapse.
“My dream is to have a supernova with JUNO, Hyper-K and DUNE all online,” Scholberg says. “It would certainly make my decade.”
According to FERMILAB Facility, “The facility required for this experiment, the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF), will be an internationally designed, coordinated and funded program, comprising the world’s highest-intensity neutrino beam at Fermilab and the infrastructure necessary to support massive, cryogenic far detectors installed deep underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF), 800 miles (1,300 km) downstream, in Lead, SD. LBNF is also responsible for the facilities to house the experiment’s near detectors on the Fermilab site. LBNF will be tightly coordinated with the DUNE collaboration designing the detectors that will carry out its experimental program.”
CERN Scientists hope to explain dark matter
Scientists wants to prove that Higgs Boson is the “missing link” . LHC researchers also hope to take on dark matter.
“Theoretical physicists have believed for some time that invisible dark matter makes up most of the universe. But does it? And what, exactly, is dark matter? Right now, we can only “see” dark matter by the effect that it has on other things around it in the universe. We detect it from its gravitational effects. There is a theory that dark matter contains “supersymmetric particles” that are partners to all of the other particles that are already known in the Standard Model.“Supersymmetry is an extension of the Standard Model that aims to fill some of the gaps,” CERN said. “It predicts a partner particle for each particle in the Standard Model. These new particles would solve a major problem, fixing the mass of the Higgs boson. If the theory is correct, supersymmetric particles should appear in high-energy collisions at the LHC.”
DUNE : Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment
The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, conducted with the detectors installed in the LBNF facility, is expected to achieve transformative discoveries, making definitive determinations of neutrino properties, the dynamics of the supernovae that produced the heavy elements necessary for life, and the possibility of proton decay.
Previous scientific collaborations that have been focused on long-baseline and galactic supernova neutrino physics and proton decay, in particular LBNE and LBNO, have contributed to developing both a strong physics case and technological designs for detectors that would enable these discoveries. Many participants of these previous collaborations, along with other partners from around the world, have joined the new international DUNE collaboration, formed in January 2015.
This collaboration will be responsible for designing, building and operating the detectors to do the experiment. It is bringing together the collective worldwide expertise and the resources needed to realize the P5 vision through the process initiated by Fermilab and the U.S. Department of Energy. LBNF will build on Fermilab’s existing world-class accelerator complex, including the Main Injector and the planned Proton Improvement Plan-II (PIP-II), to supply the required intense beam of neutrinos to the detectors at the near and far sites.
Schedule and Outlook DUNE has excellent prospect for major scientific discoveries such as leptonic CP-violation and MH, along with precision measurement of neutrino oscillation parameters. Deep underground location enables search for proton decay, supernova neutrinos and other astrophysics topics. Schedule strongly dependent on funding profile from DOE and other agencies. High level agreement negotiated between CERN, US DOE, India, etc. Cavern excavation 2016-2017. First 10 kton FD module in 2021 with 1.2 MW beam. All four 10 kton modules by 20124 with upgraded 2.4 MW neutrino beam. Final sensitivity goals can be achieved by 2035.
See more on the Underground Facility Networks here: DUNE: Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment
- The Large Hadron Collider smashed its first lead ions in 2010, on 7 November at around 12:30 a.m. CET.
- The first collisions in the center of the ALICE, ATLAS and CMS collisions took place less than 72 hours after the LHC ended its first run of protons and switched to accelerating lead-ion beams. Each lead nucleus contains 82 protons, and the LHC accelerates each proton to an energy of 3.5 TeV, thus resulting in an energy of 287 TeV per beam, or a total collision energy of 574 TeV.
- Up to 3,000 charged particles were emitted from each collision, shown here as lines radiating from the collision point. The colors of the lines indicate how much energy each particle carried away from the collision.
Does CERN have anything to do with Weather Modification?
Particle accelerators are everywhere: (above photo)
Scientists tend to construct large particle accelerators underground. This protects them from being bumped and destabilized, but can also make them a little harder to find.For example, motorists driving down Interstate 280 in northern California may not notice it, but the main accelerator at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory runs underground just beneath their wheels.-SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
CERN answers your queries about 23 September 2015
Is the Large Hadron Collider dangerous?
No. Although powerful for an accelerator, the energy reached in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is modest by nature’s standards. Cosmic rays – particles produced by events in outer space – collide with particles in the Earth’s atmosphere at much greater energies than those of the LHC. These cosmic rays have been bombarding the Earth’s atmosphere as well as other astronomical bodies since these bodies were formed, with no harmful consequences. These planets and stars have stayed intact despite these higher energy collisions over billions of years.
Read more about the safety of the LHC here
Is CERN planning anything for the end of September 2015?
CERN has no special events planned for the end of September. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will be running at its usual collision energy of 13 teraelectronvolts (TeV).
The LHC has been running at this collision energy since 3 June 2015 and had already delivered some 28,000 billion collisions to the large experiments by mid-August. Throughout the rest of 2015, CERN aims to gradually increase the number of collisions, while remaining at the same energy. Read more about gradually increasing the intensity of the proton beams here.
Why is the Higgs boson referred to as the God particle?
The Higgs boson is the linchpin of the Standard Model of particle physics but experimental physicists weren’t able to observe it until the arrival of the LHC, nearly 50 years after the particle was first postulated. Leon Lederman coined the term ‘the God particle’ in his popular 1993 book ‘The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What is the Question?’ written with Dick Teresi. In their book, Lederman and Teresi claim the nickname originated because the publisher wouldn’t allow them to call it ‘the Goddamn Particle’ – a name that reflected the difficulty in observing the elusive boson. The name caught on through the media attention it attracted but is disliked by both clerics and scientists.
Is CERN’s aim to prove that God does not exist?
No. People from all over the world work together harmoniously at CERN, representing all regions, religions and cultures. CERN exists to understand the mystery of nature for the benefit of humankind. Scientists at CERN use the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles. Particles are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. This process gives the physicists clues about how the particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature.
Why does CERN have a statue of Shiva?
The Shiva statue was a gift from India to celebrate its association with CERN, which started in the 1960’s and remains strong today. In the Hindu religion, Lord Shiva practiced Nataraj dance which symbolises Shakti, or life force. This deity was chosen by the Indian government because of a metaphor that was drawn between the cosmic dance of the Nataraj and the modern study of the ‘cosmic dance’ of subatomic particles. India is one of CERN’s observer states, along with the USA, Russia and Japan. CERN is a multicultural organisation that welcomes scientists from more than 100 countries and 680 institutions. The Shiva statue is only one of the many statues and art pieces at CERN.
What are the shapes in the CERN logo?
The shapes in CERN’s current logo represent particle accelerators. The logo in this form dates back to 1968, when a decision was made to change the CERN logo from the original one, seen here. Some 114 new designs were proposed, many of which used CERN’s experiments as inspiration. The final design used the original lettering, surrounded by a schematic of a synchrotron, beam lines and particle tracks. Today’s logo is a simplified version of this.
Will CERN open a door to another dimension?
CERN will not open a door to another dimension. However, if the experiments conducted at the LHC demonstrate the existence of certain particles it could help physicists to test various theories about nature and our Universe, such as the presence of extra dimensions. There is more information here.
What did Stephen Hawking say about Higgs potential destroying the Universe?
Hawking was not discussing the work being done at the LHC.
The LHC observes nature at a fundamental level but does not influence it. Measurements of the Higgs bosonhave allowed us to learn more about the intrinsic nature of the Universe, and it is this that Hawking was discussing. The measured properties of the boson suggest that the Universe is in a quasi-stable equilibrium, though with a lifetime far exceeding anything we can imagine (10100 years). This is explained further in the TEDxCERN talk below:
Why does CERN appear in Google Maps when I type certain keywords?
Many of these associations have no grounding in fact, and are a possible result of several users renaming locations on their own maps, keyword searches, or from lots of users creating custom maps, which utilise those search terms.
Can the LHC have an influence on weather patterns and natural phenomena?
No. The magnets at CERN have an electromagnetic field, which is contained with the magnets themselves and therefore cannot influence the Earth’s magnetic field, nor the weather. The strength of the LHC magnets (8.36 teslas) is comparable to the magnetic field found in PET-MRI scanners(link is external) (up to 9.4 tesla(link is external)), which are regularly used for brain scans.
Will CERN generate a black hole?
The LHC will not generate black holes in the cosmological sense. However, some theories suggest that the formation of tiny ‘quantum’ black holes may be possible. The observation of such an event would be thrilling in terms of our understanding of the Universe; and would be perfectly safe.
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