Updated 9-13-2008: Be sure to check out the video at the bottom of this post!
Taken from “The God Particle” by National Geographic – Written by Joel Achenbach (a Washington Post staff writer) who writes for NG.
LHC. Otherwise known as the Large Hadron Collider.
It is a machine “having installed more than 1,600 magnets, most half the length of a basketball court and weighing more than 30 tons… The job of the magnets is to nudge the beams of particles to bend ever so slightly around the ring. Lots of particles moving at nearly the speed of light have only one desire in life: to keep moving straight ahead. So the bend needs to be gradual—thus the 17-mile circumference of the ring… When the particles collide, they’ll produce showers of debris as their energy gets transformed into mass… two of the four major experiments that the LHC will perform are capable of recording the detritus of the disintegrating Higgs,” (Higgs is the alternative name given to what has been coined as the God Particle) “The particle—or rather its debris—will show up in a detector’s computers, found by sorting through massive amounts of data measured in petabytes—thousands of trillions of bits… “
In short, it is a “giant new atom smasher—they want nothing less than to crack the code of the physical universe,” so said one caption from National Geographic.
Man, (and in this case, Scientists) has once again made thier feeble attempt in playing God.
“By smashing pieces of matter together, creating energies and temperatures not seen since the universe’s earliest moments, the LHC could reveal the particles and forces that wrote the rules for everything that followed. It could help answer one of the most basic questions for any sentient being in our universe: What is this place?
There’s one puzzle piece in particular that physicists hope to pick out of the debris from the LHC’s high-energy collisions. Some call it the God particle.”
It is interesting to see how through science, man thinks he can solve the world and all that is in it. Man thinks if he can just ‘get a big break’ we could learn how the universe was made. Perhaps in this, it will no longer be simple theory. Smahing particles together will answer “What is this place?”
How then, will this tell us anything more than we already know? What will it do for us? If we discover that some big bang came to be… it will solve all our most basic questions in life? How?! Besides, even if scientists could try and explain away HOW the big bang came to be such a big bang, it still would not explain where the particles came from to MAKE the big bang. Where does the search end?
National Geographic article says, “Our existence, our entire universe, emerged from things that happened at the smallest imaginable scale. The big bang theory tells us that the known universe once had no dimensions at all—no up or down, no left or right, no passage of time, and laws of physics beyond our vision.
“How does an infinitely dense universe become a vast and spacious one? And how is it filled with matter? In theory, as the early universe expanded, energy should have condensed into equal amounts of matter and antimatter, which would then have annihilated each other on contact, reverting to pure energy. On paper, the universe should be empty. But it’s full of stars and planets and charming French villages and so on. The LHC experiments may help physicists understand our good fortune to be in a universe that grew with just enough more matter than antimatter.”
Interestingly, National Geographic ends the article with, “One day I asked George Smoot, a Nobel laureate physicist, if he thinks our most basic questions will ever be answered.
“It depends on how I’m feeling on any particular day,” he said. “But every day I go to work I’m making a bet that the universe is simple, symmetric, and aesthetically pleasing—a universe that we humans, with our limited perspective, will someday understand.””
Looking in all the wrong places, mankind has failed over and over again at playing God. Mankind has failed to be gods to themselves and succeed. Mankind has failed in thier attempt to bring themselves closer to God. It happened thousands of years ago… “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves…” God divided them, confused the languages, which caused them to scatter. Man thought they could work together to reach God. Man thought they could ‘do anything.’ I urge you, be careful… be careful not to do this. Don’t play God. Don’t play like you are bigger than Him. Don’t play like you think you can equivicate with Him. Dire consequenses always come to play.
The God Particle. Man’s attempt in finding God to be something science can discover and play with, and understand.
A particle, they hope, that will explain away God.
The full article can be read at http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/03/god-particle/achenbach-text.
Amazing photography coverage can be seen at http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/03/god-particle/ginter-photography.html
Below is a video of Rappin’ about CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, produced by employees of CERN: