The only thing that seemed to be on the news this morning was a lot of guff about how we were all going to be swallowed by a miniature black hole at 8:30am. As usual the media had their knickers in a twist and were demonstrating their sensational lack of sense. Why? Because the LHC at CERN was due to be switched on as physicists attempt to understand more about the Big Bang and the nature of the universe by replicating the conditions that existed a tiny fraction of a second after the bang.
Of course, the LHC is now operational and we’re all still here.
But then again maybe spaghettification has already started and we still haven’t woken up enough to notice 😦
If you want to learn more about the LHC and how it works, check the Wikipedia page about it. But in short, it’s all about colliding protons which have been accelerated to almost the speed of light in order to split them into even smaller particles. The even smaller particles being those described by the Standard Model of particle physics. All but one of these particles have already been detected by experiments in other colliders such as the Tevatron so the LHC is mainly concerned with the hunt for the “missing” Higgs Boson, also known as the God particle, the existence of which is predicted by current theory. If it is found then it is hoped that the final parts of the particle physics jigsaw will fall into place and new avenues of scientific advance will open up.