This morning the Large Hadron Collider was reactivated, sending two beams of protons around its 17 mile tunnel, where they will eventually smash two over 3.5 trillion volts of energy into one another making it the most powerful energy collision to date by over 300%. The quickly racing beams will result in a 7 trillion electron volt collision that will be the greatest energy collision to date in any man-made experiment.
The newest collision is the LHC using half of its potential electrical energy. It is hypothesized, that if the full 14 trillion electron volt explosion is created in a controlled environment, it will result in the creation of a mini black hole, which will be observed and tell scientists valuable data about the creation of the universe, and possibly even important information related to quantum mechanics by creating the much sought after “God Particle.”
CERN, also known as the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has had a considerable amount of trouble in the past regarding its vastly expensive Hadron Collider. Some scientists even suggested the LHC may have been hampered by a time travelling quantum effect that trickled into the past resulting in the LHC being stopped before it could end all life as we know it as some fear it would. Luckily, however, the new experiments have gone off without any such dramatic effect and James Gillies, spokesman for CERN is hopeful.
Unfortunately for fans of the LHC, there is a long wait expected in the near future as it is going to be shut down temporarily for up to two years after the next collision. The shut down is a result of the massively expensive electrical glitch that resulted in millions of dollars in repairs needed to fix the behemoth experiment. Top scientists are not confident that the machine would be able to withstand the amount of power that will be rushing through it when it reaches its maximum output potential, so they are maintaining it, reinforcing conduits, replacing faulty electronics, and generally stabilizing it to ensure no more electrical malfunctions like those that happened in September of 2008 occur again.
But for those who want results from the LHC, even the current experiment, colliding at half the machines potential power could yield incredible results, including evidence of alternate dimensions. It is quite possible the current experiment could yield a glimpse of the Higgs boson.
Of course alarmists are saying it could result in a dimensional rift that could spill out any number of horrifying creations of another universe, but this is based more on science fiction than science. In reality, this is merely a test and will likely result in nothing more exciting than great amounts of data that will take years to decode, or a tremendous electrical failure that will take even longer to repair. With any luck, however, we will soon be closer than ever to understanding the mechanics of the universe around us. And isn’t that really what the goal of science is in the end?