Thursday, 11 September 2008

Life Goes On...

Well, it's Thursday which means our friend the Large Hadron Collider didn't destroy the world yesterday. I suppose that's a good thing... but it does feel like a bit of an anti-climax.

Anyway, I found out some awesome stuff about the LHC yesterday.

  • It is the largest and most expensive machine ever created by man. It cost 2.5 billion dollars! It is mostly funded by America - surprise, surprise.
  • It throws particles at 99.99% of the speed of light. Or 670 million mph.
  • These particles will collide with each other producing 800 million collisions per second.
  • It is circular and underground - like the Circle Line on the Underground map. And it is 17 miles long.
  • It stretches across the Franco-Swiss border (pictured right) and lies 100 metres below Lake Geneva.
  • Stephen Hawkings bet £50 that the scientists wouldn't find this fabled 'God particle'. He also said that he hopes they don't because that will make things more interesting.
  • We won't actually be able to find this particle for at least four years anyway.
So, whilst the world is watching the London 2012 Olympics, some crazy scientists in Geneva might be shouting about a particle which no-one really cares about. Except Stephen Hawking. And America.

Money well spent then.

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