Hey remember early last year when the Large Hadron Collider overloaded and broke down and people were like “phew good thing nothing weird happened like a shift in reality.” Maybe it’s time to revisit that.
85% of the matter in our universe is a mystery. We don’t know what it’s made of, which is why we call it dark matter. But we know it’s out there because we can observe its gravitational attraction on galaxies and other celestial objects.
We’ve yet to directly observe dark matter, but scientists theorize that we may actually be able to create it in the most powerful particle collider in the world. That’s the 27 kilometer-long Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, in Geneva, Switzerland.
So how would that work? In the LHC, two proton beams move in opposite directions and are accelerated to near the speed of light. At four collision points, the beams cross and protons smash into each other.
Protons are made of much smaller components called quarks and gluons.
In most ordinary collisions, the two protons pass through each other without any significant outcome.
However, in about one in a million collisions, two components hit each other so violently, that most of the collision energy is set free producing thousands of new particles.
It’s only in these collisions that very massive particles, like the theorized dark matter, can be produced.
So it takes quadrillions of collisions combined with theoretical models to even start to look for dark matter. That’s what the LHC is currently doing. By generating a mountain of data, scientists at CERN are hoping to find more tiny bumps in graphs that will provide evidence for yet unknown particles, like dark matter. Or maybe what they’ll find won’t be dark matter, but something else that would reshape our understanding of how the universe works entirely.
And that’s part of the fun at this point. We have no idea what they’re going to find.
hey sharpay evans was a lesbian and heres my evidance for it:
she was brought up in what was most likely a conservative household (see: hsm2 and the fact that her dad owns a golf club) and seeing ryan being the outcast in the family for his homosexuality she suppressed and went full on compulsory heterosexuality and went for the unattainable basketball star and when she finally felt feelings for a girl (vanessa hudgens i dont remember her name in the movie WAIT IT WAS GABRIELLA) she immediately took them to be negative and began obsessing with her and thinking it was a hate thing when really she was insanely jealous and impressed by her and in the 5th hsm sequel after troy and gabriella have divorced because troy wants to play NBA while gabriella wants to move to switzerland to study the large hadron collider she meets up with sharpay at the airport in new york and sharpay, after years of therapy and self realization, lies and says she too is going to switzerland for a specialty theater troupe and they rent an apartment together as two single thirtysomethings and slowly fall in love
Today marks nine years since the Large Hadron Collider at CERN was first powered up. Well… that’s not entirely true, it was actually yesterday but any excuse to share some photos of what has been described as the biggest scientific experiment in the history of mankind.
Can Muons - Which Live For Just Microseconds - Save Experimental Particle Physics?
“But you’ll never make a 13 TeV particle colliding two protons at the LHC; only a fraction of that energy is available to create new particles via E = mc2. The reason? A proton is made of multiple, composite particles – quarks, gluons, and even quark/antiquark pairs inside – meaning that only a tiny fraction of that energy goes into making new, massive particles.”
The large hadron collider is the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, colliding two protons at energies of 6.5 TeV apiece. But you’ll never have the full 13 TeV of energy available for that collision, thanks to the fact that the proton itself is a composite particle, and that energy is distributed throughout its components. When you get a collision, only a fraction of that energy goes into the collision itself, while the rest remains in the other component particles. The way around this is to use fundamental particles. The electron is no good, because it loses too much energy when you accelerate it in a magnetic field; it’s charge-to-mass ratio is too high. But the electron has a high-mass cousin, the muon, that’s 206 times as massive. Even though the muon only lives for microseconds, the right accelerator might be able to take advantage of special relativity (and time dilation), bringing a muon/antimuon collider to life, and realizing the best of both worlds.
Dark matter takes up about 84.5% of all mass in the universe, and we practically have no idea what it is. Dark matter doesn’t interact via electromagnetism, meaning that you can’t see it, feel it, or interact with it in almost any way possible. If you held a lump of it in your hand, it would just fall straight through without you ever noticing it was there to start with. So, if it’s almost perfectly invisible, how do we even know it exists at all?
When looking at a galaxy, you can estimate how much matter is in it by what you see through a telescope, and you can use this to predict how fast the galaxy should be spinning. However, there’s a problem. Galaxies always appear to be spinning much faster than they should be. In order to be spinning as fast as they are, galaxies need a lot more mass than what we’re seeing. Even when we account for things that are a lot harder to see, like planets, dust clouds, neutrinos, and black holes, the numbers just don’t add up. So, this leaves us with two options; either Einstein’s theory of gravitation is wrong, or there is a new, invisible type of matter filling up galaxies.
Since Einstein’s theories seem to be extremely robust under any other circumstance, we are left with the possibility of a new type of matter that can only interact through gravity. Although we can figure out how much dark matter is in the universe, and where it is mainly located, we are nearly clueless on the details. After all, you can’t just look at a clump of dark matter through a microscope.
Since it’s possible that dark matter could also interact via the weak nuclear force, there have been several super-sensitive detectors built to look for extremely rare dark matter interactions, but none have been able to find anything significant yet. If dark matter is a new particle, there’s a chance it could be created at the Large Hadron Collider, or we could at least see its effects on other particles, but the LHC hasn’t seen anything out of the ordinary yet either.
So, although we have a good idea of what dark matter is doing to our universe, we have almost no idea about what it actually is. Whenever we do finally figure out the true nature of dark matter, it will surely be the discovery of the century.
New LHC Results Hint At New Physics… But Are We Crying Wolf?
“What we’re seeing right now is a response from the community is what we’d expect to an alarm that’s crying “Wolf!” There might be something fantastic and impressive out there, and so, of course we have to look. But we know that, more than 99% of the time, an alarm like this is merely the result of which way the wind blew. Physicists are so bored and so out of good, testable ideas to extend the Standard Model – which is to say, the Standard Model is so maddeningly successful – that even a paltry result like this is enough to shift the theoretical direction of the field.”
The Standard Model of particle physics – with its six quarks in three colors, its three generations of charged leptons and neutrinos, the antiparticle counterparts to each, and its thirteen bosons, including the Higgs – describes all the known particles and their interactions in the Universe. This extends to every experiment ever performed in every particle accelerator. In short, this is a problem: there’s no clear path to what new physics lies beyond the Standard Model. So physicists are looking for any possible anomalies at all, at any theoretical ideas that lead to new predictions at the frontiers, and any experimental result that differs from the Standard Model predictions. Unfortunately, we’re looking at thousands of different composite particles, decays, branching ratios, and scattering amplitudes. Our standards for what’s a robust measurement and a compelling result need to be extremely high.
Richard P. Feynman an astounding theoretical physicist and professor
∆ Quantum mechanics & particle physics
∆ Quantum electrodynamics (QED) for which he shared a Nobel Prize
∆ Superfluidity of liquid helium
The diagram above is of a vector boson fusion producing a Higgs boson. Feynman developed this method of representing particle interactions which have been important to the understanding of work in particle accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider.
The following is a wonderful video of Feynman talking about light
The Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) is a global computing infrastructure whose mission is to provide computing resources to store, distribute and analyse the data generated by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), making the data equally available to all partners, regardless of their physical location.
WLCG is the world’s largest computing grid. It is supported by many associated national and international grids across the world, such as European Grid Initiative (Europe-based) and Open Science Grid (US-based), as well as many other regional grids.
WLCG is co-ordinated by CERN. It is managed and operated by a worldwide collaboration between the experiments (ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb) and the participating computer centres. It is reviewed by a board of delegates from partner country funding agencies, and scientifically reviewed by the LHC Experiments Committee.