The LHC or the Large Hadron Collider is an international project headed by the UK government and some scientists and engineers from 100 countries all over the world. It is the largest particle accelerator ever built. The Large Hadron Collider or LHC is designed to fire very small objects like protons around its circumference at 99.99% the speed of light and smashing two of those objects into each other to see what would result from it. The LHC was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) to corroborate significant researches. The LHC lies beneath the Franco Swiss border. The rationale behind this pursuit is to resolve some questions relative to the existence of the universe. The Big Bang theory, the generally accepted theory where the universe originated has several flaws which create few dubious scientists and new theories of course. In order to establish the hypothesis, the LHC is designed likened as the way the universe is during its birth to extract those fundamental particles that acts on it during its explosion and how this particles created the objects that roam the universe today. Our universe actually concealed much of our existence. This motivates our scientists to discover what lies behind our existence and ultimately to be the master of this universe.
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The LHC Experiments
ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment)
One of the primary problems that scientists were trying to placate is the issue on how does the Big Bang creates the planets, galaxies and those objects found floating in the universe. Since Big Bang is generally accepted theory where the universe emerged, countless questions are still being posited as there were no hard facts to establish the hypothesis. The CERN and the Fermilab were on this same pursuit to excavate what the universe is concealing. However, even combining these two large physics laboratories, the answers are still hard to illuminate. Coming the existence of the LHC is a positive sign that finally all the intriguing questions everybody deals with can now be possibly addressed. In the first few years of this huge accelerator, there was sign of plethora whence all the famous scientists in the world were eager to validate or nullify their hypothesis. It is interesting to note that when speaking of cracking something huge, the wealthy are always ready to pour (and actually filled with zeal) their pennies on such projects. Worthwhile though many critics still find that such undertaking would miss out the primary problems that are actually is being experienced today. Nevertheless, many individuals and scientists may not have the nerve to fritter away money and time if the project may seem far-fetched. There is a fundamental theory that all matters in the universe have mass and basically mass and force were considered the fundamental quantities underlying the operations of the universe. Newton conceptualizes the existence of mass which he defined as the constant proportionality between velocity and momentum. It establishes the question of physics but not phenomena. However the origin of mass is unknown leading scientists to procure answers in the universe without going that too far. Universe actually is composed of 4% of matter and matter is composed of mass. The universe is believed to have come from a hot cocktail of fundamental particles. Matter which forms the universe is composed of atoms containing a nucleus which in turn composed of protons and electrons. Protons and electrons are made of quarks and quarks were bound together by other elementary particles called gluons. A fraction of second after the Big Bang, the gluon and quark particles become excited bringing a strong fusion creating the quark-gluon plasma. This just however a theory which needed to be proven, the ALICE experiments using the LHC will have to recreate the time when the Big Bang exploded to analyze the properties of the quark-gluon plasma. Using LHC, the quark and the gluon will be collided. Eventually, this will generate a temperature a hundred times hotter than the inner core of the sun, the protons and the neutrons will now be liquefied and the quark-gluon plasma will probably emerged.
- ATLAS (A Toroidal LHC Apparatus) and CMS Compact Muon Solenoid. Another experiment that shall be conducted using LHC is the ATLAS Project. Both the ATLAS and the CMS are large general purpose particle detectors unlike the ALICE projects and the rests of the projects have specific roles. Both projects will investigate Higgs boson, extra dimensions and dark matter. The difference lies on technical solutions and designs. The Higgs boson is another perplexing particle that is yet to be proven if it is actually present or not. It is an elementary particle under the family of boson. Among all Standard Model of physics Higgs boson is the one being unpredicted. Standard Model of physics connotes the four fundamental interaction and all those elementary particles that corroborated in the interactions. Basically, scientists is on the pursuit of discovering the common denomination of interaction of all matter and energy which is although there was no clear or direct conclusion to rationalize this proposition somehow the behavior of these materials seem to denote that substantial similarities is beyond them. At least a principle must have to establish that there is an approximation even in the absence of absolute value. Such is the concept of Standard Model of physics. Under this, there are two general divisions that occur in every experimentally observed particles, the quantum electroweak and quantum chromodynamics. All interactions of matter and energy are consistent with this theory. The quantum field theory is the mathematical framework of the standard model. In the standard model, there seem to be a trivial elementary particle that exists under it, the Higgs boson. Boson particularly denotes one of the two basic divisions of elementary particles; it is the basic units of matter and energy. Speaking of elementary particles, they are particles that possess indivisibility. Bosons carry energy in between particles of matter, affecting matters behavior and constituting larger structures. There are many types of bosons one of which is yet to be discovered the Higgs boson. In the standard model of physics it does not explain how or why some of the particles have mass and others have none furthermore it does not explain how these particles acquired mass. Perhaps the existence of the Higgs boson can answer these questions. The ALICE study focuses on the discovery of quark-gluon plasma which shall be acquired by melting the two fusion particles. In relation to this, the ATLAS project along with CMS project will have to dig deeper on the origin of quarks and the gluons which in turn shall direct you to ascertaining the existence of Higgs boson. Noting, gluon is one of those elementary boson that acts as mediators. Mediators denote the four fundamental forces between nature and particles. These include electromagnetic force, the strong force, the weak force and the gravitational force. The electromagnetic force controls the interaction between the particles and the electric charge. The boson that carries the electromagnetic force is the photon; the force that holds the particles together is the quark. Gluons are bosons that carry the strong force. The gravitational force’s boson is the graviton. The abovementioned boson particles are all mediating bosons. The Higgs boson is entirely different; it was manifested in the theoretical Higgs field brought by the discovery of Peter W. Higgs. It entails that under the Higgs field which is almost non-zero vacuum or otherwise perfect vacuum gauge bosons acquire mass without breaking the symmetry laws of modern physics and apparently electroweak particles were destroyed. One of the highlight of Higgs mechanism is the existence of Higgs particle which would be a boson having no intrinsic spin or electric charge. This particle would be the constituent why gauge bosons acquire mass and other massless particles. If it is proven then this particles is an integral and pervasive component of the world.
- LHCb (Large Hadron Collider beauty). Another notable research that shall be conducted using LHC is the Large Hadron Collider beauty. In this undertaking, the study will determine the equal amounts of matter and anti-matter that was created during the early life of Big Bang. Similar to matter, the antimatter is a composite of the Big Bang theory. Antimatter is likened as the opposite of matter having an opposite electric charge. During the birth of the Big Bang, it is believed that there is the same content of matter and antimatter that was produced the problem is when the matter and antimatter collided, they annihilate each other transforming into an energy. The physicist Paul Dirac is the proponent of antimatter, he predicted the existence of antiparticles which when combine in will form antimatter. The color variation is one indicator when a positively charge particles reacts with the negatively charge particles. Such as fermions have antiparticles. Positron is the antiparticle of electron, proton’s antiparticle is antiproton. Antiproton consists of antiquarks, one down one up. The annihilation of two contrasting particles were already a practice of many physicists using a machine called particle accelerator. Particle accelerators increase the speed of elementary particles making two particles collide. Also, the LHCb will study the third generation of quark, the op and bottom quark resembling the truth and beauty quark. This may be possibly the component of antiquark which will unveil the antimatter theory.
- LHCf (Large Hadron Collider forward). This experiment will simulate cosmic rays using particles created in the LHC. Cosmic rays are naturally charged particles from outer space that when it reaches our atmosphere it can create various particles. The study will also determine the origin of cosmic rays which is still another perplexing question for many physicists.
- TOTEM (Total Elastic and diffractive cross section Measurement). This experiment will conduct various experiments that are not for general purpose. One of which is measuring the size of a proton. Part also of the experiment is to observed how the LHC work and its luminosity.
The LHC projects started during the 1996 and had an initial funding of 2600 million Swiss francs for the completion of the accelerator and the experimental areas. However in the year 2001 when the machines and experimental areas were again ascertain, it rose to 3080 million Swiss francs. To add, the CERN share of detector costs was 210 million Swiss francs during the 1999 and rose again to 260 million Swiss francs by the year 2001. The total costs of the project were 3340 millions Swiss francs. (LHC Cost Review to Completion. CERN. 16 October 2001. http://user.web.cern.ch/User/LHCCost/2001-10-16/LHCCostReview.html.)
Manpower. In the year 2003 there has been a dearth of manpower in the LHC. The table below shows the needed manpower versus the actual manpower.
|(Units= # FTE)||Needed||Actual||Needed||Actual||Needed||Actual||Needed||Actual|
|2. Core software and infrastructure||27||15.4||20.8||13.5||16.1||9.8||17.9||19.1|
|3. Grid integration, DC production||26.3||18.3||20.5||15.9||6.6||4.9||10.2||10.5|
|4. LCG contributions||4.8||4.8||6.9||6.9||2.6||2.6||4.9||4.9|
|5. Sub-detector Software||70.8||49.3||70.0||47.0||32.4||26.2||48.3||39.7|
In the first few years of the LHC operations, there are some incidents that cause the immediate stoppage of experiments. Probably the most significant is the when the cryogenic magnet broke during a pressure test. Nonetheless, no one was injured; there was no technical fault that was yield in the incident. According to the physicists, the incident was due to negligence of the individuals’ in charge. No technical flaws yet were surmised. On September 23, 2008 in Geneva a large helium leak into the 3-4 section of the LHC which accordingly come from faulty electrical connection between two of the accelerator’s magnet. With the incident, the LHC operation is scheduled for 2009. The company is taking precautions on the elements that might injure their employees.
- European Organization for Nuclear Research. 2008. “The LHC”. Web.
- Wagner, Doris Jeanne. 2006. “Elementary Particles”. Microsoft Encarta. Microsoft Corporation
- Nicolae Sfetcu. 2008. “Incidents at LHC, re-start Scheduled for 2009”.
- CERN. 2003. “Large Hadron Collider Committee. Review of Computing Resources for the LHC experiments”.
- CERN.2001. “LHC Cost Review to Completion”. 2008. Web.