Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Large Hadron Collider

Brian Cox is an experimental physicist working with the team at CERN to build the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland. Brian is known as the "Rock Star" physicist primarily for his work with the band D:Ream, a Northern Ireland pop rock/synthpop/dance band of the 1990's, in which he played keyboards. D:Ream had three top-ten singles on the UK charts including the #1 "Things Can Only Get Better", which was later used by the UK Labour Party as their theme music for the 1997 UK General Election.

When it is completed in the summer of 2008, the Large Hadron Collider will be the world's largest high-energy particle accelerator, with a circumference of 17 miles. It is hoped that the device will produce the theoretical Higgs boson, the only particle described in the Standard Model that has not yet been observed.

Several groups have voiced concerns that the LHC could somehow usher in a doomsday scenario through the creation of micro black holes or strangelets. CERN has concluded that "there is no basis for any conceivable threat" primarily due to the fact that these types of collisions have been occurring in nature for billions of years.

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