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Switzerlands super Collider: The Large Hadron Collider


evan

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The Large Hadron Collider is the worlds largest and highest energy particle accelerator, and located in Switzerland as told to us from the Valentines day special of the Big Bang Theory. In the episode Leonard wins a trip to Switzerland over Valentines day to visit the Collider, and than must deal with the drama that unfolds as Sheldon tries to take Penny's spot on the trip. After watching the episode my own interests over the Collider were peaked and so I went online to research it.

The LHC lies in a tunnel beneath the France-Swiss border near Geneva Switzerland. It is a machine made to and expected to address some of the most fundamental questions of physics helping us further understand the laws of nature. The machine is designed to collide opposing particle beams of protons or lead nuclei at certain energy levels. Built by the European Organization for the Nuclear Research the machine was made to test various predictions of high energy physics including the testing for the existence of the Higgs Boson (hypothetical massive elementary particle, only standard model particle that has not been yet observed, would explain the difference between the massless proton which mediates electromagnetism and the massive W and Z bosons which mediate the weak force) and other particles predicted by super-symmetry (a symmetry that relates elementary particles of one spin to other particles that differ by half a unit of spin). Over 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries and hundreds of universities came together to collaborate and build this device. The device is currently up and running but only at half power, the device will be active for a certain time at half power for many years and is not expected to be at full power until 2014.

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