The large hadron particle accelerator at CERN fired up today for the first time.  Only running at “idle” it will likely give us insights into the world of subatomic particles that we haven’t yet considered even exist once they put the “foot to the floor.”  The huge device has a circumference of 27 kilometers (almost 17 miles) and when you study the image above you can barely see a hint of curvature.

If, like me, you learned in school that the atom’s nucleus consists of protons and neutrons and electrons might very well be outside the nucleus but associated with it – and that is still the model in your brain – wow – do I have news for you.

CERN is from the original name Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire even though it is now called the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

If you are interested in learning about the world of particle physics today and the very large number of subatomic particles that have been identified, how they interact, and the forces involved, I highly recommend the book, The Dancing Wu Li Masters, “An Overview of the New Physics,” by Gary Zukav.  It is extremely well done and is written for people of all walks of life – not for scientists specifically.


1 comment so far

  1. Rob Higgin on

    Here’s hoping the LHC gives us a little tear in the brane. Even Hubble may only be giving us multiple mirror images of our own small cluster of galaxies due to dark matter distortion. Perception is everything and if all we see is the physics we know because all we see is ourselves then tearing the brane might just be the only way to open new ways to interact with matter/energy.

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