etReal loves the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the giant particle accelerator built between France and Switzerland, because it’s a massive feat of engineering and is helping us understand our physical world much better. (Read our last mention of LHC)
Here’s how. Scientists have had a theory that the universe was made up of a number of elementary particles (this kind of theory is called a model), and have used scientific inquiry and experimentation to confirm the existence of all of them… except for one:
The Higgs Boson is the elementary particle which gives mass
to everything. Without its existence, our universe
shouldn’t exist as it does. That’s why it’s sometimes called
the “God Particle.”
That’s where LHC comes in. One of the goals engineers and scientists had when making it was to confirm the existence of the Higgs Boson, the last unconfirmed particle in today’s model of physics.
Recently, the existence of the Higgs Boson was confirmed by CERN, the organization behind LHC.
So what does any of this mean for you? Well this is stuff you will have to learn for foundation knowledge, when you’re attending college. And while not every type of engineer will work with such small-scale physics, nuclear and atomic scientists do. And that means that, if you want to work with tiny particles for any reason—research, building ray guns, creating antigravity fields, designing a human teleporter, or learning whether any of these things are even possible—knowledge of the elementary particles will be essential for you.
Plus, it’s cool.
- Awesome breakdown of the different parts of the LHC.
- A very cool Q/A page on the LHC website.
- MinutePhysics, the YouTube channel which made the above video.
- Bonus: read about a guy who got hit in the face with a particle accelerator beam, and survived.