After Hours

Gallery: LHC's biggest collision yet

Scientists celebrate after successfully smashing protons operating at 3.5 trillion electron volts (TeV) into each other creating an energy level of 7 TeVs in the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. It was the highest energy level reached yet reached by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. For more, read Larry Dignan's Smartplanet blog.

The purpose of the project is to to probe the nature of dark matter, antimatter, an elusive particle called the Higgs boson, and how they fit into the history of the universe.

The ultimate goal of the experiment is to crash protons with an energy level of 7 TeV each creating an energy level of 14 TeV.

Credit: Heinz Pernegger; Doris Burckhart

20 comments
Len501
Len501

You cannot forecast what benefits will be obtained from pure research but it must take place otherwise we just survive. Pure research gave you the drugs that keep you alive; all the comforts of the age in which we live; the areoplanes that enable you to travel to the far flung corners of the Earth and next maybe if we can understand our universe better we may travel to its outreaches. I salute the Europeans for their bravery in having to explain themselves to the narrowminded armchair critics who know not of which they speak. Len

bar3
bar3

bar_3alwaysatthetop@yahoo.com

mafergus
mafergus

I just think it's funny that when they interviewed on of the lead scientists on BBC, that when he was asked if this was a good allocation of funds, he responded with the "spending more money on candle research wouldn't have gotten us to the light bulb faster", yet this is just a bigger version of what already existed!

jwilkinson
jwilkinson

This is the kind of stuff dreams are made of. The future is closing in on us faster every day due in part to these types of projects. Congratulations CERN!

fnoy
fnoy

To answer the PURPOSE writers............. There is no limit to knowledge or its application. From CERN we have acquired the technology for MRI scans, CAT scans, PET scans - all used beneficially in medicine. There are also great advances in the science of nuclear (PLEASE, PLEASE, this is nothing to do with bombs) timing, measurement, data acquisition and storage, data searches. Don't think that there are anything like these anywhere else in the world. From this we have the start and development of the World Wide Web and internet. A tremendous amount has been learned about super cooling. Also a lot has been learned about huge scientific endeavours with team work and international cooperation - somethings that Americans could do well to learn from. Yes, it is expensive. Yes it has headed, at times, into places and areas unknown. There are benefits. It is just that we have become used to the benefits quietly seeping into our lives and no longer notice them. To see parts of this colossal experiment is truly awesome. What people have and can achieve is inspiring.

Falconeer
Falconeer

Irresistible force(s) and immovable object(s) are no problem in this instance. A flurry of meaningless photos when coupled with nonsensical/no captions. "A lot of monitors to watch?" - "Tracking the process?" Give me a break please! And they say a picture is worth a thousand words!!

msweitzer
msweitzer

They will have spent billions and billions only to find that G-D exists and that consciousness is gravity. What a waste of time, energy and money. How does this stuff get funded? How does this make life better on the planet?

neilb
neilb

We paid for it. So, the gravity of the Earth has been increasing over the last century and Bangladesh is visibly curved? G-D? TW-T.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Hmmmm... Why don't unconscious people get flung off by the centrifugal force of rotation. Or is your planet flat? Gets funded by tax payers, european tax payers...

TDlove
TDlove

This science will become the antidote to whatever has encapsulated your opinion. Whether you consume it is entirely personal.

Falconeer
Falconeer

Shall it reveal the truth? Very astute statement... may we quote you on this? Which is the sum total of parts? Does it truly reside in infinity?

Vedolin
Vedolin

It's impossible to tell in advance what would be the immediate use fro this knowledge. But a few decades ago there were this guys (some in Europe, some in the US) researching useless things like electrons, radioactivity, quantum particles and relativity. Part of that work is now used to treat cancer and save people lives. Part is used to build nuclear weapons and terminate people lives. Who knows?

jck
jck

Uh...to expand human knowledge? Besides, we waste a lot of money on not building alternative energy cars and continuing to producing ones that run on a fuel whose supply will eventually be exhausted. What makes sense about that? Besides, the Europeans wanna play with dark matter...let them.

suthross
suthross

It is still only therory that any black hole created will instantly vaporise into checkov radiation. but what if many collese into one stable enough to drop through the detector and sink eating away matter in our plannets gravity well?

bobbyroebling
bobbyroebling

Well at least if a blackhole does occur, it will vaporize about 100 of the worlds dumbest people in a few nanoseconds, I'll wait my turn patiently on the otherside of the globe.

jkameleon
jkameleon

Earth is constantly bombarded by cosmic rays, which can have far greater energies than LHC. Had any stable black holes been produced during this, Earh would be consumed a long time ago.

jck
jck

So far as they know... There isn't enough mass in any planet in our solar system to cause a stable black hole, let alone the typical conditions required Black holes require a mass great enough for matter to "fold in upon" itself during the collapse of the body in question. Not to mention, it generally requires great heat and pressure that is involved in the fission/fusion cycle that has run out of fuel and begun the core decay within the center of a stellar object. I don't think it's a worry. Go ahead and get your Starbucks :)