CERN fired up their Large Hadron Collider earlier today after weeks of panic on the part of many of those less-informed. It is, to put it bluntly, a huge-ass particle accelerator deep underground near Geneva, Switzerland. The Large Hadron Collider will zip protons around a tunnel at velocities nearing the speed of light, allowing those protons smash into each other and then recording the observations. It’s almost guaranteed that trillions of volts of electron volts will result from these collisions, and hopefully the emergence of the Higgs boson.
The LHC will be used in the hopes of finding the Higgs boson; a particle (or set of particles) responsible for giving mass other particles their mass. A successful find will help to strengthen the Standard Model of Particle Physics, String Theory and the widely-known Big Bang theory; the start of our universe and life as we know it.
It’s been mistakenly reported that the LHC has the potential to destroy our planet. CERN may be attempting to recreate the beginning of the universe, but it’s at a much smaller scale; Earth will be fine. For obvious (to those who know me) reasons, these doomsday warnings from the misinformed annoy me. I don’t want to get in a science vs religion rant right now, but I’m really cheering for science today.