Looks like Switzerland just can’t be beat when it comes to nifty inventions, and their success (first the Swiss army knife, now this?)
They not only hold the record for the world’s largest Hadron Collider after $150 million in upgrades that’s pretty damn impressive but now scientists can send protons smashing into one another at 13 tera-electonvolts (double the power of the machine before the upgrades) which if you’re putting it into perspective, produces enough energy to power all of New York City “(Just) by throwing two feathers together.” Now if that isn’t the coolest thing you’ve ever heard, I don’t know what is.
While this is a pretty monumental discovery, there are also challenges associated (as with everything) in regards to manipulating the LHC. The biggest, being the minute size of the beams. “When you accelerate the beams, they actually get quite a lot smaller – so the act of actually getting them to collide inside the detectors is really quite an important technical step,” explained University of Bristol professor David Newbold, talking about said challenges. That, however is music to the ears of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) as their scientists would be able to farm for rare particles form the debris created, when protons are smashed together at near light speed.
This is probably one of the coolest thing’s I’ve heard about all week, but it makes me think about some post-apocalyptic science fiction (Half-life) and what happens when we play god?
A bigger question is how did we figure out that smashing two things together at really high speeds can do things like this
I’m no scientist far from it but as a pretty happy-to-be alive citizen of Earth, I don’t like the idea of making big all-consuming holes in one of the best places on this marble in the name of science. After all, where would I get all my delicious cheeses, and handy tools from?