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The LHC (Large Hadron Collider)

lhc-large hadron collider

The LHC (large hadron collider) is currently the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider or accelerator. The facility was built by the European Organization of Nuclear Research to facilitate physicists put into test the various theories of particle or high energy physics. The LHC consists of superconducting magnet ring covering up to 27 kilometers with various structures to further accelerate the particles and boost the particles energy on the way. The facility cost a staggering 9 billion U.S dollars in total to completely set up.

The facility couples several scientific principles which facilitate its work. The LHC uses magnets to steer proton beams as they travel up to 99.99% the speed of light. The protons travel inside ultra-high vacuum pipes which prevent the protons from coming into contact with other particle other then themselves. The experiments done are monitored by about 150 million sensors that collect data and send it to computing systems to analyze. The sensors collect data at about 700 MB/sec meaning per year they collect about 15 petabytes of data.

LHC employs a pretty simple principle where two beams of particles are accelerated in two different directions, one clockwise and the other anticlockwise. While the beams are on their paths they are accelerated to speeds almost equal to that of light and let to collide. The findings of the experiments are what the facility was built for. Although the facility is well built it still lacks all what it needs to complete its intended purpose and scientists are working on those issues.

There have been concerns raised by a section of the scientific community about the LHC project and possible problems it will cause. The scientists have raised issues such as the formation of microscopic black holes and cosmic rays which can endanger human life. One particle example is that the formation of black holes would lead to the ultimate doom of the planet. The LHC community has denied the accusation saying the sentiments are not real and the project is completely safe.

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