September 9, 2008 @ 5:54 am
This is in continuation of my previous post on LHC (Large Hadron Collider).
For many reasons this is an amazing moment in the history of science (many which have probably been repeated on this blog before).
There are roughly 75 countries with at least one institution (university or lab) which has contributed to the construction of this machine. The list includes strange bedfellows: India and Pakistan, Israel and Iran and the United States, Greece and Turkey, Russia and Georgia, all of western Europe, most of eastern Europe, some of northern Africa and south America, Japan, China, S. Korea, etc. This unlikely team has constructed the biggest single machine in the history of the planet after over 20 years since the first plans were laid. At 10,000 scientists, this project represents the modern day pyramids.
This is the kinda stuff that makes this one of the biggest scientific experiments ever conducted by mankind! To give you a scale of the things involved, the LRC Homepage has listed out a series of facts about the experiment:
- The vacuum in the LHC is comparable to outer space, if it were a car tyre with a leak, there are so few gas molecules that it would take 10 000 years to go flat.
- When protons arrive in the LHC they are travelling at 0.999997828 times the speed of light. Each proton goes around the 27km ring over 11 000 times a second.
- The Large Hadron Collider at CERN could be the most ambitious scientific undertaking ever. The results of LHC experiments will probably change our fundamental knowledge of the universe.
- A nominal proton beam in the LHC will have an energy equivalent to a person in a Subaru driving at 1700 kph.
Check out all the other facts here.