CERN - Large Hadron Collider - Particle Physics - A Giant Takes On Physics' Biggest Questions5 - NYT

CERN - Large Hadron Collider - Particle Physics - A Giant Takes On Physics' Biggest Questions5 - NYT

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Advertise on NYTimes.com Search All NYTimes.com Science WORLD U.S. N.Y. / REGION BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY SCIENCE HEALTH SPORTS OPINION ARTS STYLE TRAVEL JOBS REAL ESTATE AUTOS ENVIRONMENT SPACE & COSMOS Multimedia Cameras for Capturing Primordial Fire The Large Hadron Collider Related A Bang, a Cloud, a Delay (May 15, 2007) Plucking at Strings (May 15, 2007) Times Topics: Cern RSS Feed Get Science News From The New York Times » A Giant Takes On Physics’ Biggest Questions Published: May 15, 2007 Correction Appended (Page 5 of 6) Some 300 feet beneath the warming grass, the magnets that are the guts of the collider, thick as tree trunks, long as boxcars, weighing in at 35 tons apiece, were strung together like an endless train stretching away into the dim lamplight and around a gentle curve. A technician on his way to a far sector of the collider ring bicycled past. “When you fold in the technology combined with the scale,” said Peter Limon, a Fermilab physicist on duty here, “I don’t think anything on Earth or in space that we know about beats it.” Running through the core of this train, surrounded by magnets and cold, were two vacuum pipes, one for protons going clockwise, the other counterclockwise. Traveling in tight bunches along the twin beams, the protons will cross each other at four points around the ring, 30 million times a second. During each of these violent crossings, physicists expect that about 20 protons, or the parts thereof — quarks or gluons — will actually collide and spit fire. It is in vast caverns at those intersection points that the knee-padded and hardhatted physicists are assembling their detector, or “sunken cathedrals” in the words of a Cern theorist, Alvaro de Rujula, to capture the holy fire.Two of the detectors are specialized. One, called Alice and led by Jurgen Schukraft of Cern, is designed to study a sort of primordial fluid, called a quark-gluon plasma, that is created when the collider smashes together lead nuclei. The other, LHCb, is led by Tatsuya Nakada of Cern and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. It is designed to hunt for subtle differences in matter and antimatter that could help explain how the universe, which was presumably born with equal amounts of both, came to be dominated by matter.
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CERN - Large Hadron Collider - Particle Physics - A Giant Takes On Physics' Biggest Questions5 - NYT

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