My brother, a chemical engineer at Purdue, and I were talking the other day and came upon the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). I had vaguely discussed CERN last year in Physics class, but didn’t know much about the organization. I googled CERN and came up with some basics. CERN’s business is to find out the basics of all matter and the basics of the universe. CERN uses particle accelerators and detectors to collide particles to learn about the Laws of Nature. Their latest work is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a particle accelerator, which is 100 m underground and extends to the borders of Switzerland and France. Not only is the LHC the largest particle accelerator yet, but is probably the most controversial. Myths and mysteries surround the scientific marvel stating it has the potential to cause such things as black holes and might lead to the discovery of the “god particle.” Many online forums have even linked the LHC to Nostradamus.
I’m interested in CERN’s LHC both for it’s scientific prospects and the supposed world-ending myths behind it.