The Impacts of Large Hadron Collider to the Field of Physics
Particle physics deals with the study of the smallest, most intricate objects of nature. Examples of these particles include the atom (10-10 m), nucleus (10-14 m), and quarks (less than 10-19 m) (Ekeren, 2013). These fundamental particles trace back to the moments after the Big Bang. As a way to explore how our universe evolved to what is in existence now, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, abbreviated as CERN, built the world’s most powerful particle accelerator during 1998 and 2008 – the Large Hadron Collider, or, the LHC. (STFC, n.d.). The LHC is the last element of the chain of accelerator complex ...view middle of the document...
II. The Large Hadron Collider
By its name, the Large Hadron Collider is a colossal collider of hadrons. A hadron, which comes from the Greek word ‘adros,’ denoting ‘bulky’, is a particle made up of quarks and is considered the family to which protons and neutrons belong. Fundamentally, it is a collider because it accelerates hadrons which form two beams as they travel from opposite directions to collide at up to four points comprising of the intersection of the two ring components of the instrument (CERN, 2009)
The LHC, weighing in at 38,000 tons and running inside a circular tunnel with a circumference of approximately 27 km (17 mi), is located 175 meters below the Franco-Swiss border at Geneva, Switzerland – the base of CERN’s (STFC, n.d.; CERN, 2009). It was built in collaboration with tens of thousands of participating scientist and engineers from over a hundred countries, universities, and laboratories.
The large size of the LHC is associated to with the maximum energy output that can be obtained. The collider is a function of the machine’s radius and the strength of the dipole magnetic fields which maintain the circular orbit of the particles. The LHC makes use of radio-frequency cavities and the most powerful dipoles in existence in order to accomplish its functions. The essential elements of the machine such as tunnel size, cavities, magnets, and other factors affecting the LHC, are some of the features that must be controlled in order operational design energy, or 7 TeV per beam of a proton. A collider in itself (such as the LHC) is advantageous over other accelerators as counter-circulating beams collide in action. When two beams collide, the sum of the energy of these beams represents the total energy of collision. Given the force of impact, the energy output in a collider is much greater than any other type of accelerator. (CERN, 2009; Evans, 2007; US/LHC, 2012).
One of the limitations of the LHC is that it can only accelerate certain types of particles. In addition, the particles must be charged since electromagnetic devices (that the LHC relies on for rotation) can only have an effect on charged particles. These factors limit the feasible particles that can be...