Cern: Peering into the Unknown

Written by Super User on . Posted in Mad Scientists & Weird Science

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has restarted again this April 2015 in the search for Dark Energy and possible extra dimensions in our Universe. The machine is the largest ever built in the history of mankind. The collider runs the computer operating system Linux, and is also supported by a distrubuted computing network that stretches over the entire world for the purpose of crunching the enormous data that are produced with each particle collision. Within the last few weeks, the collider has been run at 13 Tera Electron Volts, the highest power yet attained. Plans are to push this even higher in the fall of 2015.

Approximately 600 million times per second, particles collide within the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Each collision generates particles that often decay in complex ways into even more particles. Electronic circuits record the passage of each particle through a detector as a series of electronic signals, and send the data to the CERN Data Centre (DC) for digital reconstruction. The digitized summary is recorded as a "collision event". Physicists must sift through the 30 petabytes or so of data produced annually to determine if the collisions have thrown up any interesting physics. It is believed this has been upgraded to over 100 petabytes at the time of this writing.

First Cern Image at 13TEV

First Cern Image at 13TEV

CERN does not have the computing or financial resources to crunch all of the data on site, so in 2002 it turned to grid computing to share the burden with computer centres around the world. The Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) – a distributed computing infrastructure arranged in tiers – gives a community of over 8000 physicists near real-time access to LHC data. The Grid builds on the technology of the World Wide Web, which was invented at CERN in 1989.

Will Cern Create Black Holes this time, or find the key to the Universe? The GOD particle... So many questions and so few answer's. Galaxies in our universe seem to be achieving an impossible feat. They are rotating with such speed that the gravity generated by their observable matter could not possibly hold them together; they should have torn themselves apart long ago.

The same is true of galaxies in clusters, which leads scientists to believe that something they cannot see is at work. They think something we have yet to detect directly is giving these galaxies extra mass, generating the extra gravity they need to stay intact. They call this mysterious stuff dark matter.

Unlike normal matter, dark matter does not interact with the electromagnetic force. This means it does not absorb, reflect or emit light, making it extremely hard to spot. In fact, scientists have been able to infer the existence of dark matter only from the gravitational effect it seems to have on visible matter.

Dark matter seems to outweigh visible matter roughly five to one, making up more than 80% of all the matter in the universe. Scientists think that dark matter particles were some of the few types of particles created in the big bang that are stable enough to still be around today.

Experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) may provide more direct clues about dark matter. Many theories say the dark matter particles would be light enough to be produced at the LHC. If they were created at the LHC, they would escape through the detectors unnoticed. However, they would carry away energy and momentum. Scientists could infer their existence from the amount of energy and momentum missing after a collision.

Dark matter candidates arise frequently in theories that suggest physics beyond the Standard Model, such as supersymmetry and extra dimensions. If one of these theories proved to be true, it could help scientists gain a better understanding of how our universe is composed and, in particular, how galaxies hold together.

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Cern's Data Center

 

Tags: God universe dark theory dimensions scientists mass Large Hadron Collider LHC theories extra galaxies matter electromagnetic particles