Studies conducted at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN Switzerland, were just amazing to us lay folk. …there are experiments on extra dimensions of space…amazingly, the matter that we can see is only a small part, a mere 4% of the composition of the universe…new discoveries add to the understanding of the secrets of the universe…
The amazing part, is the LHC, a ground breaking facility is a mere hour's drive from Chamonix.
Even more amazingly, ordinary folk like us are able to visit this experimental facility... and this is where they'll discover our beginnings.
We visited the LHC as a break in our skiing vacation and here's our non-scientific view of the amazing discoveries at this facility close to Geneva on the Swiss France border.
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What is it?
Experiments are conducted in the Large Hadron Collider. which is a gigantic machine – the largest and most powerful accelerator in the world. It’s 27km in circumference and is located at CERN Switzerland, in the area of the French-Swiss border, drilled under the patch work pretty farmlands and under the mountain ranges.
This machine accelerates two beams of particles in opposite directions at the speed of light. Smashing the beams together creates showers of new sub atomic particles. Thousands of magnets of different sizes direct these beams around the accelerator.
This is where the web was born
Discoveries here have already impacted our daily lives. The Web was developed to meet the demands of information sharing between scientists working in different locations all over the world. In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee, a scientist at here, invented the World Wide Web.
The objective was to merge the technologies of personal computers and networked computers into an easy to use global information system.
In 2008, critics claimed that high-energy experiments may create mini black holes that could expand to dangerous, Earth-eating proportions!
Tour of the LHC
Our tour was conducted by a retired physicist and other tours were led by PhD students. It was fantastically interesting to hear about the leading edge discoveries explained in easy to understand ( as opposed to technical scientific-speak) English.
The tours of the LHC are free and extremely popular. You’ll need to book well ahead of time by email to secure your place on a tour. We booked 6 weeks in advance. We visited during the low season and were amazed at the numbers of visitors and the numbers of tours conducted that day. This is the link to book the tour.
The tour of the Large Hadron Collider takes you into the ATLAS laboratory and to the LHC exhibition area. The displays in the domed exhibition building are excellent.
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