The much touted Hadron Collider in Switzerland is making remarkable strides, producing remarkable results. The Hadron Collider, run by the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or “CERN”, is the largest accelerator/collider ever developed. It collides atomic particles at near-light speeds for nuclear research. Scientists at the Hadron are now smashing lead ions instead of protons, as previously used; the electrons are stripped away, and only the nuclei are accelerated. By a series of magnets, the ions are accelerated to speeds approaching the speed of light – particles moving at a speed which would take them around the planet Earth at the rate of six times per second. The ions are sent speeding in opposite directions, then smashed together. I have in earlier writing expressed concern that, with Einstein’s theories of atom-splitting in consideration, there could be an earth-splitting explosion. There has been no such explosion yet.
The scientists collided some such particles in the 27 kilometer circular apparatus on November 7. They are very satisfied with the results. Fireballs (their term) were produced having temperatures in excess of ten trillion degrees. Reports say such temperatures are a million times hotter than the center of the Sun. Since the particles are so incredibly small, there is, so the scientists say, no danger to anyone. These speeds and temperatures are needed to study theoretical concepts such as the “god particle” (as the media calls it).
The “god particle” or Higgs Boson may be the major part of all matter – depending on how we look at it. Scientists claim that 98% of a given atom is Higgs Boson. In actual practice, the Higgs, as it pertains to us, is not a particle, but a force, like magnetism or gravity, that holds the atom together. Current theories state that the god particle may indeed have attributes of both matter and energy. The key to the understanding of this enigma lies in an awareness of “supersymmetry”.
The main thrust of the Hadron is the study of the theory that at speeds faster than light, speeds that are only seen in the center of stars, including our sun, or speculated upon at light-plus speeds resulting trillions of years ago at the Big Bang, energy changes to matter. Were it not for that occurrence, the universe would indeed be all energy, no matter, and there would be no living creatures to question and study these things. In the suns center, these speeds, this matter production – it is a pulsing thing, going from matter to energy, matter to energy, repeating — takes place in incomprehensibly small spaces, inside what will or might become atoms. This pulsing is complex, may involve matter and anti-matter, and has evoked the new term, “supersymmetry”.
So is the “God Particle” matter or energy? Does in comprise 98% of each atom? We must await the proclamations of the physics theorists to answer those questions.
Also produced and being studied in the new and ongoing collisions is a plasma of subatomic particles, mesons, mainly quarks and gluons, like the ones believed to have been the out-product of the Big Bang explosion, nearly 14 billion years ago. In the Swiss study, the thick plasma of these particles may have been more than was expected. Scientists hope to learn about the origin of the universe through the study of this plasma.
In closing I, layman that I am, need to say this: to compare the clash of neutrons in the Hadron to the Big Bang at the start of time seems an exaggeration; there was never a claim that the Big Bang derived from a crashing of any sort. There doesn’t appear to be sufficient similarity between the Hadron experiments and the Big Bang to warrant the comparison.