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The God Particle Inside The LHC

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The most sought-after question throughout the human history is about the creation of the universe. How did everything around us come into being and where did humans originate from? The question became a challenge to the human imagination and fact-finding intelligentsia, that the answer was not quite easily findable. There have been scientists and philosophers who had put their efforts and thoughts to come out with a definitive answer but couldn’t conclude a result in their lifetimes. Their efforts have well taken the search for the source code way forward than where it all began.

One way of understanding the origin is by knowing what is currently the state of the universe or is its nature. The Large Hadron Collider is one of the means to understand the answer about the nature of the universe so that we can go back in time to know what would have happened roughly 13.6 billion years ago, when the universe came into existence.

Aerial view of LHC, CERN  in Geneva

Aerial view of LHC, CERN in Geneva [Pic: CERN]

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But it’s not all that simple. To understand what we cannot see, we had to build the largest of all machines in the world deep inside a tunnel 27 kilometres in circumference, situated in Geneva and had to spend around $14 billion by the estimates back in 2012. Accelerating protons at the speed of light requires that much amount of money. After all, what is to be found in the collider experiments?

A major breakthrough came during the March of 2013, that something very similar to what is known to be Higgs Boson or The God Particle has been found.

Do not think of the God particle as something that was present before the creation of the universe and then left its creation to its fate. It still exists between every one of us, very much inherently and deeply. That is what is to be found by the LHC experiments.

In fact, Leon Lederman, the physicist who gave the name God particle to Higgs Boson in one of his famous books because of its complex nature and elusiveness, wanted to call it the Goddamn particle. But the publisher denied doing so and hence the name God particle.

Tom Hanks starrer Angels & Demons' plot included anti-matter and was shot at LHC, CERN

Tom Hanks starrer Angels & Demons’ plot included anti-matter and was shot at LHC, CERN [Pic: Atlas.ch]

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According to the Standard Model, there are twelve matter particles found in this universe and they are acted upon by four different kinds of forces: gravity, electromagnetic, short and weak. It is easy to understand matter but not the forces. Matters are particles, even though they are microscopic or ultramicroscopic. The general notion is that forces are something that doesn’t exist but only acts upon something; but in fact they are matter as well. In other words each of these four forces needs a physical carrier so that they can act upon matter. These carrier particles are known as bosons.

Thus, Higgs Boson is the particle which is believed to help these forces to transfer and give mass to all particle matters in the universe. It is because of this carrier particle matter, every one of us do have a mass and exist. Thus the God particle is very much central to our existence but is too mystical to our understanding.

Eight magnets used in ATLAS

Eight magnets used in ATLAS [Pic: CERN]

It is not just the invention of Higgs Boson, but also many other sub-atomic particles, dark energy and matter is also a part of the LHC experiments. Protons broken from the hydrogen atom are accelerated at an energy level of 6.5 TeV per beam and two such proton beams are accelerated in the opposite direction in the main collider ring, guided in a circular path by magnetic fields. There are different experiments with different instruments analysing these collisions and detecting the particles that are emitted during the collision. One such experiment is ATLAS. The latest updates from the ATLAS can be checked here.

The LHC was stopped during 2013 for some upgrades and has been started after two years during April 2015 colliding particles at a greater energy level (6.5 TeV) than ever before. It was only 4 TeV back in 2012.

Thus, again we are on the run to invent the already known, the elusive invisible member of the matter family, existing everywhere, making lives possible and meaningful. It is everywhere, yet unseen and the most abstruse.

Related Video: What is Higgs Boson or The God Particle

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