A Little Bit on Particle Accelerators

Many of my blog posts have focused on the Higgs boson itself but the instrument has equal importance in the story. The type of machine that was necessary for the discovery of the Higgs was a particle accelerator. In essence the machine would crash beams of protons nearly at the speed of light. It might sound messy but it is quite the opposite. Instead of colliding two particles into smaller more refined pieces, the two particles actually formed a particle of a higher energy. This is shown in Einstein’s famous equation E equals M C squared which proves that the mass of a particle is directly proportional to its energy and considering they are trying to make a more massive particle, higher energy is needed. For example it is similar to colliding two Timex watches in order to make a Rolex out of them. The more massive a particle the more energy is needed in order to create it. When the Higgs boson was first theorize by Peter Higgs there was no machine capable of reaching the energy levels necessary to create it. It took almost fifty years to build the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) the machine that was ultimately responsible for its discovery. When looking at the story of particle physics as a whole it is quite astonishing. The man power that was necessary to get to the point where we are today and without a doubt the manpower needed will continue and the story of human trials and tribulations will continue as well.

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