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September 13, 2008

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Q: A Miniature Big Bang or More Hot Air?

A: Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) have hit the switch to activate the nearly $9 billion Large Hadron Collider. But what will it produce—a mini big bang or more hot air?

Flowing champagne marked the startup this week of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a nearly 17-mile-long (27 km) tube located 300 feet (91 m) beneath the Swiss–French border. The new LHC is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, designed to (essentially) hurl two beams of magnet-accelerated particles at each other inside a vacuum, with the inevitable, hoped-for result being some incredible collisions.

CERN researchers separately test fired two proton beams through the LHC, and they plan to begin the actual high-energy collisions in about a month. When they do, more than 9,000 magnets will accelerate the two proton beams to 99.99978% the speed of light, each transiting the LHC racetrack some 11,000 times per second. At full speed, each proton beam will have an energy equivalent to a car being driven at over 1,000 miles per hour (1700 kph).

The beams will then intersect at predetermined places for “experiments,” with particles colliding up to 600 million times a second—all near detectors that will allow scientists to monitor the collisions for “interesting events,” as the BBC puts it. This is despite the fact that the individual particles are so small that the “task of making them collide is akin to firing needles from two positions 10 km [6 mi] apart with such precision that they meet halfway,” CERN’s website explains.

But what are the aspirations for the expensive project, which is already two years late in starting up?


Read the rest of our examination of the Large Hadron Collider and the research to be conducted there at A Miniature Big Bang or More Hot Air?

News to Note Quick Look

A 21st Century Dr. Frankenstein?: They may not resemble Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, but will the creations of molecular biologist Jack Szostak escape the lab and run wild—or just in the minds of evolutionists? Read more.


Playing the deity behind theistic evolution: It’s a video game that gives you your very own universe and lets you “play god”—so what’s the story of this latest venue for evolution? Read more.


Also: The end of the world as we know it, fossil forests from the time of Noah, erosion by water, imitating the gecko, introverts of the animal kingdom, and nuclear codes for Bible believers. Read more.

Prayer Requests

Answers ... with Ken Ham radio program

After Eden

After Eden

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September Specials
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