Smashing science start up
10 September 2008
Tiny particles called protons will zoom around the Large Hadron Collider's 27 km underground tunnel over 11,000 times a second!
Mark Pesaresi, proton smashing expert, Imperial College London.
The experiment could shed light on why particles have mass and explain how the universe began! Physicists hope to complete what's called the 'standard model', the theory they use to describe particles and how they interact.
This is ATLAS: protons will be smashed together in huge detectors like this one.
Some theories predict that gravity becomes much stronger when particles collide at such high energies. It's been suggested these collisions could create tiny black holes capable of gobbling up the Earth.
By looking at particle collisions scientists hope to answer some of the remaining questions in particle physics.
'The energy released in any collisions will be about the same as two colliding mosquitoes. Any black holes would be very small and break apart extremely quickly.
Lily Asquith, particle investigator, University College London.