Saturday, March 31, 2007

147)Finding the most fundamental particles that make up the universe is a pricey business.

Particle accelerators

Onwards and upwards

Mar 8th 2007
From The Economist print edition

Plans to build ever-grander particle-smashers collide with reality

NOT content with spending around $10 billion on a shiny new collider at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory in Geneva, physicists are now campaigning for its successor. The International Linear Collider (ILC), as the machine is dubbed, would cost a mere $8.2 billion, according to its backers. Ray Orbach, the head of America's Office of Science, gave a warning last month that, although he supports the project, it is too expensive to build rapidly. The first data to come from such a collider would probably not emerge until the mid- to late-2020s.

The machine would have two parts, each 12km (7.5 miles) long. One would accelerate electrons; the other positrons, their antimatter counterparts. The beams would collide at the centre of the device with far more energy than can be imparted by any other machine.

Two nearby detectors would record evidence of particles created by the impact. These could include Higgs bosons galore
(see article), or
and so-called supersymmetric partner particles that are too massive even for the new collider at CERN. Physicists would love to develop a way of unifying the forces of nature (electromagnetism, gravity and so on) to produce a Theory of Everything. A machine with the power of the ILC might provide clues about how to do this. It could also cast light on the mystery of dark matter, a substance that pervades the universe in vastly larger quantities than familiar, visible matter, but whose existence can be inferred only by watching its gravitational effect on visible matter.

Exactly where such a machine would be built is a moot point—though it would certainly go in an underground tunnel, in order to reduce the effect of vibrations. For diplomatic reasons, three designs have been drafted. One is tailored to geological conditions at Fermilab, near Chicago. The second is suitable for construction at CERN. A third would be appropriate for a mountainous area of granite in Japan. The winner will probably be whoever has the biggest chequebook.


Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation:Aga Khan 4.
The God of the Quran is the One whose Ayats(Signs) are the Universe in which we live, move and have our being:Aga Khan 3