More than 12,000 scientists from 110 nationalities work at CERN whose discoveries shape the future of technology and advance our understanding of the universe. Founded in 1954, the facilities at CERN include one of the largest and most advanced particle accelerators in the world.
The 2012 detection of Higgs Boson was groundbreaking for two reasons. Firstly, the elusive particle was postulated in 1964, almost five decades prior to discovery. Its search required big budget and collaboration of many countries.
Secondly, because the Higgs Boson explains as to how fundamental particles such as electrons and quarks have mass. Due to its pervasive nature, Higgs particle was termed the God Particle by several scientists. However, Peter Higgs himself didn’t endorse the name.
World Wide Web
Particle physics aside, CERN is the birthplace of one of the world’s best-known inventions: the World Wide Web (WWW). Invented by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in 1989, the Web was originally designed as a way for scientists at institutions around the world to share information.
The first website described the World Wide Web project, as well as how to use it to access documents or set up a computer server. Berners-Lee hosted the Web on his NeXT computer, which is still located at CERN.
The WWW software was put into the public domain in April 1993, and was made freely available so anyone could run a Web server or use a basic browser. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Antimatter consists of particles that have the same mass as a particle of matter but an opposite electrical charge (as well as other properties). When matter and antimatter combine, they annihilate each other, releasing enormous amounts of energy and producing high-energy particles such as gamma-rays.
In 1995, CERN scientists succeeded in creating a form of antimatter called antihydrogen, a negatively charged version of hydrogen, in the PS210 experiment at the Low Energy Antiproton Ring. However, the antimatter collided with matter and was annihilated before scientists could study it.
In 2010, CERN’s Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus (ALPHA) team created and corralled antihydrogen for about a sixth of a second, and in 2011, they maintained the antimatter for more than 15 minutes.
Weak Neutral Current
Weak neutral current, a prediction of electroweak theory, is how subatomic particles interact with one another using the weak force. Here, the word current only implies the exchange of Z particle and has nothing to do with electrical current.
In 1973, weak neutral currents were detected by CERN in a neutrino experiment and confirmed the electroweak unification theory by Salam, Glashow and Weinberg who were recognized by the Nobel Prize in 1979.
New State of Matter
In the 1970s and early 1980s, cosmologists theorized the conditions immediately after the Big Bang. They predicted the existence of a new state of matter, a quark-gluon plasma in which quarks, instead of being bound up into protons and neutrons, are liberated to roam freely.
One of the objectives at CERN is to mimic those early universe conditions. In doing so, detection of quark gluon plasma was confirmed in 2000. The then director general of CERN called it an important step forward in the understanding of the early evolution of the universe.
You will be surprised to know that of all the people working at CERN, only 3% are physicists. They employ technicians, engineers, IT specialists, writers, etc. who not only aid the advancement of physics but also help change the world by innovating medical, computing and aerospace technologies.
- Miraculous Rescue: UK Forest Rangers Save Six Baby Elephants from Mudslide Disaster
- Quantum Experiment Sees Two Versions Of Reality Existing At The Same Time
- Glowing sphere in Japanese skies sparks alien debate
- Researchers create first quasiparticle Bose-Einstein condensate
- Skywatcher recorded a Mothership flying past the Moon with two smaller UFOs (video)