• Jody Glynn Patrick

Have we discovered a parallel universe?

There are rumors that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – the planet’s foremost atom smasher – is trying to make contact with a parallel universe. It’s nonsense, but the rumors started because scientists are indeed trying to prove the existence of other dimensions with this machine.

This incredible LHC, located in Swizerland, is designed to crash together subatomic particles (the building blocks of the universe). It collides atoms by flinging them at each other, at the speed of light, at four points in the machine. The LHC has 9,593 magnets and also accellerators. In a single second it will complete its 17-mile loop 11,245 times and collide 1 billion atoms.

At the point of impact, the temperature is 100,000 times hotter than the centre of the sun. To counter that, the electromagnets are cooled below the temperature found in outer space using liquid helium.

Why spend billions to do this? Thousands of years ago human beings made fire for the first time. Now, we are building machines that look into the very origins of reality itself with a machine that sits in a tunnel 100 metres (.06 mile) underground at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, on the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland.

There are seven experiments installed at the LHC: ALICE, ATLAS, CMS, LHCb, LHCf, TOTEM and MoEDAL. Scientists use detectors to analyze the various particles produced by collisions in the accelerator. These experiments are run by collaborations of scientists from institutes all over the world, who fund the operation of the machine.

Will we be able to understand other dimensions in operation on earth? The machine is hoped to answer that question within the 20 years it was built to operate.

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