(ORDO NEWS) — The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – the “devil machine”, as this world’s largest particle accelerator is called, is back in operation. Physicists have significantly modernized it. Strengthened. And now they are planning new experiments – more powerful than the previous ones.
And this frightens not only naive inhabitants, but also venerable scientists. For example, Martin John Rees, a well-known British astrophysicist and cosmologist.
Even in the process of upgrading the LHC, he published a book called “On The Future: Prospects for Humanity” – a kind of warning describing the troubles that can fall on the Earth, and possibly the entire Universe, if you overdo it with experiments with increased power.
Of course, people who do not believe in horror stories will object: over the previous 10 years of very intensive work of the accelerator, nothing terrible has happened.
On the contrary, an unprecedented joyful event for physicists happened: they finally discovered the Higgs boson, the so-called God particle, which they could not find for a long time. What is there to be afraid of? Scientists are not going to arrange any explosions.
They will, as before, collide particles flying towards each other – protons, nuclei of heavy metals – break them into smithereens and observe what happens. Watch, among other things, suddenly what new particle will appear.
But Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, Baron of Ludlow, Life Peer, Knight of the Order of Merit, who at one time headed the Royal Society of London, found something to scare. True, he did not become a pioneer. Summarized existing fears,
1. Fall into a black hole
Microscopic black holes, according to physicists, may appear as a result of particle collisions. They predicted this back in the 1970s, referring to giant boosters – comparable in size to the LHC. In 2001, calculations appeared, from which it followed: collisions of high-energy particles can generate one hole per second.
In 2008, on the website of CERN – the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which is responsible for the work of the collider, it was, in fact, recognized that the phenomenon is possible.
Computer simulations, which were soon carried out by Canadian and American physicists, showed that microscopic black holes can appear as a result of gravitational effects arising from particle collisions. And the more intense the collision, the higher the probability of an event.
“Black holes will give rise to particles, emit them and dissolve,” the famous British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking reassured while he was alive.
The German chemist Otto Ressler, a professor at the University of Tübingen (Germany), argued with him – he argued that the formed microscopic black hole, on the contrary, would grow, capturing particles from the side. For example, electrons.
Gravity will pull it towards the center of the earth. From there, the hole will begin to devour our planet. Will destroy in about 2 years.
– A black hole can appear and suck everything around it (Maybe a black hole could form, and then suck in everything around it), Martin Rees echoes his colleagues in his book.
So far, in spite of numerous threats, it has been passing – either the black holes did not form at all, or they behaved as Hawking told them to.
2. Drown in a true vacuum
One of the theories that Martin Rees believed in is that the Higgs field, and therefore the vacuum in which it operates, giving mass to everything that exists, can be in different states. Just as a substance can be liquid, solid or gaseous.
The Higgs field now has a low, but not zero, energy level. It seems to spread over the plain, which physicists call “false vacuum”. It is where our universe is located. Due to this, in fact, it exists in a very convenient form for us.
Stephen Hawking once convinced Martin Rees that the current situation is not unshakable. The field can occupy both a higher energy level and a lower one. In both cases, this threatens to collapse, as the entire balance of power will change.
A transition to a lower energy level is more likely. Namely, falling into a certain “trough” with minimal energy – into that very “true vacuum”. And this is the complete end. Everyone.
The failure can be caused by some kind of quantum fluctuation in our “false vacuum” or by a strong energy impact created, for example, by dangerous experiments.
The result of them may be the appearance of an unstable Higgs boson. He will make a quantum tunnel through which the Universe will be sucked into the “true vacuum”. “False” will disintegrate.
In a loose translation, the physicist’s words sound something like this: “The Higgs boson has a trait that causes concern. It can become extremely unstable at energies of the order of 100 billion gigaelectronvolts (GeV)…
If this happens, then the collapse of the vacuum will begin in the Universe. And a bubble of “true vacuum” will appear, which will inflate at the speed of light. This can happen at any time.”
3. Ordinary matter will be reborn into strange
Experiments with high energies can provoke a chain reaction, as a result of which our ordinary matter will turn into so-called strange matter – incredibly dense, woven from exotic particles of strangelets (strangelet).
Strapels are mostly made up of strange quarks. Colliding with the nuclei of “normal” atoms, they turn them into similar ones. Like vampires. The process is accompanied by the release of energy and the appearance of a swarm of new strapels.
A chain reaction that began in the LHC with an accidental collision with some stray stray can lead to the fact that all the matter of the Earth becomes strange. Our planet will turn into a dense ball with a diameter of 100 meters.
And at this time
What physicists want to achieve by experimenting on a modernized collider:
1. Get dark matter. According to the theory, this substance in our Universe is as much as 85 percent. But practically it is still elusive. It is not known what dark matter consists of, where, how and why it hides.
Physicists are not sure that they will be able to see dark matter directly – they expect to register the particles into which it decays using a remotely located detector. By the way, the Higgs boson was discovered indirectly.
2. Study the Higgs boson and knock out other exotic particles from protons – for example, supersymmetric ones, which are heavier versions of ordinary particles. Theoretically, they should exist again.
3. Understand where the antimatter has gone. According to the current physical theories, our world should not exist. After all, as we are assured, it was formed as a result of the Big Bang, when something unimaginably tiny and incredibly dense suddenly “exploded”, expanded and turned into matter.
However, along with it, antimatter also had to be formed – exactly the same amount as matter. Then they should annihilate – that is, disappear with a flash of light. The result is no universe. However, it exists. And if so, then as a result of something, there was more matter than antimatter.
Which led, in the end, to the emergence of all things. But what caused the fruitful opening skew? And where, in the end, did all the antimatter go? Unsolvable riddles. Here they will try to solve them, getting antimatter particles in experiments at the LHC.
4. Find out if there are additional dimensions. The theory fully admits that in our world there are not three dimensions – length, height, width (X, Y, Z), but much more. From this, they say, gravity manifests itself much weaker than other fundamental interactions. Her powers go to other dimensions.
Physicists believe that it is possible to prove the existence of extra dimensions. To do this, you need to detect particles that can only exist in the presence of extra dimensions. Accordingly, in new experiments at the LHC, they – physicists – will try to do this.
5. Arrange something like the creation of the world. Physicists intend to reproduce the first moments of the life of the universe. Returning to the very roots should allow experiments in which, instead of protons, much heavier lead ions will be pushed together.
And to produce a substance that appeared about 13.7 billion years ago immediately after the Big Bang. And as a result of it. After all, it was from this puzzling event that the creation of the world allegedly took place.
And at first in it – the world – there were no atoms, let alone molecules, but only the so-called quark-gluon plasma existed. Lead ions shattered after head-on collisions will give rise to it.
Large Hadron Collider (LHC) aka Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a supermachine. Representatives of 100 countries, more than 10 thousand scientists and specialists, including several hundred from Russia, took part in its creation and subsequent experiments.
The LHC is an accelerator for protons and nuclei of heavy metals. It has the shape of a donut with a diameter of about 9 kilometers. Buried at depths of 50 to 175 meters on the border of Switzerland and France. Lined with superconducting – accelerating particles – magnets cooled by liquid helium.
Two beams of particles move along the ring in opposite directions and collide at almost the speed of light (0.9999 from it). And break into smithereens: into such a number of fragments that nothing could be broken before. The results are recorded using the huge detectors ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb.
Scientists are aiming to bring the number of collisions to a billion per second.
When the LHC was just built, one of the physicists gave birth to an aphorism: “We will try to see what happens and try to understand what it means.” Every year the aphorism becomes more and more relevant.
In 2009, the LHC was running on reduced energy. By 2012, it had reached 4 teraelectronvolts (TeV). In 2015, protons were accelerated to 6.5 TeV, the collision energy reached 13 TeV. And then 14 TeV. In 2018, the collider was closed for modernization.
The LHC energy can be brought up to 33 TeV. But even this is not enough for physicists. Their plans include the construction of an even larger collider with a diameter of more than 30 kilometers Future Circular Collider with an energy of up to 100 TeV. With this, we will certainly merge into a “true vacuum”. Or into a black hole.
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