How diplomatic is the LHC?

CERN LHC Tunnell

The world of physics is in great expectation: Soon the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland will pick up work again. In the past two years since its shutdown, it had been thoroughly maintained and enlarged. In the new cycle of experiments, that will start in early may, it can produce collisions with 13 TeV, which means the particles, rushing through the accelerator reach 99,998% of light speed.

To give an idea on the immense energies being at work in the collision tunnel, let's do some visualization: The running beam has about the same width, as a human hair. If it left course and hit the beam tube's wall however, the crash would have the energy of a high speed train like for example the french TGV, hitting a standing concrete wall with full speed. Of course, all safety precautions are met, to make the LHC as safe as any possible. The acelerator ring is several 100 meters below earth, embedded in a tunnel made from armed concrete.

New possibilities for answering old questions

One of the main questions put hope into some, let's say „diplomatic abilities“ of LHC. We know, that the theories of classical physics are correct. We are very, very sure, that Einstein's theory about the Common Relativity is correct aswell. Just as correct is the so-called Standard Model Of Particle Physics, being one of the basics of quantum physics. All of them provide us with important information on our Universe, its structure and „habits“. Yet, they don't fit together! One of the biggest issues is the time-problem and the gravity-question. Also, what we know as the Natural Laws entirely fail on the quantum stage. The „rules“ that seem to conduct the quantums however, fail on any bigger stage.

All goes down to one really intriguing question: What exactly is matter? Is it some special kind of energy? Or is it the other way around? One theory trying to „get the parties at one table“ ( at the moment, getting them into one room would be a great success already!) is the idea of quantum-gravity. Research on this bundle of ideas will be one of the main concerns in this new round of experiments starting soon in Geneva. If the scientists would only get even a step closer to a valuable answer, this would most probably change our understanding of Universe and its creation entirely. It might close gaps in our knowledge and vision about the cosmos we live in and, as a matter of fact, in our idea about ourselves aswell.

Hoping for the strength of CERNs vision

Being founded 1954, nine years after World War II ended, CERN was an amazing attempt of several nations, that were bitter enemies only a few years before, to peacefully work together in the spirit of research and understanding. Meanwhile, 21 nations build the main organization, that welcomes scientists from more than 85 nations all over the world. They are all unified in the attempt to answer the basic and ultimate questions. The LHC is literally a project to be undertaken by and for all mankind. The questions to be asked, and hopefully to be answered one day, are these very fundamental questions that move all mankind. As Prof. Lesch, a German scientist once said: „In mankind, Universe reflects upon itself“.

Hopefully, the settling „spirit“ of CERN, being obviously able to unify even bitter enemies by asking questions and providing answers, will get to action aswell, when the first beams start circulating through LHC. It might close gaps in understanding, building bridges to the right questions by connecting „knowledge particles“, that lead to valuable answers. Maybe one day even to the ultimate answer, or the abilty to ask for it, at least.