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Nataraj at CERN

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Now if you are reading this, it’s proof enough, the world hasn’t ended yet (I’m not talking about married folks, for you, it has :) ).

Nataraj image at the CERN centre
Source: about.com

One of the largest science experiments in recent times, recreation of the Big Bang, the beginning of this world as we know it (and something the creationists from all religions won’t agree with). The Large Hadron Collider experiment, taking place near the French-Swiss border in a 27 kilometer long tunnel underground (link) has been the subject of intense speculation for some. Just to be an impartial observer, the doomsday theorists predicted that the nature of the experiment could create black holes (High school physics 101), and one of them would be strong and stable enough to wipe out Earth itself. While others working on the experiment rubbished any such theories while concentrating on the benefits – contributions to cancer research , climate research and even disposal of nuclear waste (link).

So what is going on in the experiment? A collision of opposing beams of protons charged with 7 Tera electron Volts of energy, and it will help in the search for the ever elusive ‘Higgs Boson’ particle.

The desi connection did you say? Well more than one – while India only has an ‘observer’ status in this experiment, the services offered by eminent Indian scientists has been summarized by Rediff here.

LHC is expected to answer several facts of fundamental nature of the universe that remains a mystery, said the scientists of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

Towards the scientific side, two Indian teams are participating in different experiments.

Each of these collaborations is huge with 1000-2000 scientists from 125-150 top class institutions from 20-30 countries participating in it.

Each full detector costs around $400-500 million to build and the R&D and fabrication takes around a decade.

Prof Raghav Verma of Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, representing Indian scientists, has carried an Indian flag, IIT sources said.

Now, many of us have seen the statue of Lord nataraj dancing and it was only appropriate that a statue depicting creation, destruction, protection be placed at the CERN center. (link).

The first phase of the experiment has been done with the protons colliding while beams are directed in a clock-wise direction, and data enough to fill 56 million CDs and super computers crunching this data looking for relevant scientific info. We are presumably safe and the second phase wil involve the beams travelin in anti-clockwise directions. However, an oft mentioned urban legend, the Mayan calendar ends in 2012 and many consider this the end of the world, and this what some have to say:

IT could take four years for the experiment to bring doomsday, say some scientists.

By coincidence the ancient Mayan calendar finishes then — on December 21, 2012.

The vast majority of experts say it won’t happen.

Self-proclaimed experts used to believe the world was flat, the moon was made of cheese and England would win the 2006 World Cup.

Scientist Otto Rossler tried to get the European Court to ban the tests. He warns: “Nothing will happen for at least four years. Then the weather will change completely, wiping out life. There will be a Biblical Armageddon.”

Good luck until then, any concerns, our scientists on UD (including me) will try to answer your questions in the most confusing and funny way possible!

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