Gheorghe Curelet-Balan Blog

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Ultrastroboscopic Nanomicroscoping.

The title of this post is a weird kind of verb that I've learned about during Frank Wilczek's PI lecture. The verb represents what the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is going to do, since LHC is a ultrastroboscopic nanomicroscope, the world's most powerful microscope.

LHC, in Frank's opinion (paraphrased) is our civilization response to pyramids. LHC was not built out of vanity but as a monument to human curiosity. It is a symbolic expression of what human race is and what can be done through collaboration.

Thousands of circular magnets were mounted with high precision and cooled at 2 absolute degree (Kelvin) to accelerate and guide the elementary particles beam towards their dooming destruction in the benefit of science.

LHC pushes the technological limits of advanced electronics and information processing. The electronics will sense the results of human induced small big bangs and the information processing infrastructure will analyze the huge amount of data generated. The LHC computing grid is an Internet on steroids with thousands of networked computers providing a tremendous data processing power.

After LHC presentation Frank Wilczek asks a simple question: what LHC does? And the intriguing answer comes: to look at "empty" space. Empty is quoted since the nature at its deepest level looks empty but this emptiness has it all, it is a lava lamp kind of quantum fluctuations.

SUSY is a triple identity character, in my opinion. LHC is one of its identity. It is the experimental tool that will validate the contenders' beautiful theories since a beautiful theory doesn't mean it is valid. LHC is the reason for a new golden age in physics.

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