What’s in the news?
- The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.
- It is built by European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN)
- The LHC consists of a 27-kilometre ring of superconducting magnets with a number of accelerating structures to boost the energy of the particles along the way.
How it works
- Inside the accelerator, two high-energy particle beams travel at close to the speed of light before they are made to collide.
- The beams travel in opposite directions in separate beam pipes – two tubes kept at ultrahigh vacuum.
- They are guided around the accelerator ring by a strong magnetic field maintained by superconducting electromagnets.
- Eventually, the protons move at 99.999999% of the speed of light.
What are Hadrons
- A hadron is a subatomic particle made up of smaller particles.
- The LHC typically uses protons, which are made up of quarks and gluons
What happens on collision
- At the moment of collision, there is chaos.
- There is a lot of energy available, and parts of it coalesce into different subatomic particles under the guidance of the fundamental forces of nature.
- Which particle takes shape depends on the amount and flavour of energy available and which other particles are being created or destroyed around it.
- Using the data from all these collisions, they have tested the predictions of the Standard Model of particle physics, the reigning theory of subatomic particles;
- They observed exotic particles like pentaquarks and tetraquarks
- They have checked if their properties are in line with theoretical expectations; and pieced together information about extreme natural conditions, like those that existed right after the Big Bang.