LHC i.e. Large Hadron Collider is the largest machine in the world. LHC is a particle accelerator with highest energy. European Organization, which is the world’s largest organization of particle physics, built LHC for Nuclear Research. It is situated near Geneva in Switzerland. It is the most powerful particle accelerator in the world .it can accelerate the protons and even heavier particles up to a velocity 99.9999991% of C, where C is the velocity of light. In LHC, the opposing beams of protons collide at above mentioned energy and collision energy reaches up to 14TeV i.e. 14 tera electron volts.
Energy of a flying mosquito is about 1TeV, which is 1/14 times that of LHC. This whole energy of LHC is packed into a single particle (proton) which has a mass 10-12 times that of a mosquito.
It is built in a circular tunnel with circumference of 27Km and this tunnel is buried underground up to 50-175m. It is expected that the experiments carried out in the LHC will resolve many fundamental doubts and queries in physics.
Standard Model predicted some unobserved particles and it has been hypothesized that LHC will produce the last such particle named Higgs Boson among those mentioned by Standard Model.
Standard Model proposed that particles predicted by it acquire mass with the help of the concept electroweak symmetry breaking. If LHC succeeds in production of Higgs Boson, then it will help in explaining the electroweak symmetry breaking mechanism.
More over scientists expect that LHC is going to help them answering many questions, some of those questions and doubts are:-
1. Nature and characteristics of dark energy and dark matter.
2. Do extra dimensions exist? Can these be detected?
3. Does supersymmetry really exist in nature?
4. Reason behind gravity force being weaker than the three fundamental forces.
Its main body i.e. the circular tunnel earlier used to house the Large Electron-Position Collider, another particle accelerator.
Now some points about its working.
1st step is the injection of the particles at velocities almost equivalent to velocity of light into the tunnel. 2nd step is acceleration of these fast moving particles by powerful magnetic fields applied. These particles are kept in a beam while they are moving along the circumference of the tunnel at such high velocities and to do that is very difficult. For this purpose, large superconducting magnets are required to provide such a huge force. The kinetic energy of the colliding particles at collision gets converted into short lived panoply of exotic (collision products).
In order to discover what these particles are and to note their behavior, LHC has six different types of detectors. These are:-
1. ATLAS: – A Toroidal LHC Apparatus.
2. CMS: – Compact Muon Solenoid.
3. LHCb: – LHC-beauty.
4. ALICE: – A large ion collider Experiment.
5. TOTEMS: – Total cross section, Elastic Scattering and Diffraction Dissociation.
6. LHCf: – LHC-forward.
1st two are large and general purpose detectors. 3rd and 4th have some what more particular role to play. Last two are very much small in size and have very special purpose.
Umpteen theories of particle physics predict that LHC will be capable enough to produce new particles like Higgs Boson. If that happens, then it would lead to confirmation of our present theories regarding the universe structure.
It has also been predicted that LHC is capable of destroying the Earth. LHC may produce particles like stable strangelet which can end up in destruction of Earth by causing a chain reaction in ordinary matter.
Any thing can happen, we will have to wait until something happens.