Geneva: The Higgs boson ‘God Particle’ is said to have been discovered by smashing together particles at close to the speed of light in the 10 billion Swiss franc (6.2 billion pound) Large Hadron Collider (LHC), at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).
1. Though built to study the smallest known building blocks of all things - known as particles - the LHC is the largest and most complex machine ever made. It has a circumference of 27 km (17 miles) and lies underground, straddling French and Swiss territory.
2. At full power, trillions of protons can race around the LHC accelerator ring 11,245 times a second, traveling at 99.99 percent the speed of light - engineering 600 million collisions every second.
3. When two beams of protons collide, temperatures more than 100,000 times hotter than the heart of the sun, concentrated within a miniscule space are generated. The cooling system that circulates superfluid helium around the LHC's accelerator ring keeps the machine at minus 271.3 degrees Celsius (minus 456.34 degrees Fahrenheit).
4. To collect data of up to 600 million proton collisions per second, physicists and scientists built devices to measure the passage time of a particle to a few billionths of a second. The trigger system also registers the location of particles to millionths of a meter.
5. Tens of thousands of computers around the world have been harnessed in a computing network called "The Grid" that will hold the information.
First Published: Wednesday, July 04, 2012, 10:40