LHC & Tiny Particles

Large Hadron Collider

The LHC is a particle accelerator and more can be found out about particle accelerators here.
The Large Hadron Collider is being used to figure out if the "Higg's Boson" does or does not exist.

The three following videos are a 3-part series about the Large Hadron Collider. These movies really explain the LHC in great detail and will help anyone who does not totally understand the concept of the LHC.


The Large Hadron Collider Rap

The LHC accelerates two beams of atomic particles, protons and lead nuclei, around the 27km, or 17 mile tubes. When the particles have reached the maximum speed the LHC will allow, which is 99.9999% of the speed of light, the LHC collides the particles. The beams of particles are steered using very strong magnets that basically line the tubes so that the particle beams will collide at 4 different points in the tubes. These 4 points each serve a specific function: the LHCb is attempting to find out where anti-matter goes after a crash such as this, Alice focuses on the collisions of the lead nuclei, and CMS as well as ATLAS attempt to discover new types of particles. Thousands of new particles are supposedly created when the collision occurs, so sensitive detectors are placed around the LHC at the CMS and ATLAS collision points so that scientists will be able to tell what these new particles are.

The LHC is located outside of the city of Geneva. The LHC stretches across the countries of France and Switzerland.

Scientists are hoping that the LHC will reveal the Higgs Boson, also known as the "God Particle". The Higgs Boson is supposedly the particle which gives mass to everything in the universe. The Higgs Boson will also help scientists to understand why some particles do not have mass.

The LHC is important because, if the trial scheduled to happen in the middle of November this year, 2009, works properly and yields the results scientists are hoping for, scientists will be able to study the creation of our universe like never before. They will be able to do this because the point of the LHC is to recreate conditions a fraction of a second after the "Big Bang" collision that took place 13.4 billion years ago. This is going to give us a much deeper understanding of our universe, creation, and the world we live in today. Another reason why the LHC is important is because scientists believe that it will help us find, if it exists, the mysterious "Higgs Boson." The Higgs Boson is a particle that supposedly gives mass to everything in the universe.

Over 10,000 scientists and engineers are working on the LHC. More than 600 countries in the world are contributing to the project.

News on the LHC!
The LHC has made a big accomplishment! Recently, proton beams began to run at 3.5 TeV (terra-electron-volts). Thats the fastest the particles have ever gone! After many failed attempts with the particle accelerator, physicists have new hope for the machines. This acheivement will help the scientists reach their target energy, 7 TeV. We are one step closer to understanding the fundemental mysteries of our universe! Way to go science!

Many popular news outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, BBC, and FOX have had many interesting reports about the LHC and the higgs boson. Below are a few articles written about them.

CNN Article On LHC

Fox News Blackhole Article


Higgs Boson Information

Purpose of LHC
The main puropse for LHC is to answer key unresolved questions in particle physics, filling the missing gaps of the standard modle.

1. Why matters have mass.
The explanations for why matters have mass can be found in the Higgs Boson, which has not been detected yet.
2.Why antimatters dont exist anymore
The behavioral aspects of the antimatters have been discoverd. However, it has not yet been discovered why anitmatters has been annihilated after Big Bang. The LHC will simulate the conditions just right after BigBang to find explanations.
3. The hidden dimensions and dark matter/energy

[[http://%5B%5Bhttp:- http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/LHC/HowLHC-en.html%7CLHC homepage%5D%5D|LHC home page]]

Experiments in LHC

ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment)
external image _44924191_alice_512.jpg
Alice collides lead ions to recreate conditions just after BigBang. It is to study the quark-gluon plasma that existed just after BigBang. There will be a lot of heat to melt protons and neutrons, freeing quarks from their bound with gluons.

ATLAS (A Torodial LHC Apparatus)
external image 2046228644-the-large-hadron-collider-atlas-at-cern.jpg
It is one of the general-purpose dectectors. It collects measurements of particles created in the collisions. It has a huge doughnut-shaped magnet system

CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid)
external image _44940145_cms2_mbrice_466.jpg
It is a general-purpose detector that is similar with ATLAS. It uses solenoid magnets.

LHCb (LHC beauty)
external image LHCb%20detector.jpg
It is designed to study about antimatter by analyzing 'beauty quarks'

Tiny Particles


Matters are consisted of atoms. Particles, such as neutrons, protons, and electorns consits atoms. Subparticles(tiny particles) make up particles. There are two main types of tiny particles: Leptons and Quarks. Leptons and uarks are bounded together by gluons. Leptons and quarks consists of six particles, which are paired into genrationes. The first generation is the lightest and the most stable among the three generations. This is a chart of the kinds of leptons and quarks paired together in generations.

1st gen.
Among these, neutrinos are electrically neutral and very little mass.

Leptons are electrons and most of the time they are found moving around inside of atoms. Quarks are never found alone and they are most commonly found in groups of 2 or 3. 3 quarks together make up a proton. 3 quarks also make up neutrons, but a neutron must be next to a proton in order to be stable. Leptons (electrons) and quarks (protons and neutrons) are important because they make up everything around us because they make up atoms and atoms are the building block of everything. At the moment, we know that if you have 2 quarks together you have one quark and one anti-quark; this is known as a meson. If two real quarks are together, they either turn into leptons or pure energy.

Inside The Atom

Standard Model

"The Standard Model is conceptually simple and contains a description of the elementary particles and forces."

The standard model is 3 of the 4 fundemental workings of the basic tiny particles and their workings with each other. The best understood parts of the standard model are the sections on matter and energy. There are many laws pertaining to them that explain almost all of the interections between particles. The standard model is considered flawed in the aspect that it is not quite as elegant and simple as scientists would like it to be. It is very long, but does not tell us why things have mass.

The four kinds of forces in the Standard Model is the gravitational force, weak force, electromagnetic force, and strong force.
The strong foce is the strongest force, carried by gluons. Both strong force and weak force is effective over only short amount of time, and only at the level of subatomic particles. The elctromagnatic force has an infinite range, though weaker than the strong force. It is carrie dby the photons, which does not have any mass. the Gravitational force, though the weakest, has an infinite range, and its force carrier particle has not yet been discovered. There are very close ties between eldctromagnetic force and the weak force. Electricity, magnetism, lgiht and some kinds of radioactivity can be all categorized as 'electroweak' force.

external image standard_model_large.jpg
This chart is the "Standard Model Chart" and it shows the basic particles that we base our knowledge of matter and energy in the universe off of.

http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/Science/StandardModel-en.html|Standard Model]]

Higgs Boson
Higgs Bosons has not been discovered yet. It is supposed to be force-carrying particles that does not possess any mass. Peter Higgs suggested that all particles had no mass after Bigbang. As the univese cooled, an invisible force called the "Higgs Field" was formed. Any particle that intercated with it were given mass. The more interaction, the more mass the particle was given. owever, all of this just a theory; it has not been experimentally proven yet.

Higgs Boson


Hadrons are particles made by a group of quarks. There are two types of hadrons: baryons and mesons.
Baryons are made up of three quarks, like a proton or a neutron. This means that protons and neutrons are baryons.
Mesons are made up of one quarks and one anti-quark, like an electron. This means that electrons are mesons.
For a good animation of hadrons, go to http://www.particleadventure.org/hadrons.html
Because everything in the world is made up of atoms, which are protons, neutrons, and electrons, hadrons make up the entire world.


Radiation can be defined as energy or particles emitted from radioactive substances. Radioactive substances are often considered harmful to human bodies. Yes, some radiation is harmful to us, especially if it is overdosed. However, some radioactive substances, if used carefully, are very helpful to human lives. Sun also does radiation by emitting photons, or light particles, and sun is the source of energy on earth. Radioactive treatments are common cure for cancer.

Radioactive decay is when a nucleus of an atom emits particles or high-energy photons to change identity or to lower the energy level. Radioactive decay changes unstable protons and neutrons into a more stable form. It changes via nuclear reaction. If the molecules change into a different chemical element, it transmutation has occurred. Transmutation is the changing of one element o another after alpha or beta radiation.

There are three kinds of radioactive decay : alpha decay, beta decay, and gamma decay.
During the alpha decay, initial radioactive molecules decays(changes) into a different element by emitting alpha particles. Alpha particles are helium4 molecule, which is made up of two protons and two neutrons. It occurs commonly in heavy nuclei where there are too many protons compared to neutrons. First, the nucleus emits an alpha particle. The number of protons decreases by two, which changes the chemical trait of the molecule. Alpha particles are harmless.*as seen in the picture below, they cannot even penetrate a piece of paper.*

The Beta decay is the emission of an electron or antielectron. Beta particles are electrons or antielectrons. There are two kinds of beta decay: positive beta decay and negative decay. In a positive decay, the nucleus emits antielectrons. Then, a proton decays into a neutron, antineutron, and neutrino. The loss of one proton causes transmutation. In a negative beta decay, the nucleus emits electrons. Then, a neutron decays in to a proton, an electron, and an antineutrino. The increase in the number of protons also causes transmutation.Beta particles are more dangerous than Alpha particles, but they are not extremely harmful.*as seen in the picture below, they can break through paper, but are stopped by anything as dense as wood.*

Gamma Decay emits high-energy photons. Unlike other types of radioactive decay, transmutation does not occur. Instead of the number of protons within the nucleus, it is the nuclear energy that changes. It stabilizes the nucleus by lowering the energy level. Gamma particles are much more dangerous than either Alpha or Beta particles. Gamma particles can penetrate thought tough solids. *as seen in the picture below, they can penetrate both paper and wood, but cannot break through stone (which is probably a good thing!)
external image alpha_beta.jpg

Dangers of Radiation
So what are the dangers of radiation? Some types of radiation (like gamma rays) can travel close to the speed of light and definitely penetrate human skin, potentially damaging cells and possibly causing cancer (if enough cells are affected). We typically measure the damage done by radiation in units of rem. For example, if you are exposed to 100 rem, no harm is done to the body because your body can easily repair itself from this small amount of damage. However, 200 rem is enought to cause radiation poisoning or radiation illness. At this point, you could feel nausea from things like indigestion because your body is putting all its energy into repairing the cells damaged by radiation rather than other bodily functions. Anything more than 200 rem could cause serious damage to your body and could develop cancers too. Severe medical attention and possible blood transfusions would be needed at that point. If you were to receive a dose of 1000 rem, you'd die within a few hours' time. So remember: hundreds of rem are BAD!!!

Cancer Caused by Radiation
How does Radiation cause cancer? Well, cancer is the uncontrollable multiplication of cells. All cells in your body have special genes in their DNA to regulate the growth and multiplication of the cells. These genes are needed because once your body is fully developed, there is no need for further growth. These genes tell the cells to stop multiplying and start multiplying for when you need to replace dead cells or heal a wound. When intense radiation damages your cells, these special genes in your DNA might be destroyed or damaged as to cause the uncontrollable division of cells.

Benefits of Radiation
You've probably heard of people going through radiation therapy to get rid of cancerous diseases. The reason why radiation is used to kill cancerous cells is because they can damage those cells a lot more than normal cells. Since cancer cells only focus on multiplying, they don't take the time to repair themselves; in which case, radiation can kill cancer cells effectively.
A machine generates the high energy beams of radiation to effectively kill the cancer. A patient would be assisted by a radiation oncologist and therapist.
The radiation-generating machine can tilt at different angles to aim the beams of radiation at the location of the cancer.

Radiation Around Us
Did you know that the typical American gets 0.2 rem each year just from his or her surroundings? It's true! But don't be alarmed! According to teh linear effect, this ammount of radiation does practically nothing to our bodies. In fact, this barely increases our chances of excess cancer by 0.008%. It's just natural radiation from our environment and even from ourselves; all living things are made of the element carbon-14, or radiocarbon. We emit approximately 120,000 beta rays every minute! Radiation also comes from our environment; from radioactive potassium in rocks, soil, food (like bananas!) and natural radiocarbon in the air. We also experience radiation from cosmic rays from the sun as well as exploding stars a.k.a. supernovas. The food we eat and the alcohol we drink are radioactive. So why aren't we all dying of cancer or radiation illness yet? This is because the radiation we receive from all of these sources combined is only about 0.2 rem per year. Even when added up over the years, natural radiation is still not enough to cause cancer or radiation-induced illness. So don't worry the next time you eat a banana!
Here is a pie chart that shows how about how much radiation you receive from a particular source such as medical treatments. This is not exact however. For example, the 3% radiation from fallout and nuclear reactors might not apply to people who do not live near nuclear reactors.