How the Large Hadron Collider Works
The giant machine may one day reveal the secrets of the Universe.
In the border between France and Switzerland, one hundred meters underground lies a circular machine that is helping scientists search for the secrets of the Universe. It is also a machine that some believe might destroy the Earth.
Why so much fuss over one machine? Well, because it's not just any machine: it's the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest machine exploring the tiniest particles.
The LHC is part of a project run by the European Organization for Nuclear Research, also known as CERN. The LHC works by hurling beams of protons and ions at a velocity approaching the speed of light causing them to collide with each other.
Scientists then record the resulting events caused by these collisions in the hopes that they will reveal how the universe began and what it's currently made of.
Indeed, the LHC has been built to further our understanding of the Universe. Although the discoveries that come from it could one day lead to practical applications, that's not the reason it was built.
This is rather surprising as the LHC costs billions of dollars and stems from the cooperation of several countries. However, the secrets it could hold are worth all the fuss.