Physics @ Berkeley
Physics in the News
Title: Berkeley Scientists Excited About New Swiss Supercollider
Date: 09/10/2008
Extended Text:

BERKELEY, Calif. -- UC professor Marjorie Shapiro was one of thousands of scientists around the world who hailed the first test of the $10 billion dollar Hadron Collider in Switzerland on Monday.

They pronounced it a success.Physicists began sending particles around a 17 mile ring deep undergroundbnd.They hope to send two beams of particles smashing into one another in the coming weeks, and hope a cloud of smaller particles left behind will help them understand the origins of the Universe."It helps us understand how the universe was created, what forces drive the universe and it might help us understand the fate of the universe maybe even what\'s going to happen to the universe in the future."The experiment could provide new empirical support for the "big bang" theory.The Hadron Collider is the first machine large enough and powerful enough to create the Higgs Boson, the so far undetected particle that theory says gives everything substance and causes mass.It could also create a microscopically small black hole. "It would be an amazing phenomenon because it would be our first chance to understand gravity on a quantum scale in the laboratory," said Shapiro.The black hole would last only a fraction of a second before if faded away. The vast majority of scientists say it would be far too short lived to pose a danger to the scientists or the planet.Professor Sharpiro will watch the results from her office on the Cal campus. "I am incredibly excited, this is a real change in the status of our experiment."

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