Scientists genuinely don't know what most of our universe is made of. The atoms we're made from only make up four per cent. The rest is dark matter and dark energy (for 'dark', read 'don't know'). The Large Hadron Collider at CERN has been upgraded. When it's switched on in March 2015, its collisions will have twice the energy they did before. The hope is that scientists will discover the identity of dark matter in the debris. The stakes are high - because if dark matter fails to show itself, it might mean that physics itself needs a rethink.
On July 4, 2012, scientists at the giant atom smashing facility at CERN announced the discovery of a subatomic particle that seems like a tantalizingly close match to the elusive Higgs Boson, thought to be responsible for giving all the stuff in the universe its mass. Since it was first proposed nearly fifty years ago, the Higgs has been the holy grail of particle physicists: finding it completes the 'standard model" that underlies all of modern particle physics. Now CERN's scientists are preparing for the Large Hadron Collider's second act, when they restart the history-making collider, running at higher energy--hoping to find the next great discovery that will change what we know about the particles and forces that make up our universe.
Go with us behind the scenes at CERN to follow one of the most epic and expensive scientific quests of all time: the search for the Higgs particle, believed to give mass to everything in our universe. However, the hunt for Higgs is part of a much grander search for how the universe works. It promises to help answer questions like why we exist and is a vital part of a Grand Unified Theory of nature". At the heart of the pursuit of the elusive particle is the same feature that makes snowflakes beautiful and human faces attractive: the simple and enchanting idea of symmetry. Presenter Jim Al-Khalil
Professor Brian Cox visits Geneva to take a look around Cern's Large Hadron Collider before this vast, 27km long machine is sealed-off and the experiment to create the simulation of a black hole begins. When it's up and running, it will be capable of creating the conditions that existed just a billionth of a second after the Big Bang. Brian joins the scientists who hope that the LHC will change our understanding of the early universe and solve some of its mysteries.
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