Large Hadron Collider: The Most Interesting Finds From The Largest Human Machine Ever Built

Large Hadron Collider: The Most Interesting Finds From The Largest Human Machine Ever Built

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is possibly the largest, most sophisticated and expensive machine in the history of mankind, at the same time that it has required the greatest investment of innovations and collaboration between different types of scientists from all countries of the world.

Not surprisingly, this gigantic 100-meter-high circular tunnel runs 27 kilometers underground, near Geneva, and when put into operation, it manages to be the hottest point in our galaxy, the emptiest place in the Solar System and the coolest refrigerator. big on the planet . Everything at once.

The Big Bang and Higgs

This monster has a mass of 38,000 tons, contains 9,300 magnets whose total weight exceeds that of the Eiffel Tower (one of them, the Toroidal Barrel, is in fact the largest superconductor in the world and develops the same power as 10,000 cars traveling at 70 kilometers per hour).

One of its main purposes is to accelerate charged particles to speeds that reach 99.9% of the speed of light. The particles then collide with each other with a force that recreates the conditions, on a small scale, that existed a microsecond after the Big Bang , the beginning of the universe.


Thanks to this machine, on July 4, 2012, the existence of the Higgs boson was glimpsed, a particle that will allow us to better understand the origin of the mass of subatomic particles. A particle that, as a result of the publication of the popular science book The God particle: if the universe is the answer, what is the question? by Leon Lederman , popular culture has begun to call it "the God particle."

The LHC would almost have become a small machine if the Texas supercollider, which was abandoned shortly after its construction began in 1991, was completed. Apparently it was too expensive. If it finally existed, it would have been three times the size of the LHC, with an 87-kilometer-long acceleration ring. The only vestige of that megalomaniac project is a 23-kilometer hole in the ground, probably the most expensive in human history.

Light neutrinos

In 1989, the LHC uncovered elementary particles that may have little or no charge or no mass, so they rarely interact with other particles, hence they are sometimes known as "ghost particles."


On November 19, 2014, the LHCb experiment announced the discovery of two new heavy subatomic particles, Ξ ‘- b and Ξ ∗ – b. Both are baryons that are made up of three quarks: a bottom, a down, and a strange.

In 2015, the LHC also led the discovery of a new type of particle, petaquarks, made up of five quarks, showing that these elemental constituents can organize in a way never seen before.

In December 2016, the ATLAS detector allowed to present a measurement of the mass of the W boson investigating the precision of the analyzes carried out on the Tevatron. The long-awaited find (its existence had been predicted more than fifty years ago), provides valuable information on the different ways in which matter can be organized.

The LHC, despite its enormous cost, has allowed us to better scrutinize the matter that makes up everything. However, much remains to be clarified, and the LHC will likely continue to star in many new discoveries for a long time to come .