Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Tomorrow the world may end, probably not, but it might. CERN will be sending the first ‘beam’ through the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). You can find out more about what this actually means elsewhere. The interesting point is that the particles will be sent at such a speed around the ring, which is 27km (17M) in length, they will complete that distance in 90 microseconds. It could do 11,000 revolutions of that distance in one second. Put another way it will be traveling at 187,000 miles per second.

It’s amazing that humans have developed to such a degree we can achieve such feats of engineering, in an incredibly short space of time. The technological revolution started in the 1950s, perhaps sporadically since the 1900s, and while we’ve always been inventing and evolving to improve our lives (mostly) – stone age to iron age, agricultural to industrial – this specific advancement in technology is probably the fastest yet known and is increasing at a speed that is almost exponential. Where will it lead?

Image: the location of the 'tunnel' through which the particles are sent.

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