As we know, the universe was formed 13.7 billion years ago, with a huge explosion. It was tiny and hot at first then it got bigger and bigger, colder and colder, and became the way it is now. The part before the explosion is not bright, we don’t know how it was like and that is exactly what the CERN scientists are trying to find: What is the foundation of matter? How do we exist?
The past of the experiment of CERN started in 1964, with Peter Higgs questioning the weight of matter. According to him and his friends, it is because of a Higgs particle interacting with some another particles. This model of his is very important. That’s why the experiment at CERN is going on right now, to prove the accuracy of this model.
Speaking of what is going on at CERN, let’s talk about the process. The experiment goes like this. First some protons are going to be put in a tunnel which has a width of 27 km. Then these protons are going to be accelerated in opposite ways. With those high speeds, they are going to bump to each other and there will be a huge explosion, some source of energy. With this explosion, protons will be so shuttered that we will be able to see these higgs particles. About how many of these steps have been done by now, just the protons were released and started their tours. If the calculations are correct, these protons will interact in 21 October 2011. By that time, thousands of computers are going to start collecting the datas of that collision and begin analyzing. And Turkey will be able to see these datas every second by a computer system named “GRID”. Besides this, Turkey has relations to CERN directly by some Turkish scientists who work there. Dr. Bilge Dermirkoz is one of them. She could tell us what is going on at CERN like the information she told last time: ’ Detectors can take 40 million pictures in only a second. Data obtained here are being sent to Turkey immediately.’. Dr. Kerem Cankoçak is another example for Turkish scientists who are part of this big experiment. As he says, the experiment is going pretty well.
The number of people who work at CERN are about 2875. There are physicists all around the world, from 305 states. Considering all of the expenses, the experiment at CERN cost 2.5 MCHF which is around 10 billion dollars. First it seems like a lot of money. But considering what could and will happen after the experiment, it is an appropriate budget. For example, for storing small amounts of energy in an extremely compact way, antimatter is very useful. For another example, we will be able to destroy a huge amount of waste which causes a long term environmental pollution. One of the best features is that human beings will not be able to use this technology to build antimatter bombs (but ı am sure they will find a way). Besides these certain results, maybe some questions like ‘How did we exist?, how did the universe get its form?’ will be answered. And learning the answers will probably open a new era, it could be something like “Atomic ERA”.
There is still a possibility that all of this experiment will show that the model is wrong or maybe worse, the Higgs particle will not be seen and the model we use now will stay the way it is. But as Prof.Dr.Mehmet Zeylek said, it is not the end of the world, we have been trying to understand this issue for 3000 years, and it doesn’t matter if we can’t find anything. We will keep trying to understand, producing new ideas.