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November 23, 2009

Large Hadron Collider has first collisions

Posted: 04:55 PM ET

Alarmists take note: The planet is intact after particles began smashing into each other at the Large Hadron Collider today.

For the first time, the $10 billion machine circulated two proton beams simultaneously in its 17-mile tunnel underneath the border between France and Switzerland.

This is a major step toward finding the answers to fundamental physics questions about the nature of matter in the universe, and how the world as we know it began.

“The events so far mark the start of the second half of this incredible voyage of discovery of the secrets of nature,” said Tejinder Virdee, spokesperson for the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment, in a statement.

The particle collisions are finally happening despite discredited theories that the accelerator could produce a black hole that could swallow the universe, and that it is being sabotaged from the future. Read more about these theories

The project appears to have rebounded from a substantial setback in September 2008. Just nine days after it started up, one of the 25,000 joints that connect magnets in the LHC came loose, and the resulting current melted or burned some important components of the machine, said Steve Myers, director of accelerators at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

The collider has drawn thousands of physicists from around the world together in a collaborative search for never-before-seen particles and new properties of nature. These particles include the Higgs boson, which theoretically gives mass to matter.

Today's collisions are relatively low-energy; the next step is to get particles colliding at higher energies than ever before. The accelerator should reach an energy of 1.2 TeV (teraelectronvolts, or a million million electronvolts) per beam by Christmas if all goes well, CERN said.

Read more about the collider going back online.

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Filed under: Large Hadron Collider • Physics

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H. B.   November 23rd, 2009 5:59 pm ET

While I don't know much at all about quantum mechanics or subatomic physics, I can sense the importance of this project. It is like opening a whole new frontier, but on a sub-microscopic level. What lies there waiting to be learned could be primal to our knowledge of the universe and of how matter – all matter, including ourselves – hangs together the way it does. We can't know everything there is that awaits discovery, but they've been able to project a few likely goals, and even those are enough to start imaginations cooking.

It is a shame that there are so many whacked-out people who want to use their religion as an "authority" to thwart this, and other areas of scientific research. It is equally shameful that there are so many people who buy into the pseudo-science "experts" who claim gloom and doom for humanity regarding scientific research about which they know next to nothing. They gain a little knowledge, then use that to cook up new scary scenarios. They are living proof that a little knowledge can be dangerous.

I only have a little knowledge about this collider, but I know enough to know that the scientists know better than the pseudo-scientists do. And that the whacked-out theocrats are so stupid that they don't even want to learn what little the pseudo-scientists have. They're the "ignorant-and-proud," who fully intend to remain so. It's incredible that any person in the free world could embrace stupidity like that. I guess they never ask themselves how ignorance can serve their god, or why learning might be somehow offensive, or a threat to that god. Why should the god care if they learn a lot or remain ignorant? How could this god have given us brains, then demand that we not use them?

I just hope that there are no such people involved with this collider, in any way, shape or form; they're likely to do what they can to sabotage it, for their own putrescent reasons. And if that's a kind of profiling or discrimination, so be it. These theocrats and pseudo-science nuts have fully earned the revulsion and distrust and rejection of anyone, anywhere, but particularly of those in any field of science.

Keith, La Rioja, Spain   November 23rd, 2009 7:09 pm ET

No true scientist can ever believe in a "god particle". It just does not make any scientific sense or meaning. Call it the Higgs Boson, then – but it does not really matter.
So they set up this ten billion dollar tunnel to find ¿WHAT? That smashing particles against each other at the speed of light is fun and amusing. I can't see much else in it.....
Firstly, from a neutral philosophical base: there never was a "big bang". There may have been millions of "big bangs".... The universe is infinite, and so is time. There never was a beginning, and there has never been an end. Galaxies have come and galaxies have gone, the same as universes and solar systems. Our own solar system is but a speck in uncountable time, a mere nothing; and doubtless in other times, other systems developed and even had life, including intelligent life.
I would ask those brilliant scientists at CERN – and also in NASA – would it not be better to dedicate time, money and effort to resolving real problems on our own planet Earth – especially climate change, population, contamination, etc. – so that our grand-children might have a decent environment to live in?
Discovering "god particles" or water on the moon is not going to help the millions in Africa, Asia and South America suffering hunger and wars and corruption.
Think about it...... an gi gena.

Daniel   November 23rd, 2009 7:10 pm ET

A win for science. Its sad that as science has reached further and further into the fabric of the universe the education of Americans has dwindled to the point that they can be scared into a frenzy over lies and false facts that spin off of blogs.

I hope that I can someday work at CERN as a physicist, Maybe I'll be lucky and get there before we find the Higgs Particle.

Ken   November 23rd, 2009 7:21 pm ET

Man made black holes, oh my! One more thing for the 2012 fringe to cope with.

Katie   November 23rd, 2009 7:29 pm ET


Allison   November 23rd, 2009 8:02 pm ET

There are just some things that you are not supposed to mess with and I do believe that creating anti-matter and attempting to recreate the "Big Bang" are perfect examples. Why don't they try something useful like curing diseases and mental illness or other health issues? This all done by scientists who couldn't even appropriately or accurately measure the universe ....very scary.

Squirt South Carolina   November 23rd, 2009 8:17 pm ET

Well, if the foretold black hole that gobbles up the universe does materialize, those thousands of scientists in attendance for the party will be the first to be sucked into it. Sort of ironic...ain't it???

D.A.   November 23rd, 2009 8:23 pm ET

I would only like to say to all of them who think that the LHC was made because "smashing particles against each other at the speed of light is fun and amusing" and that there are "some things that you are not supposed to mess with" that they should actually be grateful to the scientists at CERN because it was thanks to them that they were able to post their comments on this blog: The World Wide Web as we know it was in fact invented at CERN by some guys who back then were having probably fun smashing particles at each other and messing with things that they were not supposed to but they wanted a really efficient way of sharing their fun with the other scientists and so they made up the HTTP protocol and the Web. The rest is history.

Todd   November 23rd, 2009 8:31 pm ET

Allison, They are curing disease. If we cut our energy costs in half, the savings will go into solving other problems. The potential for improving lives is on par with the work being done on anti viruses, cloning & stem cell research. All really interesting stuff that will eventually improve everyone's life

Boseifus   November 23rd, 2009 8:36 pm ET

"Firstly, from a neutral philosophical base: there never was a "big bang". There may have been millions of "big bangs" The Universe is infinite and so is time."
To Keith, La Rioja, Spain: Who are you that can merely claims things and they are so. What a wonderful talent that must be.

g   November 23rd, 2009 8:37 pm ET

10 billion.. getting toward a day when thats chump change...

Jason   November 23rd, 2009 8:42 pm ET

The skeptics are not wrong on this one. Ask any scientist that truly works in quantum physics and they will tell that the possibility DOES exist for the collider to create a black hole right here on earth. But, the odds of this happening are incomprehensibly low. Is it possible? Yes. Is it probable? No. There is always risk involved in scientific research, but that should not be the driving force behind whether or not the research is performed. The collider will provide insight into the very beginning of the known universe. This will undoubtedly allow us to understand the very fabric of space and time in ways never before imagined. This will lead to better methods of matter manipulation, allowing for new medicines to be created that will cure disease, new fabrics to be created that will protect troops, and new fuels to be created that will eliminate the need for fossil fuels. It is silly to let such a small risk stop such a tremendous amount of progress.

Frederick   November 23rd, 2009 8:48 pm ET

If the 'Big Bang", was so catastrophic and so huge, even bigger than a Quasar's destructive force, why the h@ll would they want to create a particle that could tear through our planet like a hot knife through butter? If they mess up, i guess a simple "we apologize" will be acceptable, right before we become another fire cracker in the universe's eye. My thoughts: "The reason you cannot find the God Particle is because he (God) cannot be found, nor seen, until he's ready". Get it, we talk about he's everywhere, all around us and invisible, so you think you can smash a few particles together and he'll just appear like "oh hey you got me, i give up, i am right here, sorry for giving you the slip since the beginning of time, so what can i do ya for!?!? lol" Inconceivable, you playing with that collider is equivalent to me playing with a train set and making them run into each other.

Mike   November 23rd, 2009 8:49 pm ET

In response to the 8:02 post by "Alison."
About 100 years ago, Rutherford first fired particles at targets and found that nuclei were hard and small. This month MD Anderson in Houston is installing a proton accelerator for cancer treatments. Without the optics of Huygens, we would not have very good microscopes. Without the electro-magnetic work of Maxwell, we could not measure brain waves or do any sort of real study of brain activity as it relates to "mental illness." The physics of previous centuries underlie the cures of today.

Ned Flanders   November 23rd, 2009 8:54 pm ET

Keith, La Rioja, Spain if you say that our planet, solar system, galaxy and universe are "mere nothings", then why the hell do you care about what happens to them. From what you say, nothing matters anyway, so why should we worry about "climate change, population, contamination, etc."? Seems to me that you should go about your little insignificant life, and let the "true scientists" play with their amusing (or as you say, meaningless) toy.

chris   November 23rd, 2009 9:00 pm ET

Keith- You're absolutely right. Why did we waste all that money when it's so clear that you have all the answers. We should have just asked you.

Allison- This Thanksgiving I'm going to give thanks that the people who decide on the small pittance that goes toward particle physics research are not as short-sighted as you.

yada   November 23rd, 2009 9:03 pm ET

Ahhh..the thought police wanting to tell scientists and people what they should be focusing on. Perhaps instead of writing this message, I should be spending the time curing world hunger.

Please – don't presume to be so dictatorial that these scientists cannot pursue their passions.

Now, what you should be doing is wondering where this $10billion came from and perhaps direct that sort of coinage to your projects instead.

Nate   November 23rd, 2009 9:05 pm ET

There is a lot of big armchair talk in these comments coming from people who have little to no knowledge of what they are truly looking for over there.

People act like massive amounts of money aren't being spent on 'real' problems. The fact is, if every brilliant scientist spent their time working on the main one or two problems of the day, we would have less, not more overall innovation.

Congratulations are in order for all of those involved in the project!

Deeohgee   November 23rd, 2009 9:05 pm ET

If the shortage of Eggo Waffles didn't end the world, there is no way that the Higgs Boson will.

RejectArrogance   November 23rd, 2009 9:09 pm ET

You may scoff at those who are afraid or do not understand the scientific relevance of these experiments but you place yourself at hazard of being nearly as arrogant as the scientists who continue to proclaim they know enough to destroy belief in a God. Yes, that is what is in play here and if science-history were used as a measure of scientific success, you would find that the greatest men of written history more often were completely wrong. Example: Einstein and Ptolemy have both been reveared but both made significant mistakes in their own scientific assumptions.

I do not have a problem with scientific wonderment – I have a problem with scientific hubris. We should get over ourselves and how clever we are and be more humble, more giving and more pious.

Todd PEI canada   November 23rd, 2009 9:09 pm ET

POST BY Keith, La Rioja, Spain
"No true scientist can ever believe in a "god particle". It just does not make any scientific sense or meaning. Call it the Higgs Boson, then – but it does not really matter."

Science can believe in anything and thank god otherwise we would not have cars airplanes and pretty much anything you can think of. If people of religion can believe in god why can't scientists believe in a "god particle"?

"So they set up this ten billion dollar tunnel to find ¿WHAT? That smashing particles against each other at the speed of light is fun and amusing. I can't see much else in it....."

So because you can't see anything in it dosen't mean someone else can? If by some change they do come across a particle which is responsible for creating matter (which is pretty much what "God" does hence "God Particle") it would help us understand how the formation of our universe occurred to me thats pretty important for science since the hole point of science is figuring out how and why thing work.

"Firstly, from a neutral philosophical base: there never was a "big bang". There may have been millions of "big bangs".... The universe is infinite, and so is time. There never was a beginning, and there has never been an end. Galaxies have come and galaxies have gone, the same as universes and solar systems. Our own solar system is but a speck in uncountable time, a mere nothing; and doubtless in other times, other systems developed and even had life, including intelligent life."

from a neutral philosophical base: WHAT THE HELL WAS THERE THEN? I mean yes there has been some loud noises in the universe but i don't know if you understand the big bang would have been way more powerful then anything that has ever happened or is happening in our universe. The Solar System consists of the Sun and those celestial objects bound to it by gravity, all of which formed from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. and do to the wonderful laws of physics scientists can confirm that but calculating the rate of movement those celestial object are moving away from the sun and the rate the sun is moving from the centre of the galaxy. So our time as a solar system is accountable and why is it not possible we are the most intelligent life forms in the universe its possible we are not but it is equally as possible that we are so i think we should do what we can and learn what we can and hey maybe we will be the funny little people stepping out of a rocket ship saying "we come in peace" Its probably going to take a little more then philosophy to understand that though neutrally speaking that is. I wouldn't take a baseball bat to a soccer game.

"I would ask those brilliant scientists at CERN – and also in NASA – would it not be better to dedicate time, money and effort to resolving real problems on our own planet Earth – especially climate change, population, contamination, etc. – so that our grand-children might have a decent environment to live in?"
Discovering "god particles" or water on the moon is not going to help the millions in Africa, Asia and South America suffering hunger and wars and corruption"

So your saying if scientists found a particle that was able to control how matter is formed they wouldn't be able to resolve the above issues your talking about? ( i.e. create food from nothing know how to remove pollutants from the atmosphere with little effort) If people are to change we are going to have to do it together if someone has come up with an idea we should let them fulfill the possibility that they could change the world even if just a little bit for the better or even just so we know how things work.

Scott   November 23rd, 2009 9:10 pm ET

hey allison, what is to say that this will not lead to new knowledge that may help cure disease , and with the there are some things your just not supposed to mess with attitude we would still be riding in wagons and there would be no flight, i am fairly sure that the scientists have lives and family on this planet as well and they dont want them to die in a super scary black hole, i have faith that they are doing things as safe and as well planned as possible.

nonadee   November 23rd, 2009 9:13 pm ET

This is very exciting!

To those who feel time should be spent elsewhere: your definition of a "top priority" will always be different from others. Who are you to tell people what to do with their time? Why don't you do something more useful with your time.

Undo   November 23rd, 2009 9:15 pm ET

@Keith, you're completely misguided. Finding how our universe works together would give us a better understanding of how all matter interacts, leading to new and scientific discoveries that would help mankind and further technology like never before. While it's hard to understand the ramifications of finding the higgs-boson particle, let alone explain it in detail on a CNN article, I suggest you do some research yourself before posting how insignificant a machine such as the LHC is. If it was so insignificant, and wouldn't help mankind as a whole far beyond finding how to to recycle plastics 10% more efficiently, then I'm sure countries from all over the world wouldn't have dumped billions and billions of dollars into the long, arduous process of building, testing, and running it.

GNF in arlington VA   November 23rd, 2009 9:23 pm ET

It may be that the prediction of the demise of the world that is scheduled around 2012 ( I forgot who predicted this) maybe about the same time the collider starts to start a sequence of events that no one could have predicted and we will all be consumed by the event or not. Anyway science it always opening doors for man and the future :)

Trevor   November 23rd, 2009 9:25 pm ET

Keith in Spain : When we teleport food created from pure energy to starving people in less than a second, come back to me and tell me that all of this has no use.

It comes down to understanding the universe and how it works. Understand THAT, and the sky is the limit.

Kelvin   November 23rd, 2009 9:36 pm ET

I am amazed with by the work of scientist and physicists to understand more about the universe. I hope this tool will greatly help us understand more about fundamental particles and the origins of gravity. I am excited to hear the collider is functioning and will be looking out for updates.

Fuzzyboy   November 23rd, 2009 9:38 pm ET

For those of you who don't understand this science – please don't bother with your lame comments or concerns. Just like any other high-end technical science, this is important work which will uncover answers and secrets that will further mankind. Money needs to be spent on this just like money should be spent on art and other incredible human endeavours. Of course we have problems that should be solved, but if all of our money were put into those problems there would still be problems that exist. We must continue to explore every aspect of our minds inquiries on all fronts to even hope to understand our world, our purpose, and our very existence!

John OBrien   November 23rd, 2009 9:39 pm ET

There is nothing to fear on this front as there is only knowledge to be increased here. I don't understand the fear of any religion or any one at all who can not accept that we don't know everything that there is to know, or that we should know about what is out there, or even in our own body's. To want to be ignorant of how things work is completely illogical. As far as the space program goes it has brought us velcro and micro computers and a whole lot more innovation than anything else aside from war. I am not a advocate of war and never will be. I do advocate learning and increasing the human intelligence as much as we can. If this goes against any ones religion or beliefs then I am sorry for your ignorance!

Dirk   November 23rd, 2009 9:46 pm ET

It is man's nature to explore. The LHC is exploration at it's finest. Every explorer since the beginning of time has had detractors, and mankind has gained untold knowledge from them all, some more than others, but knowledge none the less. There is really no telling how the knowledge gained from LHC experiments will benefit mankind.

Amanda in MN   November 23rd, 2009 9:47 pm ET

Whoo hoo!

Burt, York SC   November 23rd, 2009 9:48 pm ET

To Keith, La Rioja, Spain: So, exactly what are YOU doing to "help the millions in Africa, Asia and South America suffering hunger and wars and corruption"? Other than trotting out the same old tired "don't waste money on _____ (fill in the blank with anyhting you personally have no interest in) , use that money to solve the _____ problem (fill in the blank with anything you personally have an interest in). That logic would have us still plowing with mules ("don't waste all that time and money inventing tractors when you could feed xxx people with it").

To Allison: "There are just some things that you are not supposed to mess with". The Inquisition had much the same message for Galileo in 1610. "Why don't they try something useful like curing diseases". Ever heard of MRI? Guess where that technology came from?

dindeds   November 23rd, 2009 10:05 pm ET

Higgs Boson? Is humankind benefitted from its discovery?
Don't think so, prepared for another era akin to post Hiroshima & Nagasaki days..

Blaise   November 23rd, 2009 10:06 pm ET

It is truly sad the number of people who buy into conspiracy theories and media hype. The two comments below are examples:
H.B.-"Its sad that as science has reached further and further into the fabric of the universe the education of Americans has dwindled to the point that they can be scared into a frenzy over lies and false facts that spin off of blogs."
Daniel-"It is a shame that there are so many whacked-out people who want to use their religion as an "authority" to thwart this, and other areas of scientific research."
I just don't see the evidence of many people in a frenzy over the new collider or a great many people trying to stop it. There are a few vocal people but that appears to be it. I also don't see the evidence for a great decline in science education in America. From the comments, it appears that even those who support the collider are prone to delusions.

Cap Stone   November 23rd, 2009 10:07 pm ET

RE: "No true scientist can ever believe in a "god particle".

Is this a law the science community needs to know about? There are many scientists, a minority at this point in time, who believe that God exists and that some aspects of existence are beyond human understanding. Discounting them as 'true' scientists only shows that your view of existence is set in stone, and possibly incorrect. True science requires minds open to possibilities that often make folks (like you) uncomfortable... believers and non-believers.

Dave C   November 23rd, 2009 10:08 pm ET

This machine is sure to lead to discoveries that will benefit mankind in the long term.

It is shortsided to dismiss the $10B spent to build this as being better spent on more 'earthly' endeavors.

To really begin to solve the BIG problems that have been listed as good alternative places to put $10B – world hunger, anthropomorphic climate change, etc. – these things need to get to the crisis stage first. This is how the system works. Be patient.

Neil pobliner   November 23rd, 2009 10:10 pm ET

Let's see if I understand some of the comments I have read so far... The world would be better served by having these scientists deal with Global Warming and Curing Mental Illness, instead of understanding the fundamental physics of the universe, is that about right? Strange, but it sounds to me like only the people who cannot grasp the importance of the research being done at Cern (Or, perhaps, the method of said research) would trivialize it by pointing out how much more important the issues THEY care about are. Fact is, this research could, potentially, lead to possible solutions for many of the problems we, as a planet, face right now.
There is no room for religion in science, and vice versa. The two counteract each other to the point of neutrality.
Difference is, Scientists don't need millions of people to believe what they find.

Jim Hawk III   November 23rd, 2009 10:24 pm ET

Well, Allison, generally physicists don't try curing diseases and mental illnesses. We have plenty of people at work on that.

I think the burden of proof is on you to show that these scientists "couldn't even appropriately or accurately measure the universe." In fact, they ARE measuring the universe at a very small scale, and the LHC is a very powerful and precise meter stick.

As hard as it is for most people to believe, the LHC actually generates and maintains jobs, even beyond those of the scientists and engineers who work there.

Stumped   November 23rd, 2009 10:30 pm ET

I saw a very fitting slogan on a picture of LHC which stated, "If you don’t understand how it works, don’t talk to me about how it is going to destroy the world."

Educate yourself, if that is even possible in this day and age.

Tim   November 23rd, 2009 10:31 pm ET

My oh my. Antimatter. How scary!!!! We shouldn't mess with anti=matter!!! We shouldn't mess with the Higgs Particle. We should all be scared of anything we don't understand. (I guess that means I am scared of Sarah Palin, but I digress...)

Come on, people. WIthout things like that scary antimatter, we would not have medical technology like the PET scan. (Yes, they inject antimatter in us, and we still manage to live right though it.)

Without scientific research, we would still all be living in caves. Modern medicine, technology, agriculture were all built on basic scientific research. Basic research is the bread-and-butter of applied sciences and engineering.

Thank God for research and science. They gave us things like your computer, so you could sit at home and tell us how scared you are of the unknown...

Jim Hix   November 23rd, 2009 10:39 pm ET

Boys and now girls do seem to enjoy smashing things up. My question is how many families could the funds for this "event" feed? How many other worthwhile projects (building cars that do not need replacing in your lifetime, harnessing enough free energy from wind, solar, ocean movement and geothermal to energize our planet for a thousand years, paying farmers to grow food rather than paying them not to, then begging us to send our hard earned dollars to third world starving people, etc thousands times more) that may actually help mankind. Science is still in a very ,very early infancy and should continue finding ways to make our life on this planet sustainable and compatible with nature. This thing is solid ego and a waste of time and resources in times as these.

ck little   November 23rd, 2009 10:43 pm ET

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Chicken Littles of the world unite!

Tim   November 23rd, 2009 10:44 pm ET

Gosh, ignorance feeds fear and that was never more apparent than in some of the preceding comments. If those anti-knowledge, "scientists must be evil" comments were followed, we'd have chucked the first microscope into the sea because we were supposed to see things were couldn't with just our eye, etc. A deeper understanding of physics will enhance our understanding of many other fields (chemistry, medicine, electronics, etc.). It's NOT scary. It's exciting and good.

Matt   November 23rd, 2009 10:46 pm ET

In the age of mega-bailouts $10B just doesn't sound like that much money anymore.

Harold   November 23rd, 2009 10:46 pm ET

"I would ask those brilliant scientists at CERN – and also in NASA – would it not be better to dedicate time, money and effort to resolving real problems on our own planet Earth".

Hate to tell you, but the image of the Earth rise over the moon from the Apollo program, pretty much started the environmental movement. A significant part of NASA's mission is monitoring the Earth environment. Virtually everything we know about what is going wrong here on Earth has been learned from studying Earth from outer space and also using other planets as laboratories to confirm theories back here. Carl Sagan's thesis work was done on the "Green House Effect" on Venus. Global warming gone very much amok. If you recall, that is becoming a severe problem here on Earth.

When we examine Jupiter for instance, it's like someone dropped dye's into the atmosphere that allows one to now see the circulation patters in the atmosphere more clearly. These same kinds of patterns are in our own atmosphere, they are just harder to see.

The larger point being here, until basic research is done, we have no idea what solutions will present themselves to current practical problems. One thing is certain, there will NEVER be solutions without this basic research. Out of high energy physics comes discoveries in medical imaging and nuclear power as well. This is not just learning for the sake of learning... god forbid.

John   November 26th, 2009 11:31 am ET

D.A. – Just a note, the internet was NOT invented at CERN. The World Wide Web was invented at CERN by Timothy Berners-Lee, however, the TCP/IP protocol that is the foundation of the internet was invented as a part of a US DoD ARPA project involving a computer network at multiple university and government sites, with the intent on a network that would not go down if one of the sites went down. Good project huh?

B.C.   November 26th, 2009 11:37 am ET

For all of you who don't understand what they're doing, let's start with the basic physics you should know from grade school. An individual atom is composed of neutrons, protons and electrons. What you don't realize is that these particles are also composed of even smaller particles, and you find out what these particles are by smashing neutrons, protons and electrons together so hard and so fast that they break apart. The "God Particle" is like the "uncaused cause" in philosophy that is often used to explain the existence of God. The "God Particle" is the smallest particle that all the other things that make up everything is made from. This collider is brilliant, and it's shameful that a similar project begun by the Americans never came to full completion. Imagine the possibilities if we're able to discover something that would completely change everything, like reason for gravity and how to control it?

I am also sick and tired of hearing from completely misguided people about how we should stop spending money on science and focus all of those efforts on problems here on Earth. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. We could take all the money we spend on science and use it "to feed the poor," and there would still be hungry people in the world. Instead we spend a little bit of what we have on science so that all of us can have a better life. If it weren't for science, we'd all still be living in caves eating what we could off of the land.

John   November 26th, 2009 11:48 am ET

Just a another side note: i was under the impression that if a black hole was created, it would be extremely small. This means that its event horizon would be sufficiently small (say, on the order of the radius of an electron) to not have any interaction with any other particles, possibly just annihilating itself. This means that even if a black hole were created (from what I understand: highly unlikely) it wouldn't have any effect.

Claude   November 26th, 2009 11:59 am ET

Through out history, Relgion has stiffled science. Science said the earth was round, the Church said it was flat...Science said the earth revolved around the sun, the Church said tha the the earth was the center of the universe (and burned people at the stake if they dissagreed)...i often wonder why the Church is so aginst finding and recognising the "truth" science has to offer. As an American i honor and support your freedom to practice your faith. I do not honor or support your attempts to force your faith on me or mine, especially when it is founded in ignorance, intollerance and injustice. Please keep in mind that the works of all major religions were written in a time when a meteor falling through the atomosphee was considered a "sign from God" or a "bad omen" or Charriots of the if you take those words litterally and want your life to mirror thiers, turn off your tv, computer and all your electicity, grow your own food....but don't ask me to do the same... the major churches in the world are scared of science because it shows them to be ignorant of the realities of the world and how it works....

Elio   November 26th, 2009 12:00 pm ET

The work done by the experts at CERN is extremely important to all of us. Experts of the past have given me and everyone on this earth vast amount of goods, without them we could not communicate with each other the way we do, and this is a small portion of it.


RG   November 26th, 2009 12:04 pm ET

Wow CNN... still awaiting moderation? is it because you dont know what GUT is? Grand Unified Theory.. the last work by Albert Einstein. You know who that is.. right?

Tony D   November 26th, 2009 12:17 pm ET

Those that can, do .. Those that cannot , bitch about those that can do

I don't live in fear   November 26th, 2009 12:39 pm ET

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the predominate percentage of people who fear the LHC are Republicans; the party of fear.

Sergio A.   November 26th, 2009 1:41 pm ET

When I see the scared reactions of people to the work of the Hadron Collider.... it reminds me that America was set up so you can vote for a representative in the House, who in turn elects a President for you.

I think in order to approve or disapprove science, the same system should exist.

Good, sound thinking from our electoral system prevents bliss ignorance from leaking into electing a President.

Same is true of science. It takes nothing but bliss ignorance to say this is scary, or that we are playing with being God.

Footnote: It was also said by someone that this does not help Africa? Ummm... ships don't sail without radio, radar, internal combustion...... etc etc... and without ships ... even YOU cannot help Africa. Shut up already, please. You look prettier when you don't speak.

H. B.   November 26th, 2009 2:18 pm ET

I'm wholeheartedly sick of the people who say we should use our money to "solve our problems here on Earth" rather than spending money to explore the world or the universe, or to increase human knowledge. Those problems exist, and most will never be fully resolved, no matter how much money, time and effort is spent on resolving them. Should we put our brains on hold until some amount of money thrown at our human problems, miraculously ends them all? If we make that decision, we will NEVER explore anything, NEVER seek to increase human knowledge.

I guess that's why people say those things; it is the exploration and the search for knowledge which really offends them, not the "suffering" of multitudes of people. If they're really concerned for them, why aren't they out there pitching in right now to help them? What they really want to do is to put the brakes on people who want to know more than we know today.

As for what Jason said about a "black hole" being created, it is not only improbable; the probabilities are vanishingly small. As significant as adding one drop of water to a whole ocean.

To Frederick: Hey, guy, there already ARE particles that can tear through the earth like a hot knife through butter. They aren't caused by anyone. The sun makes them. They are called neutrinos. They've been passing through the earth – and through YOU many times every day of your life – ever since the Earth was formed. The universe hasn't exploded yet. You talk, with no knowledge. But alas, that's life in the free world. We all have the inalienable right to make ases of ourselves. Today, there is no excuse for someone allowing his own brain to atrophy to such a degree. If you wanted real knowledge on the collider, you had access to the information; you just didn't want to do any real studying before you mouthed off.

Dindeds already knows more than the scientists. He knows it will lead to another Hiroshima, so how DARE those scientists search for a Higgs Boson? Outrage. Abomination. Those scientists should have gone to jail for not consulting dindeds first. Dindeds: the all-wise and all-knowing.

Uh, Blaise? You got my quote switched with that of Daniel. If you would quote others, DO try to get it right, okay? I think you underestimate how fiercely religions will campaign and work to stop anything that can increase knowledge. A fundie site I saw once showed a pretty young woman, clutching a child protectively, with the caption: "They tried to teach my child SCIENCE!" If you don't view such attitudes as threats, you don't live in the real world. If they didn't try to stop the LHC project, it wasn't because they would be above doing so. They knew they couldn't swing it.

From the comments here, it is thoroughly clear that almost half of the population fears science and learning, and that many hate them passionately. The fact that our educational system has been so putrid for decades, is what allowed religious fundies to step in with their mummery of hate and harm. We're paying, now, for our failure in education from several decades ago. And the price is high. When our educational system produces people who can't even find the state of New York on a map, it means our system is in serious trouble. And what does it say about politicians who would seek great power in the land, but don't know the difference between Shi'ites and Sunnis? Or that there IS no border between Afghanistan and Iraq, because Iran lies between those two nations where we are engaged in war? Or who think Africa is a country? Or who believe in witches and would initiate witchhunts to determine who is a REAL American and who isn't? With people like that leading us, we don't NEED enemies.

Subatomic physics and quantum mechanics are FAR beyond my ken. But I do know they are valid and have reason to exist – and that further attempts to learn more can only be beneficial. I am ignorant of a subject that the scientists know very well. I'm content to let them go for it. I know pseudo-science when I see it, though, and the notion of dooming the universe or creating a big gobbly black hole, fall into that category, much of which is funded or cooked up by religious whackos, to whom knowledge is evil and ignorance is blessed. I can often detect their influence in pseudo-science.

One thing I'd never do is presume that I know better than the scientists do. I have only a small grasp of what they seek to do, but I do understand that much, and I respect it. If the early collider at Argonne National Laboratories didn't cook our goose decades ago, this one isn't likely to do so either, even though it is larger and more powerful. Those earlier colliders taught us many things. We understand the nature of matter better now because of them, and have found ways to apply that knowledge beneficially.

And where is it written that you can't deal with human problems AND acquire new knowledge? Must doing one necessarily preclude doing the other? Most people's minds live on a visceral level. They view most things from an "either/or, black/white, on/off perspective. It would appear that the concept of people who can walk and chew gum at the same time is beyond their conception. The real enemy here is human ignorance – and the fact that so many of us LOVE our ignorance. And that our religions actively encourage it.

The term "God particle" is probably not one that came from a scientist. If it did, that was one scientist who wanted some kind of fame from calling it that, and is highly inappropriate behavior in a scientist. Most likely it came from the media, because it could be used to hype up readership – and ratings. Bring in the religious factor, and you can sell your coverage to more people. Not one of them has failed to leap on the "God Particle" thing in their headlines. Nor do most of them have a clue what the LHC is FOR. Much of the information they disseminate is based on their ignorance. Only a few journalists even try to understand it.

Keith said: "Discovering "god particles" or water on the moon is not going to help the millions in Africa, Asia and South America suffering hunger and wars and corruption." Uh, whoever said they would? What he doesn't consider is that discovering those things will have zero impact on those millions who suffer. Nor will the dollars spent on the collider help them one bit. Those people suffer because their governments WANT them to. No amount of money can change that. The aid needed to eliminate all that suffering, doesn't exist in the quantities that are needed. Giving the aid people more money can't create more food or medicines for them to distribute – providing the government will even allow it at all. No amount of money can take the evil out of people. And THAT is the real cause of the suffering. Moreover, much of that evil is coming from religions. Especially those which run whole countries.

Keith thinks they built the collider for their own entertainment. How is it possible for a human being to be so abysmally ignorant? HE knows, better than the scientists do, precisely what value the collider has, despite knowing nothing about it. He seems of the opinion that nobody at all is trying to improve the environment or address overpopulation, hunger and pollution; instead, they're just dumping money into this collider for the entertainment of scientists.

On what planet (to quote Barney Frank) do you spend most of your time, Keith?

Ditto to Allison, whose own convoluted reasoning is equally inane.

What the ignorant-and-proud set fails to grasp is that those doing basic research can never know, in advance, what benefits may come from it. What they DO know is that benefits usually DO come. They often have an idea of what they're looking for, but the actual results of their research are more often surprising – sometimes of FAR greater importance than they'd anticipated.

If nobody looked into those "things we should never mess with" we would still be ignorant of how infection spreads. We'd still attribute it to spirits and curses, while surgeries were still being performed with dirty hands and surgical equipment. Worse still, we'd still have no way of DEALING with infection. It was those who were outrageous enough to violate the "taboos" of their cultures, governments, religions and public opinion, to check brazenly into the nature of infections, that gave us cures for so many diseases – not to mention methods of preventing them in the first place. But I guess the money and effort spent by a guy like Pasteur was pointless and useless, right? He was "meddling where man was never intended to meddle, meddling with things that man was never meant to know." How incredibly stupid.

We evolved into sentient and intelligent beings. But the job remains unfinished, because most people prefer NOT to feed that intelligence with much more than yippledung. We have not yet evolved into a species that respects and honors the acquisition of knowledge. We are born curious, but many factors in our societies, not the least of which is religion, push us in the direction of intellectual torpor. A fully-evolved sentient species would find learning delightful and irresistible. We haven't quite made the grade on that one – yet. Nor are we ever likely to do so, the way we're going now.

Csaba - Hungary   November 26th, 2009 6:00 pm ET

Indeed 10 Billion is not that much money, for such a vital thing in our lives. After all since we here in the 'west' are so bored that we have nothing better to do. It is fun to do a little gambling with the lives of everyone on the planet.

Sure, the odds are millions (billions) to one that something goes wrong. Almost as much as the odds for winning the lottery. I would like to add, that people do win the lottery.

As I asked on a website before – and got banned for it – if I had a nuclear bomb with a many digit password and tried to guess the code sitting in Central Park or Hyde Park ... is this not the same as russian roulette just with different odds?

Nobody asked me if they can gamble with my life – regardless of the odds.

Not even mentioning the fact, that nobody knows the actual risk factor as nobody knows what they are really doing.

I am tempted to file a lawsuit at The Hague International Court of Justice for jeopardizing me and you.

I agree with those saying this money, time, brain power.... whatever could've been put to much more urgent use. But surely there is nothing more urgent to do with that money.

Claudio Renato Viana Cardoso   November 26th, 2009 6:08 pm ET

We, humans, will need a new kind of energy to conquest new territories of cience beyond our actual stage of development. It´s not fiction at all, really, it is about our survival in this planet.

Claudio Renato Viana Cardoso   November 26th, 2009 6:19 pm ET

With the fundamental partical discovery, we could control it to do lead become gold or anything we desire. Atoms are made of this particle. Maybe the futrure of the end of the hunger of humanity and a new era is near than we may think today. Globalization will be past and the future will be heaven on earth!!!

Morgan Thomas   November 26th, 2009 6:24 pm ET

Good. I hope it quiets all the sooth sayers. Only the bold move ahead.

brad   November 26th, 2009 7:32 pm ET

I love it when the ignorant come out to force their opinions on people. i especially like the part about the morons that say these scientists should be working on curing diseases. That in itself shows just how ignorance is bliss for these bible thumping stump jumpers. (yes I can be insulting and no, I am not a liberal) These scientists wouldnt know their way around a medical lab no more than an auto mechanic would know his way around an operating room. They are two totally separate disciplines of science. There is a reason why you dont see redneck scientists.

your one and only   November 27th, 2009 1:31 am ET

Ah! let them have there 10 million that's just a drop in the bucket to solve the world hunger problem, remember if it wasn't for these folks at CERN or NASA we would not be where we are today. Its not about proving if there really is a God, its about moving on with technology this is where we are in the tech world and it never goes backward it will always move forward Just like us. I bet you don't have a wall phone in your house! and I bet you own a computer! Thank you science guys and girls!! And thank you for fixing the Hubble telescope.

BigRig   November 27th, 2009 11:04 am ET

it was said..based on Nasa's primms sector of dating...that a "black hole" being generated by human behavior has a 3 to 6trillion odds of occuring..the same odds that were given to men when we landed on the doomed!!!

Silas Scarborough   November 27th, 2009 3:31 pm ET

For all the incredible research performed by quantum physicists, they haven't found anything that will get Christians to stop preaching. In the mean-time, we've got the Preacher Screecher for $19.95 that takes any audio input, reverses the polarity and re-broadcasts it to nullify whatever has been said. For an additional $4.95, you can get the premium version that announces each time, "I'm a Christian and I know nothing at all about the current subject."

Dale   November 28th, 2009 2:11 am ET

Engage the collider to Warp 9 and make it so.

robbie   November 28th, 2009 8:38 am ET

...let it, so exciting......BING, BANG, BOOM....laughing....On a serious note, man takes way too much credit and ownership for an intelligent universe not of his/her making. Have a little faith folks!

Manny   November 28th, 2009 1:23 pm ET

Wow, look how much our knowledge has evolved in just the past 100 years. I hope scientists continue handing down, and expanding our knowledge and understanding of the universe. Science has once again proven that almost nothing is impossible.

Csaba from hungary   November 28th, 2009 2:31 pm ET

what was wrong with my comment? the least you could do is let me know why it wasn't approved

Justin   November 28th, 2009 8:25 pm ET

People say a blackhole can be produced, but how can one be produced without all the matter that is required to have a blackhole? I dont understand that. You need lots of matter, (from what I've learned) , to have a black hole. I don't think the whole Earth's amount of matter can even create much of a blackhole. If somehow the LHC did create a blackhole, it would be a micro blackhole, if they exist. If so, it would just fizzle out instantly. So yeah, sort of confused as to why that is even being talked about.

Justin   November 28th, 2009 8:33 pm ET

By Tim : Come on, people. WIthout things like that scary antimatter, we would not have medical technology like the PET scan. (Yes, they inject antimatter in us, and we still manage to live right though it.)

Are you serious? lmao... Why don't you go read about PET scans before you start talking about it. I'm not sure you know what Anti-matter is,

I eat Anti-matter for breakfast. The real breakfast of champions.

Xstacy   November 29th, 2009 4:53 am ET

Please for the love of god (lol) leave the religious bs at home. For those of us that dont need imaginary friends to get through the day, you sound like scared children fearful of everything.

Great if it gets you through the day, but I dont care what you believe about our origins that is not backed up with FACTS. There is more proof that UFO's exist than god. Discussion over.

Back to science, I was saddened when they stopped building the collider in Texas all those years ago. I wish CERN well and hope the knowledge gained is well worth the investment of time and money.

Ivo   November 29th, 2009 4:33 pm ET

Cool. GO GERN. Hope you make some exciting new discoveries about our Universe. The World will be watching!!!

S.Salim   November 29th, 2009 7:12 pm ET

Without the study of fundamental physics we would not have things like MRI's, Radiation therapy, PET scans, CAT scans.
In fact with out the study of fundamental physics we would not even know the structure of DNA (it was found using X-ray crystallography).

As a Biomedical engineer i know for a fact that the LHC will eventually lead to new cures therapies and a better way of life for all human.

Its funny, no one criticizes programmers who work on things like facebook and twitter which are absolutely useless technologies. No one criticizes marketers who don't really do anything for society except encourage waste and consumption. Yet people call science a waste of money even though it is scientific discovery which always yields the greatest benefit to human kind.

Crazy Tony Gargano   November 29th, 2009 8:52 pm ET

1. This science will affect us all positively. (in the form of understanding, thus technological advances which ultimately lead to better life)

2. This science will affect some negatively. (in the form of ignorant rantings and fear-mongering that harbors and promotes hate.)

3. Not all humans are of equal intellectual ability. (anybody with the ability to understand will ultimately do so, those who do not have the ability will instead fear it)

4. It can sometimes be frustrating when one realizes that while trying to expand another human's knowledge with logical explanation, said human may not have the intrinsic cognitive ability necessary to understand such explanation.

Therefore: To those with the brains:

Don't feel sorry for your inept brethren, they don't feel sorry for themselves. Just smile politely when they go all googly-eyed and buy them a beer. Also, gentle petting sometimes gets a positive reaction from most beasts.

To those without the brains:

Don't worry about a thing. We have carried your kind on our backs before, and will do so again and again. We have everything under control, so you will just have to trust us. The boogieman really doesn't exist, but if you would like to sleep in our bed tonight, that's okay, honey, but you have to promise to stop crying.


Chris   November 29th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

You people annoy me so much with your misinformation.
Yes this machine can create mini black holes that don't last for even a second.
We should be pushing the limits of science. Don't hinder progress because of your ancient religious beliefs. There's a nice chart out there that shows quality of life and progression of science. The dark ages when Christianity kill millions all technology was silenced. Alot of the knowledge was destroyed by the church. We had to start over. Wonder how far we'd be if it wasn't for religion.

cp   November 29th, 2009 10:28 pm ET

The father of infinite series in math is Carl Fredrich Gauss born on April 30 1777. The father of information theory is Claude Shannon born on April 30 1916. Now put those scientists together, you get mathematics going on indefinitely linearly as well as create indefinite simulations and indefinite models with indefinite perimeters. Now the world wide web was made public globally by CERN in April 30 1993. So this extends to networks of computers as well as wireless devices since information has to get anchored back to networks. Now, uncertainty (sabatage,accidents,interpretations of field models) exists but perceptions on interpretations, accidents, sabotage speculations are passed on thru the communications between computer networks, back to physically fixing the problem, adjusting things, or reconferencing on theory. So, the more people are informed on what is going on (at CERN) the better use of extended information, whether people "feel" something spooky/specter (life inclusive sabotage,serendipity,insight) and detect these in their nonsubjective livestyles (need for risk/unpredictability), social interactions, culture and civilization differenciation.

lrodgers   November 30th, 2009 3:04 pm ET

Here is a link to the safety article written by CERN scientists in 2003, in which they discuss the remote possiblity of dangerous events during ion collisions at the LHC.

After reading this ... you may realize that someone has thought this out a lot more than any of us. I have a B.S. in Chemistry and about 90% of this stuff is way beyond my level of understanding. However ... I have spent time both at ESRF (european synchrotron radiation facilty in Grenoble, France) and the Advanced Photon Source near Chicago and I can tell you from experience that this science has been creating breakthroughs for years.

Here is an actual scientific example. Very high intensity x-rays can be generated from accelerating an electron beam (similar to LHC only smaller, lower energy ... and electrons instead of protons). The x-rays are routinely used to perform diffraction studies on human protein crystals. From this information, scientists can piece together the structure of human proteins, and use this information to design drugs to fight diseases. The structure of the DNA double helix was discovered this way. The whole field of Structural Biolgy has been drastically improved by having access to high intensity x-rays produced by a synchrotron (accelerator). The drugs that fight HIV (HIV protease inhibitors) were and continue to be designed this way using X-ray Diffraction.

I know more about biology and chemistry than I do about physics ... but I do know that it is helping save lives by affecting the field of structural biology. People with HIV are now living longer by taking drugs that were developed with the help of sychrotron produced high intensity x rays.

Now think about this. The x-rays were just a bi-product. Nobody set out to generate them for this purpose. But were it not for some physicists out there pushing things forward with their curiousity, these high intensity x-rays would not have been discovered.

Maybe you don't think this stuff affects you ... but it does. The medication that your grandparents might take to help keep their cholesterol down was developed using structural biology x-ray diffraction studies.

The LHC is pushing into the unknown, just like those physicists who once fired up an electron accelerator and said "hey ... check out those x-rays ... I wonder if we could use'm", thereby changing the course of structural biology forever.

Think about this stuff. These advancements in science are important.


Harmonie   November 30th, 2009 3:34 pm ET

Insofar as the back and forth goes, concerning whether or not this is a worthwhile excercise for CERN, I personally feel that it is. Science and religion both can teach the individual so much, and advancement of understanding in either field is well worth the effort. When it comes to matters of religion and science, I feel the same about both: that I want to know more, but that I may never fully understand what I learn. There is mystery from both perspectives in the universe that is beyond any person's scope, and I feel that is the way the world should be.

With regard to the comments that have been made by people on both sides, I would say that nothing was ever accomplished by making an enemy of someone. It may make you feel accomplished at first, being able to say something in a public forum, which can humilate or provoke, but doing so does not help you or that individual learn or grow more. The people who call themselves intelligent need to realize they are not superior, that they have a gift that someone else may not have, and with that gift comes the responsibility to help them understand. If you think the educational system is so terrible, then dedicate your time to filling in the gaps, or advocating for change. Take actions, instead of creating resentments, or reinforcing stereotypes that the people on the other side of the fence view negatively. They will never listen to you, if they don't see that you have their best interests (and through their interests, your own) at heart. If you do not take actions to reduce what you see as ignorance when given an opportunity, then I don't believe you could claim innocence yourself.

I don't believe we should tell people what or who to believe in, as a person is responsible for where their actions take them, but I do believe that people making decisions for others, such as lawmakers and politicians, should make those decisions based on facts, and not their own inclinations. I think that people do fear what they do not understand, and that when someone attempts to tell you that your information is incorrect, ask them why, and listen to what they have to say. In the end, you will make your own decision as to what you believe, but wouldn't you rather be informed, being that your life and what happens to you is fully your responsibility?

Daryn Guarino   December 1st, 2009 2:20 am ET

Hurray for Europe! As European science begins to kick our sorry American butts, what kind of comments am I reading? That quantum physics and religion have issues with each other? Really? The "we believe in an unprovable magical sky god" people think they should have a say in the field of real science? Specifically , to hinder it? Pathetic. Go beg the sky for forgiveness and let the rest of us seek real answers. It's no wonder the Hadron Large Collider, a scientific wonder of the world, was constructed outside of the US without US funding. Why would they want to deal with a population of people that are afraid of their own shadows and imaginary boogeymen?

cyber   December 1st, 2009 4:52 am ET

Hope they make good discoveries.

stan   December 1st, 2009 7:11 am ET

justin – a PET scan is:

a positron is an anti-electron, aka antimatter

Charliecarlos   December 1st, 2009 2:57 pm ET

Hey, you; crazy scientists, you put in jeopardy the whole creation and humanity!!!!!!. Are you lookinng for the God particle?, if yes, I'll tell you something you don't want to accept. When God said; "let the light be", inmediatelly, after HIS word, the first matter of physical particle was formed. Matter was formed from God's essence, from God's substance, from what God is made of. You call it; "the Higgs particle or God's particle". The virtual particles are God's particles. And after the virtual particles were formed, then, protons, electrons and neutrons were formed as a process of evolution. OH, come on, you scientists, don't tell me you don't know this?????. It is written in the bible, in the book of Genesis!!!!, how the universe or creation was initiated or formed, the origin of the everything and the nothing!!!!. But, let me tell you something, very important; like the fallen angels did, you're doing too, you're playing with the unknown, with FIRE, you're jeopardizing with those experiments, something it is NOT your's; the creation and the humanity, you're trespassing the unknown limits threatening the Creator Himself. In other words, you don't know what you're doing. You're doing again, the same the fallen sinner angel DID, playing to be god's. And, the earth is not intact after those experiments; "singularity has been interrupted, and the four forces balance too". You're destroying God's creation!!!!!.

Charliecarlos   December 1st, 2009 3:35 pm ET

There are some terms or concepts that are wrongly used in science and for this reason, science is mis-undrstanding, and find no answers to some questions: First, the use of the term; space, it should be a place matterless, absolute zero matter; and according to the E=MC2, space can not exist, unless it is matter too. After the earth exos-phere, the universe start, space doesn't exist unless it is also some kind of matter. All known forces are matter too, because gravity is matter. Gravity is not a characteristic of the matter, it is a transformation of the matter, E=M. So, the so called space-time, is a WRONG term to explain a wrong thinking!!!1. It should be said; " the interaction of the four forces what combs the light passing close to a physical body and/or the structure of the black hole..... so space or emptiness does not exist or, instead of space, scientists should use the term; distance, between two or more bodies in the universe. For the presence of gravity, the use of the term 'space' IS simply wrong.

al   December 1st, 2009 4:46 pm ET

Charliecarlos...if we had a vote on the most ignorant and closed minded comment on here..I'm quite sure your comment would be it. I'm a Physics major and find this all very exciting and interesting. If you would take, oh, a BUNCH of classes to learn what exactly IS going you, well you probably would still be too closed minded to want to understand. Oh and the world didn't end, unless you've got internet in the afterlife. And the fact that it's called the "God Particle" has nothing to do with the fact that we are playing God nor are we trying to search for God. It's..what to you call those...kind of like a there, go study physics then come back.

Mark   December 1st, 2009 10:00 pm ET

To clear up some fundamentals that I have not seen explained thus far:

Yes, a black hole can be created via these experiments, however, the radiation from this black hole (which ALL black holes give off) will cause the black hole to destroy itself in less than a second (read Stephen Hawking's work, if you can). Besides this fact, higher energy collisions than those at CERN have been occurring in the upper atmosphere since the beginning of the Earth (whenever you choose that to be) and the Earth has not since disappeared due to a black hole.

To the reader that posted that the mass would not be present for a black hole, the mass would be there, black holes are defined by density (which is denser than a proton or neutron is, for those that understand)

To the reader that suggested finding the Higgs Boson will allow us to make gold out of anything: we can already do that, it just costs more than the amount of gold produced. Finding the Higgs Boson would give us further insight to what "mass" really is and what causes it.

To Lrodgers, thank goodness you posted your entry. I too expect for advances to be made by any advances at LHC.

And please, any reader of this article and its comments, PLEASE research this and learn what is really going on.

-A simple physicist

AnotherKeith   December 2nd, 2009 5:37 am ET

Oi CharlieCarlos! I agree with you that God created all things. But how on earth (forgive the pun!) do you think He is threatened by us? You clearly have no concept of the size of it all, or Him.

Religion is dangerous – it robs us of our heritage – we are also creators. Religion seeks to control, prevent and steal your dreams. We are created free (Galatians 5:1 says, "It is for freedom you have been set free!" Get it??) We have been created to create!!

Get rid of your religion. I think the Creator loves it when we enjoy life. He is in NO WAY threatened by our searching the deep mysteries (to us) that he has created. Actually I love it when my children ask questions and create things. I love the Creator for all the mysteries He has created for us – Like a Universal "Hide and Seek" game.

There is no doubt whatsoever (the evidence is overwhelming) that scientists doing their thing has massively benefited the world. Also we can deduce that the positive spin off's (once again, forgive the pun) from the L.H.C. will be mind blowing.

"Let those who say it can't be done get out of the way of those who are doing it" – (not my quote!)

I will say one more thing though! Einstein was a brilliant scientist and he is rightly remembered for discovering (working out) the laws of Relativity and other things – He applied his great mind to the puzzles and came with mostly the right answers. However not much notice is made of the One who created the puzzle in the first place!!! I mean if you created a beautiful artwork and hid it and then someone else found it, wouldn't it be logical that the one who made it deserves some recognition while the one who discovered it is clever too but not in the same class??

The Creator created the sub-atomic particles. We are discovering them. Give Him some credit!! He LOVES it (I have no doubt) when we solve His puzzles. Trust me, He is not threatened by us! In fact if the sun exploded none of what we do or theorize will have any meaning anyway! How can we threaten the Creator – come on CharlieCarlos!!

Let's have more people out there solving the puzzles so that we can all benefit. I think we should spend much more time too on discovering the cures in herbs and foods!! So Scientists go for it!! There are great mysteries to uncover!

Justin   December 2nd, 2009 8:32 am ET

@ stan

You are right, but they don't inject anti-matter into you...
They inject a substance which only emits "anti-matter".

Horn   December 2nd, 2009 11:12 am ET

It took the world's smartest people almost 10 years to create the worlds most complicated machine COST: Less than 15 billion dollars. Cost of Iraq and Afganastan wars PER MONTH: 10+ billion

Peter, New Jersey   December 2nd, 2009 12:42 pm ET

Despite our better understanding of the universe and what drives it, we still haven't the slightest idea how "mass" is imparted to matter, nor how gravity is actually transmitted from one part of the universe to another, nor do we know if gravity has a limit at huge distances.

We are a species hard wired to know from where we came. If you take a close look at the history of the human species you will see that it has been a very long journey to answer the age-old questions of who we are, from where did we come and where are we headed.

Perhaps the LHC will finally begin to answer some of these questions. By anyone's standards, 7 TeV (the ultimate capacity of LHC), represents a huge amount of energy all focused on one sub-atomic point. It is not difficult to suggest that some fundamental particles will be released at peak energy collisions which will further our understanding of why we're here.

In my humble opinion, 10 billion dollars is money well invested. Far more so than spending it on useless and destructive wars.

jojorican   December 3rd, 2009 8:41 pm ET

@ keith, La RioJa, Spain:

interesting beginning, no end....everything always was and always will be....intelligent life included.....then why are u so concerned about the search for evidence or understanding in this regard? If what u say is true, then a few billion on proving your thoughts right or wrong are really fact, Africa, the USA, the earth and everything in it is pretty infinitely insignificant, isn't it?


Mark   December 4th, 2009 1:21 pm ET

When we detonated the first atomic bomb in 1945 there were plenty of people who said it may cause a chain reaction that will consume the universe. When the bomb was used ,decades of fear consumed our planet. Now it seems that Nuclear energy, which came from the wicked and unuseable atomic bomb, is at this time our only viable answer to global warming and a potential REAL demise of our planet.
I am in the energy industry and I know the facts of my last statement so any of you granola cruchers no need to go off on nuclear power, stay on topic.

eergh   December 4th, 2009 1:49 pm ET

I like chicken.

Erik   December 4th, 2009 3:36 pm ET

Important clarification:

The term "God Particle" was coined by a particle physicist (Leon Lederman) essentially to make a more interesting title for a book intended for a lay audience. No one who actually works in physics calls it a "God Particle" – it is the "Higgs Boson" or just "The Higgs"... The name was an attempt to get attention for the subject, and it succeeded. But it really has nothing to do with religion any more than any other particle – the only thing that's special about it is that it is predicted based on a number of plausible theories that are consistent with all the other data, and it hasn't yet been detected. The only reason why it's particularly special is because it's currently at the edge of science. the "Top Quark" was in the same position in the 90s, but it was never given a provocative name, so it didn't get as much media attention.

To reiterate: there is nothing religious about the Higgs Boson – the main thing that makes it unique in physics is that it is predicted but not yet discovered (and should be discovered at the LHC), provides a mechanism for explaining how particles get their excess mass, and is something called a "Scalar Particle" (and that is really only special if you're a physicist). The many other things the LHC is going to study are unrelated.

Dalton_hodk   December 5th, 2009 1:40 am ET

As best stated by Albert Einstein himself, I believe this applies here. "The only things infinite are space and human stupidity."

Gilleh T   December 5th, 2009 6:28 am ET

New age of weaponry, throw a particle at your enemies and have it suck up everyone into thin air and no one will ever know what happened. after that, i can see it being used for medical purposes, for those who can afford it. might take decades or centuries before it becomes a household name. good luck with this thing, whatever it is.

Jason   December 5th, 2009 7:41 am ET

I remember when the first atomic bomb was made there were some big skeptics that were saying if one exploded, it would cause a chain reaction that could annihalate the planet. Always fun to hear the crazy theories.

Jason   December 5th, 2009 7:57 am ET

D.A. quote "November 23rd, 2009 8:23 pm ET

I would only like to say to all of them who think that the LHC was made because "smashing particles against each other at the speed of light is fun and amusing" and that there are "some things that you are not supposed to mess with" that they should actually be grateful to the scientists at CERN because it was thanks to them that they were able to post their comments on this blog: The World Wide Web as we know it was in fact invented at CERN by some guys who back then were having probably fun smashing particles at each other and messing with things that they were not supposed to but they wanted a really efficient way of sharing their fun with the other scientists and so they made up the HTTP protocol and the Web. The rest is history."

Wow, this whole time I thought it was DARPA.

Rafael   December 5th, 2009 9:51 am ET

all of you...get a life!

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Prakash Puthalath   December 15th, 2011 9:28 pm ET

Religions were created by humans, not by GOD or the creator. In every religious texts there are anomalies. Texts say man was created then woman, then all the other creatures. But now we know that it was'nt like this. Humans came into extistence through evolution. Again religious texts never mentioned other planetary systems of even milk way; the reason is simple. who ever wrote these books didn't know these existed; they say only Sun and Stars. If the GOD or the creator made these texts, how come these glaring omissions? May be the religions were created by the Creator to thwart or inhibit human's quest to find out the truth.

I wish the scientists success in their endeavour to find out the truth about the universe and how it was created.

In home Personal training Long Island   December 11th, 2013 12:37 pm ET

It's going to get good!
This is a major step toward finding the answers to fundamental physics questions about the nature of
matter in the universe, and how the world as we know it began. That's what makes this so cool! I want us
to find away to harness energy from something like this.

I can't wait to see what we find.

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