Hawking tours CERN's particle collider

October 4, 2006

Brussels, 03 Oct 2006

UK scientist Stephen Hawking has said that the launch in 2007 of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) - the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator - will present an exciting time for physics and bring about several new and important discoveries. The professor's comments came during a week long visit from 24 September to 1 October to the LHC facilities at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. There he descended 100 metres underground to tour the collider's km circumference tunnel in which scientists will attempt to reproduce the first instances of the Big Bang, by colliding particles at a total energy of 14 tera-electronvolts.

The facility is expected to provide physicists with an unrivalled high-tech tool to study fundamental physics. It also expected to enable the EU to maintain its leading role in fundamental research in the field of particle physics.

'You have an exciting two years ahead of you,' Professor Hawking told Robert Aymar, the Director General of CERN. When asked what he considered to be the most important discoveries that the new experiments could lead to, Professor Hawking pointed to superpartners - particles which are thought to make up the mysterious dark matter of the universe, the Higgs boson - the last undiscovered particle predicted by the standard model of particle physics, and black holes as likely candidates.

Professor Hawking also gave two lectures at CERN: a specialist seminar on 'The semi-classical birth of the universe', and a colloquium entitled 'The origin of the universe'.

Although the raison d'être of the LHC is essentially scientific, it is also expected to have important knock-on benefits for European high-tech industries. With the largest set of interconnected accelerators in the world, CERN is seen to be contributing to the 'knowledge society' by providing a competitive working environment for direct research and the training of hundreds of top scientists and engineers each year. Its computer grid alone, which receives substantial support from the EU-funded project Enabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE), includes more than 100 sites in 31 countries.

Further information:
http://www.cern.ch

Cordis
Item source

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns