After years of planning and work from physicists and engineers representing 111 nations, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is near completion. It has been under construction for 14 years and costs an estimated $8 billion. Physicists will use the machine, one of the largest and most involved ever built, to try to recreate conditions in the universe at the time of the big bang. This will hopefully help scientists figure out how the universe was formed.
One of the particles the Large Hadron Collider will search for is known as the Higgs Boson. Theorized by Peter Higgs in 1967, the Higgs Boson, also known as the God Particle, is suspected to be the particle that gives mass to everything in the universe. Scientists have never been able to physically test for the Higgs Boson and hope that the Large Hadron Collider will provide the necessary conditions for physical experiments.
The Large Hadron Collider consists of a 27 kilometer loop that lies beneath the French/Swiss boarder. The device will accelerate particles almost to the speed of light and offer observations of matter that is 10 billion times smaller than a nanometer (one millionth of a millimeter.) Scientists expect the first experiments on the Large Hadron Collider will occur this year.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/29/science/29collider.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin, http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/jun/30/cern.particle.collisions, http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/jun/30/higgs.boson.cern