Scientists at the massive Large Hadron Collider under the Swiss Alps have easily replicated the innovative mini-Big Bang results of a previous experiment which created the ‘primordial soup’ of the just-born universe.
Super-hot ‘quark-gluon plasma’ is believed to have existed just nano-seconds after the Big Bang, and to have formed the stuff of galaxies, planets, suns, and all life forms. Such new data on the birth of the universe is pouring in from the experiments, leading physicists to consider extending the current phase of the project for two more years.
The new results took only days of colliding lead ions in the massive machine at ultra-high energies, and produced temperatures 500,000 times higher than in the sun’s core. The resultant mini-Big Bangs were even more intense than those caused using hydrogen protons during the Collider’s first seven months of operation.
The planned two-year extension could result in earlier discovery of the Higgs Boson particle believed to be the stimulus which changed the initial fabric of the universe, an amorphous mass of particles, into solid matter.
According to CERN Director General Rolf Heuer, scientists working on the project want to maintain the momentum of the new discoveries, as everything previously understood has now been confirmed and new territories are waiting to be explored. The ‘known unknowns’ are coming into view, and the as yet unimaginable lies beyond.
The Large Hadron Collider is at present being shut down for its regular winter maintenance schedule and experiments will recommence in February next year.