Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The End of American Preeminence in Science?

Actually, that either happened some time ago, or this is the beginning of the end. I guess it is a matter of perspective. Large Hadron Collider achieves success with high energy particle collisions - Telegraph [Click the images for larger views.]

The largest experiment ever. Texas (the University of?) tried to secure this for the US. But politicians aren't interested. The public isn't interested.
After years of setbacks, the £5bn machine finally achieved high energy collisions of two protons at 12.06pm British time, at a total energy of seven trillion electron volts - more than three times more force than ever before.

All four detectors around the 17mile underground track picked up evidence of collision "events" which could when analysed completely re-write the rules of physics.
Understanding science has always changed our world. Understanding the germ-theory of disease gave us modern medicine. The early work done by folks like Volta and Ohm for example gave us electric power and eventually electronics. Who knows what this will produce?

[The top photo is of CERN's Atlas detector. The bottom image is a graphical representation of the data collected from 1 event (collision) at Atlas.]

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