Scientists Recreate ‘Big Bang’ in Lab
November 8, 2010
(ChattahBox Science News)— In a quest to determine what holds atoms together and gives them their mass, a group of scientists fired “lead ions” (atoms whose electrons have been removed) around a tunnel at high speed, the UK Telegraph reports. As the ions collided, the researchers expected to make atomic particles melt—and the experiment resulted in temperatures a million times hotter than the sun’s center, which has not been achieved since the Big Bang occurred.
Dr. David Evans, one of the study’s researchers, noted that the collision of protons and neurons resulted in a “hot dense soup of quarks and gluons known as a Quark-Gluon Plasma…By studying this plasma, physicists hope to learn more about the Strong Force, one of the four fundamental forces of nature,” the Telegraph reports.
The experiment was conducted at the Large Hadron Collider’s (LHC’s) underground tunnel at the CERN European Organization for Nuclear Research outside of Geneva. It was protested by a group named Heavy Ion Alert, which feared that the study could create a disastrous chain reaction that could destroy Earth, but scientists discounted that speculation, the Telegraph notes.