The Large Hadron Collider was fired up this morning making one of the most unprecedented physics stories ever. The LHC is a 17 mile circular tunnel located 328 ft underground on the border of Switzerland and France. The idea is to prove all kinds of theories relating to protons and sub-atomic particles. They plan to smash particles together at the 99.9999991% the speed of light in order to find out things like what they are made of, what gives it mass and what exactly happens when you break them. There have been several fear mongering people (read: non-scientists) trying to say that they will create a black hole and destroy the world (and they made a video about it) but that didn't happen yet and it surely will not happen once they start smashing particles next month. I can't wait to see what they discover.
A neat tech website, called dvice.com has compiled a bunch of incredible photographs of the tunnel under construction. Here are a few of my favorites.
They also have a cool list of 10 reasons the LHC will blow your mind. My favorite is #2 This thing sucks, big time. In fact, it contains the largest volume of a vacuum ever created by man, and it's a super-vacuum, sucking 10 times less pressure than you'd find on the moon. It contains fewer particles than the emptiest parts of the solar system — we wouldn't want any stray atoms getting in the way of those light-racing protons, now would we?