Shortly after 7:00 EDT 30 March 2010, the first collisions at the world record energy of 7 Trillion electron volts were recorded by the Large Hadron Collider experiments. The LHC will recreate the primordial soup of the universe when it was just a picosecond old. "Great technological breakthroughs lead to great discoveries," said Purdue Physics Professor Ian Shipsey, Co-Coordinator of the LHC Physics Center at Fermilab. "LHC promises to be as revolutionary as when Galileo turned his telescope to the sky in 1608. Galileo provided observational evidence that the Earth is not at the center of the universe with everything rotating around us. In the years ahead the LHC may reveal where the most basic property of matter, mass, comes. Without mass there can be no atoms and hence no life as we know it. LHC may reveal the nature of dark matter that is the dominant form of matter in the universe. Dark matter holds galaxies together. The LHC may reveal whether there are new spatial dimensions beyond the three we are familiar with. We may come to know how our universe was born, how it will evolve and how it will end."
The figure below shows the event display from the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment with one of the recorded collisions. The yellow lines are tracks made by individual charged particles emanating from the collision and recorded by the world’s largest silicon camera. The red and blue lego plot like structures are the response of another specialized camera that measures energy. The red line bottom right is produced by a muon (a fundamental particle that is a heavy cousin of the electron) and recorded by a muon camera. Purdue scientists, engineers and students contributed to the design and construction and commissioning of all three cameras and to the global distributed computing system that is now analyzing the collisions.
The 3,000 member team that built the CMS experiment included eight Purdue Faculty (Virgil Barnes, Daniela Bortoletto, Art Garfinkel, Laszlo Gutay, Matthew Jones, David Miller, Norbert Neumeister and Ian Shipsey), numerous scientists, engineers, post doctoral researchers, graduate and undergraduate students.
Other News Sources:
Large Hadron Collider Smashes Protons, Sets Record - National Geographic
'Big Bang' machine sets energy world record - Bay News 9 Tampa/St. Petersberg, FL
Big Bang 2.0 in Switzerland - International Science Collaboration at CERN - (YouTube) ThinkSwiss