There is an awesome article in Scientific American this month that explains the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the biggest and most complicated particle physics experiment ever seen.
This is an amazing machine and will probably lead to revolutionary understandings of how everything works. What are they looking for? The Higgs Particle, (believed to be responsible for imbuing other particles with mass).
This is a must read article for those who care about science and our understandings of the world.
I just uploaded a bunch of photos I took on our CERN tour on Saturday morning and will have the video of the tour up on March 3 as part of our launch package on FastCompany.tv.
After this summer it will be impossible to tour the collision chamber while the machine is running because when the experiment is running it will be quite dangerous to be down there.
Thank you so much to Ben Segal (computer geek) and Frank Taylor (physicist) for giving us the tour. If you don’t know Ben, you should. He was Tim Berners-Lee’s mentor at CERN. Has worked in the computing center there since the 1970s and was responsible for bringing TCP/IP and Unix to CERN. Both of which were pre-existing conditions for Tim’s invention of the Web.
I loved the sticker on the computer that Tim used to invent the World Wide Web. It says, in Tim’s own handwriting, “This is a server. Do not power it down!” Yeah, that was the first Web server. It was like going to church for me.
UPDATE: If you visit the “CERN” tag over on Flickr you’ll find tons of other photos, including some other people who were on the same tour.