Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Brains to Recreate Big Bang; Scientists Join World Experts

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Durham Brains to Recreate Big Bang; Scientists Join World Experts

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Robinson

SCIENTISTS are preparing to go where no other has gone before in an attempt to recreate the Big Bang. A research team from Durham University will join international experts in an attempt to examine the very beginnings of the universe.

They will gather at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) in Geneva today at the switch-on of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a gigantic particle accelerator.

The historic experiment will be the first attempt to circulate a particle beam around the entire 27km of the machine, buried 100m underground.

Scientists will eventually fire two particle beams in opposite directions around the circular construction before crashing them into each other at almost the speed of light.

The experiment next year will recreate, in a very small region, the conditions a fraction of a second after the Big Bang and could offer answers about the structure of the universe.

Although researchers have some idea of what to expect, they admit they also expect the unexpected.

A team from Durham University's Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology (IPPP) is providing the theory and analysis behind a number of the experiments.

IPPP director Professor Nigel Glover said: "Cern is the world laboratory for doing research into the origins of the universe.

"Our theoretical predictions will play a key part in interpreting the experimental data from the LHC. I have spent many years making predications for the sort of things I hope the LHC experiments will see. It gives us a huge jump in energy compared to previous man-made experiments and will undoubtedly give us a fascinating new insight on how the universe works."

The UK is one of the biggest contributors to the LHC project.

The Rev Dr David Wilkinson at the institute praised the project. He said: "As a Christian theologian and astrophysicist I am excited by the possibilities. …

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