Five Years, One Experiment
The Large Hadron Collider—the $6 billion, 17-mile tunnel beneath the Franco-Swiss border that is ostensibly the world’s largest science experiment—is finally operational. So when when will it reveal the universe’s deepest secrets? In due time, apparently. Even though the LHC performs 600 million trials a second, scientists are looking for a one-in-a-billion event. It’s like searching for a needle in a haystack. That is if the needle were the size of an atom, and the haystack the entirety of the universe. Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek and the LHC’s Monica Dunford discuss why teasing apart the fundamental laws of nature can be such a painstakingly slow process.
This program is part of The Big Idea Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.
Photo courtesy of Fanny Schertzer; Recorded June 2010; Posted September 2010