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Scientists re-create mini big bang

posted 9 Nov 2010, 05:27 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 9 Nov 2010, 05:28 ]

Scientists in Switzerland create a series of explosions in an attempt to learn more about the

forces of nature.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND. CERN HANDOUT - Scientists in Switzerland said on Monday (November 8) that they had successfully re-created miniature versions of the big bang, the moment they believe the universe was created.

The ALICE collaboration (A Lead Ion Collider Experiment), based in Geneva was set up by CERN, the European organisation for nuclear research, to try and recreate what happened in the moments just after the Big Bang.

"This is really a magic moment for ALICE and for the heavy ion community in general which is present of course in ATLAS (a particle physics experiment at the Large Hadron Collider) and CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) . This is a moment which we have been waiting for some twenty years," said ALICE Spokesperson Paolo Giubellino.

The "Mini Bangs" were produced by smashing lead ions together at enormous energies.

"The big bang starts here, today we are here," said ALICE Spokesperson Juergen Schukraft while pointing at a chart which displays the big bang theory.

"What we want to study is this region, The first time the universe did not consist only of elementary objects but when these elementary objects coalesced into combined objects. Protons, neutrons and and later on nuclei," Schukraft added.

The collisions recreate simulations on a tiny scale of the Big Bang, the primeval fireball 13.7 billion years ago out of which the entire cosmos -- galaxies, stars, planets and eventually life as well as the universal laws of physics -- were thought to have emerged.

By tracking how the particles behave after colliding, CERN researchers hope to unveil secrets of the cosmos such as the make-up of dark, or invisible, matter, why matter gained mass, and if there are more dimensions than the four already known.