Atom Smasher

A step closer to explaining our existence

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: July 1, 2011   View Article

Why are we here? It remains one of the largest unexplained mysteries of the universe, but particle physicists are gaining more confidence in a result from an atom smashing experiment that could be a step toward providing an answer.

We exist because the universe is full of matter and not the opposite, so-called antimatter. When the Big Bang occurred, equal parts of both should have been created and immediately annihilated each other, leaving nothing leftover to build the stars, planets and us.

Thankfully, it didn’t happen that way.

Big science projects on the edge of doability

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: May 21, 2009   View Article

The Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched in 1990, forever changed how humanity views the cosmos. Along the way, the observatory has opened eyes to the expansion of the universe, the evolution of stars and the beginning of time. As Hubble’s expiration date nears, what’s next in the realm of big science? Check out seven projects that a consortia of scientists, government agencies, and private corporations are working on hard to get off the ground. Technological and budgetary hurdles may prove insurmountable for some.

Large Hadron Collider to Have “Practical” Spin-Offs?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 12, 2008   View Article

A multibillion-dollar atom smasher on the Franco-Swiss border may help scientists treat diseases, improve the Internet, and open the door to travel through extra dimensions, according to physicists.

Seven smashing atom smashers

Publication: MSNBC.com   Date: August 7, 2008   View Article

The Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile-round atom-smasher on the French-Swiss border, has been 14 years and several billion dollars in the making. The machine is designed to rev up opposing beams of particles to nearly the speed of light and smash them together. The debris will help scientists probe some of the deepest questions in science. Learn more about the LHC and six more atom-smashers that were at the cutting edge of science in their day.

Scientists Ponder Universe’s Missing Antimatter

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 6, 2005   View Article

Why is the universe dominated by matter? It is among the most perplexing questions to face particle physicists, scientists who study the tiniest building blocks of the universe.

Theories of physics require that for every particle of matter created at the big bang—the cosmic explosion that marked the beginning of the universe—so too was its antiparticle equivalent, or antimatter, said Persis Drell, a particle physicist at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in Menlo Park, California.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach