Image via WikipediaStrong Interaction
What is an atom? Electrons orbiting a nucleus. The nucleus is made of protons and neutrons. The protons and neutrons are a made from a class of particles called quarks. There are 6 different types of quarks, and they are always found in groups of 3 in normal matter. With very few exceptions, normal matter in the universe is made up of 2 of these types(the up and the down) and electrons.
The other 4 types of quarks are special cases. They can generally only exist in very controlled(such as the LHC) or very extreme(such as the big bang) conditions. Colliding the nuclei of relatively heavy lead protons at nearly the speed of light, scientists hope to release some of these quarks from the bonds imposed by the Strong Force of physics. If successful, some of the other quarks may be revealed to the ALICE detectors.
The video below, from the ALICE site, does a great job of explaining the ideas behind the experiment:
The ALICE experiments were originally scheduled to start in October 2008, but a coolant malfunction in one section of the 27-mile ring caused the tests to be postponed until the spring of 2009.
I am Jon. I’ll write more about this over the next few months, addressing other experiments and the fears that
the ALICE experiment may create dangerous black holes and other exotic physical aberrations, which some fear could destroy the earth.