Recreating the Big Bang
The world's most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, will shortly begin to recreate conditions that existed just instants after the big bang.
What's the Latest Development?
In the coming four weeks, the Large Hadron Collider will begin smashing lead ions together at super-high speeds, creating extremely hot and dense conditions similar to those just instants after the big bang. "Lead ion collisions at the L.H.C. last year showed hints of producing a quark-gluon plasma, an exotic state of matter in which quarks—normally bound in pairs or triplets—are able to wander freely." Until now, the L.H.C. has been hunting the Higgs boson, a particle believed to give mass to matter.
What's the Big Idea?
Scientists want to get closer than ever before to the moment of the big bang and will obtain about ten times as much data this year compared to last. This will allow them to better study the rare quark-gluon plasma state in more detail. "They want to better probe how the behaviour of matter changes with temperature near the quark-gluon plasma state." After it temporarily shuts down during the winter months to save energy, the collider will reopen next year with even more power in hopes of finding the Higgs boson.
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It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.
- At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
- See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
- There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
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