Exploring Science, Ep. 1: The Truth About CERN

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What is this symbol? Is it a series of sixes representing the occult mark of the beast? No, contrary to wild rumours, the CERN logo isn’t three sixes, if those were sixes there would be five of them. The logo is a depiction of two synchrotron particle accelerators, machines at CERN that must look the way they do to function correctly.

Look up CERN on Youtube and you’re bound to be inundated with countless videos by people who have no background or knowledge of science telling you how corrupt men are using CERN as a portal to Saturn, or some such place; or that what those evil scientists are up to with their proton accelerator will create a black hole and destroy the whole universe.

Well, if you believe that type of stuff I’m sorry to hear that. These are ridiculous claims made by people who don’t know what they’re talking about, or worse, that have a belief system which automatically makes them fear science, and therefore not only oppose it in all forms, but also have no idea about what it is. It’s alarming that these videos get so much play as they are detrimental to our understanding of reality. As well they do the disservice of steering naturally rational thinking people away from thinking rationally, all based on fear, assumption, lies, and outright disinformation.

Understanding science is understanding the universal laws of the space we exist in. Science is the most important innovation in human history and for that we should all take an interest in it. So before we get into CERN, let’s address what science is briefly so we’re all on the same page.

What Is Science?

First and foremost, science is nothing to be feared — contrary to superstitious or religious indoctrinated belief — and we owe all of our current knowledge, understanding, and advancements to it completely.

While it is a massive body of work aimed at proving the fundamental truths about our reality, science is also, and more importantly, a method — that’s how it should be thought of. This method is our way of deciphering the rules to which nature holds us to. It’s the ultimate provider of truth, unlocker of mysteries, and expeller of nonsense. Science is about logic, rationality, research, experimentation, and cross referenced results. It’s a method that requires us to prove what we say is real, or disregard the line of thought completely, even if it had been a worldwide belief forever beforehand, such as the earth being flat. This is something we believed was reality for our whole existence as humans up until relatively very recently, but because of science we have tested that theory in countless ways and now know without a doubt that the world is round — everyone is in agreement.

For something to be true — as only the method of science has shown us — then it has to be true to all of us, which means we all must have the power to prove it. An easy example would be Newton’s law of gravity. No matter where you are in this world, gravity will have the exact same result when it’s tested, exactly as the theory states. What goes up must come down. This is a law of nature proven through the scientific method time and time again, therefore we all must follow it. Not only does gravity dictate how things move here on earth, but it also dictates how the planets, stars, and entire universe move — which it does at all times. Because of Einstein we now know exactly how and why gravity behaves as it does universally after he came along and proved Newton’s equations slightly wrong — through theory, experimentation, and repeated results to confirm it — or rather, filled in the gaps that Newton couldn’t figure out — not to underplay Newton, without his work Einstein couldn’t have come up with his theory of gravity and relativity.

Now, this isn’t to say that if someone came along and defied gravity that they would go to jail. It’s not that kind of law, and that’s the beauty of science! As soon as a theory is proven wrong, even if it had provided the same results through a billion tests, as soon as it gives a different result the new proof becomes the new law, or at least an addition to it — like Einstein’s gravity vs. Newton’s — so long as it can be tested by anyone and give the same results.

While science has come along and disproven many of humanity’s deepest beliefs to be untrue — astrology, religious claims, superstitions, etc. — we can sleep soundly knowing the truths we have discovered through its rational, results-based methodology paints a much more beautiful picture of the world around us and the stars beyond, and better yet, it’s real and provable.

What Is CERN?

CERN stands for Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, which from French translates into English as European Council for Nuclear Research, which was the original name of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, as it is called today. Currently it exists as a 21 member state organization — an invert from the original 12 countries who began the council in 1954 — and was one of Europe’s first joint ventures.

CERN is also the name of the largest particle physics lab on the planet — operated by the CERN organization — sitting on both sides of the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland — home of many international organizations — and it provides the top particle physicists in the world with the largest science experiment to ever occur: the LHC, or Large Hadron Collider.

The Large Hadron Collider

Despite wild tales of the LHC being a portal to other dimensions for the super-elite, it is anything but. The collider was built over four-decades with the purpose of creating an environment that would make it possible to study the most basic components of matter — everything that exists in the physical realm. It does this by firing the smallest particles possible — electrons and protons — at each other at speeds more than 99% the speed of light, smashing them together and recording the results through the most advanced sensors and digital cameras ever made. By doing this, scientists can study what results from the collisions to get a better understanding of what matter is composed of and the forces acting between those components. This inturn provides a deeper knowledge of the most fundamental laws of nature, and a glimpse at how matter came into being to begin with.

“The instruments used at CERN are purpose-built particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before the beams are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions.” —CERN Official Website.

The Standard Model of Particle Physics and the Higgs Boson

Particle physics breaks everything down as small as possible to explain everything from that size to the biggest things in the universe. At a microscopic level the study of the smallest bits of matter has proven that everything is made up of the same few fundamental building blocks — from me and you to the biggest stars in existence. These building blocks — classified as either leptons or quarks, each having six particles under their classification — are governed by four fundamental forces — the strong force, the weak force, the electromagnetic force, and the gravitational force. The laws of how these building blocks interact through these forces explains the laws of nature at their most basic level.

The standard model for particle physics was finalized in 1973 after the discovery of quarks. Since then it has predicted and discovered the top quark, the tau neutrino, and just a couple years back the Higgs boson, while explaining nearly all experimental conclusions and predicting with perfect accuracy a wide assortment of phenomena previously unexplained. It’s known as the “theory of almost everything.”

While the standard model is the best depiction of the subatomic world, it still doesn’t explain everything, using only 3 of the 4 forces and leaving out gravity. This leaves it not incorrect, but incomplete, and the research done at CERN seeks to complete this theory into a unified theory of everything, or rather, a complete theory how everything in the universe works and why.

The Higgs Boson

Within the standard model lies a particle called the Higgs boson, and without it the model falls apart. The only thing is, the Higgs boson was nothing but a prediction since 1964 when professor Peter Higgs and five other professors proposed a theory for its existence.

Low and behold, after experiments at CERN in the LHC, on July 4th, 2012 — 7 months and four days after the end of the Mayan calendar, which the same people who believe CERN is a portal to Saturn believed would be the end of the world — the discovery of a new particle in the LHC was detected.

Due to this particle having the same mass predicted for the Higgs boson, and also containing zero spin and a positive parity  — also exact characteristics of the Higgs Boson — by December 2013 it was announced that François Englert and Peter Higgs himself were each awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics “for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.” —Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

In Conclusion

As the researchers at CERN will tell us, the standard model is an incomplete model, and still has work to be done on it. It could change completely, or it could remain the same with few additions to explain bundles about the nature of the universe that we haven’t even thought of yet. But only the work done at CERN will provide scientists — and therefore the public — with the evidence, answers, and insights through their work. And aside from the Higgs boson, or other possible bosons, the LHC at CERN has the power to provide us with observations into the fundamental particles and behavior of the laws of nature that otherwise we wouldn’t have the chance to attempt. It’s a very important project indeed, it’s far from dangerous, and it would be a good idea to be leery of anyone trying to convince you diversely. 

By Olan Thomas of Cut2TheTruth.com.

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