We know how to solve the mysteries of time and space. But we need a collider the size of the solar system
Gravity is incredibly weak force. Just think about it: you can tear your leg off the ground, despite the mass of the Earth, that it attracts. Why is she so weak? Unknown. And, you may need a very, very big scientific experiment to find out. James Beacham - physicist at Duke University, who works with the ATLAS detector at the famous Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. He recently described his physical experiment for Gizmodo: incredibly large accelerator atoms - Ultra Hadron Collider - located on the outer edge of the solar system.
Such an experiment could solve most of the puzzles of physics at once, for example, reveal the true nature of dark matter, or to prove the possibility of time travel.
Thought experiment: Collider with the solar system size
"In order to understand what happened during the Big Bang, the closer to the very moment we're getting, the higher the energy we need for experiments at the collider, and therefore have to build colliders more and more," said Beauchamp. "Currently, we are pretty well aware of what happened when the universe was the size of an apple; that we can achieve with the energies of the LHC. But when she was less than the further back in time, so incomprehensible. "
Physicists believe they know the basic principles of the universe. Particle interact through a force of four known: electromagnetism; "Weak" force; "Strong" force; gravity. Each force has rules that we have found in the course of experiments conducted for hundreds of years. Some fundamental interactions stronger, some weaker. Compared with the other three "gravity is not just weak, it is almost insignificant," said Beauchamp. Then - in the first person.
The Large Hadron Collider, where I worked, we study the basic, elementary rules of nature colliding protons together at high energies. The rules that we are investigating, are described in terms of particles and forces, and gravity - the only one of the four known forces, which we did not even pay attention, expecting the most high-energy collisions of protons. If endow a strong interaction force 1, gravity will be effective 10 -39. 39 zeros after the decimal point. That is to say, nothing at all.
This mystery of science is one of the most confusing for us. Why interactions forces lined up in such a way? Why is gravity so weak?
Nature is what is, no matter what kind of people it represents. But experiments have shown that at sufficiently high energies, electromagnetism and the weak force merge together into a single force. At higher energies, scientists believe, the strong interaction will also join them. But gravity is different. Scientists do not know whether gravity combined with other forces at sufficiently high energies.
"Gravity - a force of nature, but its rules - the mathematics that underlies it, the most accurate description - somehow very different from the rest," says Beauchamp. And he continues:
Gravity is best described by Einstein's general theory of relativity, and the other three forces, which are described by the Standard Model of elementary particle physics are based on quantum field theory. Although there are similarities, they are different. That is, when we naively try to stitch them together, we get meaningless answers. In our current universe, using our current technology, "virtually impossible to find an answer to this question empirically," said Beauchamp. Why? "We can not get to the high energy of the collision, in the first place because we can not build the collider big enough for that." He says that some theorists believe that there is something else (like other particles or extra spatial dimensions, as a consequence of string theory and its extended models) that may appear in the experiment, which unites gravity with the other forces.
But for this we need a collider the size of the solar system.
The Large Hadron Collider is really small
Even the 27-kilometer circular Large Hadron Collider, which uses superconducting magnets to accelerate and collisions of proton beams at 99, 999999% the speed of light, not long enough to answer these questions. He can learn only what was the universe when it was about the size of an apple. Scientists may require more energy and therefore more Collider to make sense of the universe is less than the size of an apple.
How much more? Perhaps the strong and weak nuclear forces could be combined using the collider, built around Mars. But to add gravity into the equation, "according to some rough estimates need Collider encircling Neptune's orbit. Moreover, some scholars argue that this estimate is very approximate, and we have to build a ring even more. " Benefits will be enormous - such a collider will be able to try out the Planck scale, the smallest scale at which we can look, allowed by quantum mechanics. "We would understand all about gravity, quantum mechanics and, meanwhile, also would get a combined electroweak and elektrosilnuyu power just so, and after her time travel, string theory, dark matter, dark energy, the problem of measurement, theory of multiple universes and so on. What? Time travel? According to Beecham, we would have so much detailed understanding of the universe and how to work the space-time that might have been able to put their knowledge of the basis for future technologies of manipulation over time.
"It is possible that the force of gravity and the other forces of nature combined with some extremely high energies, but to investigate this question, we need to create at the LHC Collider type zoster outer reaches of the solar system, or even more."
Unfortunately, Beecham thought experiment is not feasible at the present time:
"The technology, human power and resources to build the collider particles encircling the outer reaches of the solar system, simply does not exist. Even if we took the technology of the existing accelerator and detectors at the LHC, the scale would be a problem in the most practical sense: it is unclear whether enough material to create this large object in the solar system, all the sources - the Earth, the Moon, planets, asteroids and so forth. .
And to accelerate protons to such high energy, even at the LHC, we use superconducting magnets. Magnets acquire properties of superconductors only if you make them very cold. One would think that it would be useful to create a particle accelerator in space. Space because it is very cold. But it is not very cold for superconductivity. The outer space has a temperature of 2, 7 Kelvin, but require magnets 1, 9 Kelvin. Close, but still there. At these temperatures BAK achieved using liquid helium. It is unclear whether the liquid helium will be enough at all somewhere nearby to cool the circular accelerator the size of the solar system.
At these energies, the detectors must be enormous. You'll have to teach physics and to acquire an incomprehensible amount of computing power. You will need advanced robotics, protection from asteroids, comets and other debris. And all this is necessary to set in motion. You can not use solar energy because the machine surrounds the Sun at a distance of Neptune. The device of this size will require breakthroughs in energy, which is not possible in the near future.
Such an experiment would change the physics. Eventually, such experiments help physicists to understand how things work, and this accelerator will give convincing answers to many questions. This will change the way people think. Change what we mean by "understanding".
If we were building the collider around the outer boundary of the solar system, the knowledge that we have acquired - about the nature of gravity, on how to link to one quantum mechanics and the general theory of relativity, time travel, that was at the time of the Big Bang , about whether our universe is likely to be one of an infinite number of multiple universes - so have changed our perception of the reality of our relationship with nature, that its language, understanding of the world, of humanity, of what is happening at all, our place in the universe that n s would have had to invent a new concept of understanding to describe it.
Obviously, no man is working on this experiment, even though CERN is already working on a paper Future circular collider tunnel which will be 80-100 kilometers long. But maybe, somewhere someone in the universe and is working on such a project.
Assist extraterrestrial civilization?
It would be fantastic if some distant civilizations elsewhere in the universe would have already worked on this, and we had at least the opportunity to find and contact her to inquire about results of even ordinary physical experiments. Same their mass of the Higgs boson? Did they find the X and Y bosons, which demonstrate the electroweak unification and elektrosilnoy forces? They reached the Planck scale? What is dark matter? Can we go back in time?
The universe will continue to operate under the same laws. The real question is whether people will ever understand these laws.
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