Our Unlikely Universe
“500 years ago Nicolaus Copernicus transformed the way we think about our place in the universe; today we may be on the brink of a new Copernican Revolution.” The Large Hadron Collider is the largest scientific device ever constructed by the human race. Since it was built it has helped us explore the world that we live in, to find out more about how the universe works at the most fundamental level. On the 4th of July 2012 the story of particle physics came to an end. The Standard Model was complete. We now know what everything in the universe is made from and how the particles get mass. The other main objective of the LHC has been to search for evidence of the supersymmetric particles, something that has captivated particle physicists for 30 years. This will be the main focus of the second operational run of LHC. As Harry Cliff says, “keep your eyes open for developments for the LHC, the next 2 or 3 years really are make or break time for physics.” Dr Harry Cliff is a particle physicist from the University of Cambridge who works on the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest scientific experiment, at CERN near Geneva. Harry’s research interests lie in searching for evidence of new physical phenomena at the highest energies ever probed by experiments. In particular he works as part of a team that makes extremely precise measurements of exotic particles known as beauty quarks. By comparing these precise measurements with theoretical predictions they hope to find signs of new elementary particles or forces of nature that could in turn lead to a deeper understanding of the laws of physics. He is also Fellow of Modern Science at the Science Museum, where he recently curated the critically-acclaimed “Collider” exhibition and is very active in communicating physics to the general public.