Exploring the Physical World


"Crash" describes construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator near Geneva, where Weizmann Institute scientists are part of an international team seeking to prove the Standard Model of physics. The LHC will race particles through a circular tunnel that is 27 km long and 100 m below the surface. When the particles collide, they very briefly mimic the conditions that existed right after the Big Bang. And there are 1 billion collisions every second. If the particles were people, we’d be running into each other ever six seconds!

The scientists are seeking the Higgs boson (subsequently found), the missing piece of the Standard Model. Failure to find the Higgs would have meant that everything we thought we knew about physics was wrong.