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credit: CERN

The Return of CERN

by Terence Thomas

On December 18th of 2012, it was announced that the large Hadron Collider would be shut down for maintenance and upgrading. The primary goal was to make adjustments, add new components and systems, and take advantage of the new techniques that have taken place in the field of solid state design in just the last few years. New materials and refinements in manufacturing have led to faster and more stable components. New combinations of super-conductor materials and the development of hyper-drive devices have made the future of the collider and indeed the future of quantum physics, remarkable reality.


To theorize on a field that is so difficult to demonstrate practical applications has made quantum physics seem more of a source of science fiction than a serious subject for study. Our fascination with the word quantum has, for some time now, given license to such products as quantum watches, quantum stereos and even quantum burgers. Fortunately, commercial trends are short lived, the use of the word quantum has taken a downturn and the commercial world has moved on to the next fad.

The Hadron Collider has made such contributions that we no longer look at quantum physics as a place where scientists sit around making up the craziest ideas they can think of. It is time to take the accomplishments of the Hadron Collider seriously and realize that we are on the verge of a practical applied science. Our limitations have been reduced and the improvements in technology have given us the opportunity to even further the research capability of many other fields of science.


Our perceptions are really rather slow and what we see is actually old light. This accounts for car accidents or injuries due to perceiving events too late to respond properly. Faster compilation of information and storage of these events like atomic activities, can be enhanced by faster operating semi-conductors. They have made it possible for computers to enter the terabyte age and in no other field of science, is timing more important. In fact, the term quantum computer has become a new catch phrase. Forces that are involved in the actions of subatomic particles are still beyond our ability to monitor because the activities we attempting to watch are faster than the operating speed of the equipment we use. The faster we can register the information though, the more we can define threshold elements. This new view will make future projects more efficient and expand our knowledge in new ways we have not yet discovered.


The improved timing in computer speed can lead to more accurate speculation about what we might see if our visual perceptions were expanded. Because of developments in graphics, illustrations of sub-atomic activities will become a new tool in the understanding of the operation of all quantum elements. The two year shut down has also given the scientists time to evaluate what they have learned so far. Both particle information and equipment design will benefit from the offline time as the performance of the Hadron Collider will be considerably enhanced and practical application of quantum principals will become more of a reality.

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