What are sparticles?    
The name sparticle is a merging of the words supersymnetric and particle. According to supersymmetry theory, when the 'regular' particles - photons, quarks etc were created in the Big Bang, they were accompanied by a matching sparticle - photinos, squarks etc. These 'sister particles' possess far more mass than their regular counterparts making them hugely unstable and, as such, they disappear almost as soon as they are created
How will they find them?
By hurling two beams of protons - found in the nucleus of atoms - around the 27km (17mile) ring and smashing them together at 1,068,460,320km/h -99 Per cent of the speed of light.
These sub-atomic particles collide at energies that cause the laws that hold them together to break down, recreating the conditions that existed less a billionth of a second after the Big-Bang.
Detectors will then trace and analyse the particles that emerge from the collisions in the hope that somewhere amongst the many exotic particles spewed out are sparticle.
LHC facts
  The Large Hadron Collider is a particle accelerator and hadron collider located at CERN,near Geneva,Switzerland
  Once opreational it will become the worlds largest and highest energy particle accelerator. Construction is expected to be completed in May 2008
  It is hoped that the collider will provide evidence of the elusive Higgs boson, an elementary sub-atomic particle that could confirm predictions made in the Standard Model of physics that,amongst other things, describes how particles acquire mass
  The LHC is being funded and built in collaboration with over 2,000 physicists from 34 countries
  Physicists also hope that the LHC will answer other fundamental questions: Are there extra dimensions? What is the nature of dark matter and dark energy and why,when compared with the other fundamental forces is gravity so very weak?

BY BEN GILLILAND

Neutralino,chargino, gravitino, slepton and squark. No, this is isn't a roll call of alien bit-players in the upcoming Star Trek film .They are Just a few types of an exotic brand of particle predicted by supersymmetry called sparticles, that might be created when the world's most powerful particle accelerator is fired up later this year.
It seems that when the Large Hadron Collider, under construction in Geneva, starts smashing beams of photons together at near-light speed, physicists are expecting all sorts of bizarre quantum beasties to be created. Sparticles are one of most peculiar.
Supersymmetry predicts that, for every conventional particle that is created, there also should be a super-charged version - collectively dubbed sparticles (a contraction of the words 'supersymmetric' and 'particle') - for example, for every electron there should be a selectron and for every quark, a squark. Got that?
It is thought that the reason sparticles have yet to be directly detected is that, like all the particles that exist throughout the universe, they were created in the Big Bang, but, because these particle super-partners were created with a lot of mass, they were massively unstable and so were obliterated a fraction of a second later. Because the LHC is able to recreate the conditions that existed a fraction of a second after the Big Bang, physicists hope that some sparticles will be created. If they are, it will go some way to confirming that supersymmetry exists and that, in turn, will help us answer some fundamental questions about the structure of the universe. They won't be able to observe sparticles directly - because they decay too quickly - but scientists hope they will be able to infer their existence form the effect they have on surrounding particles.

Feb 8, 2008



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