Are We Alone - Encore Performance September 22, 2008 "Get Your Boson"
What happens when particles collide? The answer may tell us the dark secrets of the cosmos. At least, that's the hope for the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest particle accelerator. When it fires up this summer, colliding protons may produce the elusive Higgs Boson - the so-called God particle - and reveal the building blocks of the universe.
We talk to the Director of CERN, home of this massive device, about what happens when they throw the big switch. Also, what if black holes happen? Find out how these weird gravity pits are created, and whether they're actually two-way streets that allow information to escape after all.
Also, plans are already underway for the next particle accelerator, and playing with fire: a new fusion reactor in France.Guests:
- Robert Aymar - Director General of CERN in Geneva, Switzerland
- Barry Barish - Physicist Emeritus, California Institute of Technology and Director of the International Linear Collider Global Design Effort
- Norbert Holtkamp - Principle Deputy Director General of ITER and physicist at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Simon Steel - Astronomer, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics