• Question: Apart from trying to find the Higgs Boson, what other projects are being carried out at the LHC?

    Asked by 22nebula21 to James_M on 22 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: James M Monk

      James M Monk answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      All sorts of things. For a start, the two general purpose experiments (I work on ATLAS, which is one of them) should be able to find any new unexpected physics, if it is there. This might include dark matter candidates, extra dimensions or exotic things like that. I don’t necessarily expect those things will be there, but it is good to test them.

      Apart from the direct searches for new particles, there are also precision tests of things. One of the experiments called LHCb is making precise tests of the difference between matter and anti-matter (this is called CP violation). Another experiment called ALICE is designed to look at collisions between lead ions (instead of protons). That’s interesting because they hope to study a form of matter called “quark-gluon plasma” – a plasma so hot that there are free quarks and gluons, which are normally confined inside of protons and neutrons!