We're galactically huge fans of the Large Hadron Collider. We cheered the atom-smasher's recent discovery of its first new particle, Chi_b (3P). We applauded the announcement from CERN that it may have clocked a neutrino beam going faster than the speed of light. And we nearly fell off our chair at the news that an intrepid physicist has built a scale model of the thing out of Lego.
Then we scratched our heads for a while. We're passionate about consumer technology, but few of us understand how a Samsung Galaxy S2 works at the sub-atomic level. So what do these discoveries mean for those of us who wish we'd paid more attention in GCSE physics?
What exactly is a Hadron anyway? Or a Boson for that matter? Just who is this Higgs fellow and why does he have a particle named after him? And most importantly, is it going to create a giant black hole and suck us all into an alternative dimension? Click play on the video to find out everything you need to know in our bluffer's guide to the LHC.
What we do know is the LHC is a giant 17-mile long underground ring that uses magnets to speed up bits of matter then bash them against each other really hard, like an expensively produced costume-drama re-enactment of the Big Bang. The ring is colder than outer space but the collisions it produces are hotter than the Sun. And right now, the geniuses who work there are getting very excited, because they think it might be about to discover the Higgs Boson, popularly known as the God Particle.
We spoke to one of those scientists -- Imperial College London's Jonathan Hays. He's been crunching some of the 27 terabytes of raw data that CERN produces every day, and he's been hunting for the Higgs Boson since 1987. We got the lowdown on what these CERN discoveries mean. Does he think we'll be engulfed by an enormous black hole in 2012? Watch the video to find out.