When science fiction meets reality – that is the secret a group of researchers near Geneva are trying to unlock. In an experiment scientists believe will have a major impact on our understanding of the universe, a huge magnet weighing close to two thousand tonnes has been lowered 100 metres below ground.
“It is difficult to predict 50 years from now what impact these discoveries will have,” says researcher Tejinder Virdee from the CERN, the world’s leading centre for research into the origins of matter.
“Clearly they will have a major impact on our understanding of how nature works. And it will have an impact elsewhere, no doubt, just as the discoveries of Einstein and Maxwell and Newton and Galileo had on our scientific culture if you wish.”
The 15-year experiment involves smashing particles together at the speed of light – recreating conditions following the Big Bang which is believed to have brought the universe into existence.
It is thought it could reveal the existence of dimensions until now relegated to the world of science fiction such as multiple universes and parallel worlds.