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13 November 2014

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You are in: Manchester > Science > Science features > Video: Big Bang Machine

Professor Brian Cox

Professor Brian Cox

Video: Big Bang Machine

It’s the biggest scientific experiment of all time. On 10 September, scientists will attempt to re-create the very beginnings of the Universe, a billionth of a second after the Big Bang. Unravelling this hugely complex event is Professor Brian Cox:

The University of Manchester's Brian Cox presented a special programme 'The Big Bang Machine' on BBC Four (shown Saturday 6 September 2008). Watch again on iPlayer:

It’s all happening inside the massive Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN – a 27km long particle accelerator on the France-Switzerland border.

Getting around the LHC [pic: Maximilien Brice/ CERN]

The LHC: it's big

On Big Bang Day (10 September 2008), scientists at the LHC will send two beams of protons travelling at almost the speed of light in opposite directions and then smash them head on 600 million times a second in a bid to learn about the basic forces that have shaped our universe since the beginning of time.

Among the possible unknowns are the origins of mass, extra dimensions of space, microscopic black holes, and evidence for dark matter candidates in the Universe.

It's taken 20 years of preparation, 10 billion dollars and has involved more than 10,000 scientists from 70 countries. Scientists have called the LHC the greatest scientific endeavour since the Apollo moon landings, and it heralds a new era in our understanding of the universe we live in.

Particle physics

Brian Cox, a professor of particle physics at The University of Manchester, will be part of a team involved in the hugely anticipated switch-on of the LHC. 

He’s not only the public face of the BBC’s coverage of Big Bang Day – Brian Cox is known to many as a former member of 90’s pop group D:Ream who performed the 1997 Labour anthem 'Things Can Only Get Better’.

Tim Head, 24, a particle physics PhD student at the University of Manchester, has created a time-lapse movie showing the five-year construction of the huge 7,000 tonne ATLAS detector at CERN.

last updated: 10/09/2008 at 12:26
created: 08/09/2008

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