Through The Wormhole: What Are We Made Of?

2010, Science  -   71 Comments

Through The Wormhole: What Are We Made Of?Our understanding of the universe and the nature of reality itself has drastically changed over the last 100 years, and it's on the verge of another seismic shift. In a 17-mile-long tunnel buried 570 feet beneath the Franco-Swiss border, the world's largest and most powerful atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider, is powering up.

Its goal is nothing less than recreating the first instants of creation, when the universe was unimaginably hot and long-extinct forms of matter sizzled and cooled into stars, planets, and ultimately, us. These incredibly small and exotic particles hold the keys to the greatest mysteries of the universe. What we find could validate our long-held theories about how the world works and what we are made of. Or, all of our notions about the essence of what is real will fall apart.

What are we made of? The question has rankled scientists and philosophers for millennia, and even with the amazing progress made in fields like particle physics and astronomy, we are left with only a partial answer. We know, of course, that the visible world is composed of protons, neutrons and electrons that combine to form atoms of different elements, and we know those elements are the building blocks of the planets and stars that give rise to solar systems and galaxies.

What we didn't know until very recently, however, is that those protons, neutrons and electrons appear to form less than 5 percent of the universe, and questions remain about how these building blocks arose. If regular matter represents only a small slice of the universe, what is the rest of the universe made of?

Such questions prompted the construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) beneath the border between France and Switzerland. As the world's largest particle accelerator, experts designed the LHC to recreate conditions that occurred shortly after the very foundation of universe itself. Here are a few of the mysteries scientists hope the LHC and other particle accelerators can shed light on.

This is the seventh episode. See the list of all episodes here: Through The Wormhole.

Ratings: 8.29/10from 42 users.

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71 Comments / User Reviews

  1. zool

    Isn't it "funny," that our wondering about our own existence is, in itself, conciseness?

    Maybe LIFE is just a virus from another planet billions of years ago...... and maybe that life was nothing like it is here... our SELFS keep us within boundaries.

  2. MAllen Documentaires

    Anyone today after all we know about DNA codes still thinks we are here from some random explosion should immediately qualify for SSI benefits and I myself would be more than willing for a percentage of my hard earned taxes be used on the many humans that just don't seem to get the whole DNA code thing private funded program. They need every chance to see the light.

  3. Duncan Koebrich

    Yeah, Oscar, and god came from nothing...."why should i care for any one if iam going to nowhere and no heaven or hell"....Your mindset demonstrates how poisonous religion can be if your morality is based off of consequences. I'm not sure you can be repaired at this point, but have you considered good for goodness sake?

  4. oscar92000

    i noticed that most of argument is about the existence of god ,well i dont need to see god to say he is there ,if you are saying that all this universe came from nothing? is that is the answer. i think it is unacceptable , you will go smaller and smaller in the atom but there will be a question who made the smallest part, what makes us human feel ,love, hate, why we do care for each others why we ain't like animals ,having thier own rules , why we do have morals ,why there is goodness and evil , how we define them if there is no god, why should i care for any one if iam going to nowhere and no heaven or hell, why i would live if iam not happy , nothing will make it up if i will vanish forever after few years,so i prefer to die now right? why we do think that we are equal regardless black or white ,healthy and not healthy ,poor or rich , if there is no god what makes me think that the others are equal to me , i do have health now, and handicapped dosn't , so he is lowers than me. god make humanity and equality between ppl possible ,it is not only about science dozen of things happens in our life we see life ,death , Destiny ,is that all fake and faith dosn't come from nothing btw it has to be based on something and there are alot of things in this world makes you see god ,but sometimes ours pain in life or ignorance takes this ability away ,that is my opinion and i like the doc alot btw:)

  5. MikeTuttle

    I noticed many of us read and study what we believe. Many say "be open mined" to those that believe in creation and a creator. For the ones that say these things to creationist, this is hypocritical, as a creationist could say the same thing. One thing I have noticed though is creation science is not "valued" enough in society to be taught in most public schools or colleges, so of course these teachers and professors can ingrain in there students what they are told to teach or what they want to teach. And every school in the USA has a central controlling teaching entity so everyone in the public school system is taught primarily the same thing. It just doesn't sound to diverse to me. True creative, and diverse thinking comes when locals can teach diversely (about science) then scientist can discover things from more than one perspective. Closed debates lead to nothingness.

    1. Matt Novak

      science is not about perspective, it is about facts and empirical data...creationism is not science because it not empirically factual. the overwhelming evidence says that the world is much older than 9000 years.

  6. Dave Albritton

    The inner workings of creation are by definition a creation. A higher being- God- set these things in motion. An excellent series, very intriguing. Scientists will search forever and still be baffled by the inner workings, as will we all. A huge explosion in space was set up how? What caused the Big Bang if there was such a thing?

    1. Jon

      By equating energy to mass and speed of light, Einstein offers a formula for the big bang. Whatever started everything began with a huge burst of energy that set matter into motion or life.

    2. awful_truth

      It is far easier to understand the creation of the universe if we refer to it as the 'big birth'. The 'big bang' was a derisive term coined by Fred Hoyle, a scientist who believed in the steady state theory, that the universe did not have a beginning.
      If there was a beginning, it likely came about the same way we did. (reproduction) That would be the 'big bang'. (sex, or a-sexual)
      Since we know where we 'came' from, it is logical to hypothesize that the universe came about the same way we did. The implications for this are far reaching, and in my opinion, the most logical conclusion. This is a far better explanation than simply stating something created from nothing, or that life began on the back of crystals. (a poor attempt from scientists who cannot see the forest for the trees)
      Imagine all the religious wars that could be avoided if everyone just accepted the obvious. (God is real, but not what we have been told) Take care, and best wishes Dave.

  7. LarrytheLayman

    @Randy It is my understanding that atoms are held together by strong nuclear forces, one of the fundamental forces. Apparently it was thought that pi-mesons or pions, was the particle that carried strong forces. However, with the discovery of quarks, a new type of carrier was devised, called gluons. If you imagine the example, when they threw a ball between each other, the ball is the gluon. Say for example three people, representing quarks, throw balls to each other, this interaction is what holds them together, or "in communication" with each other.In addition to these three represent the proton, you have another three representing the neutron. The proton group throw balls to the neutron group, and vice versa, as well as throwing the balls to each member of their respective groups. Then you have another bunch of people, representing the electrons, which also get the balls thrown to them from the two groups. It is this interaction of "passing" information between each other that holds atoms together.
    @D-K If I understand what you mean, it is the size of the "balls" that has you interested, what the amount of strong interaction is in order to hold the atom together.

    1. awful_truth

      If you mean that the 'atom' is held together by the strong nuclear force, you are correct. "atoms' (plural) are held together by electromagnetism.

  8. Dave

    Although I was raised a catholic and although I went (forced) to church every Sundays when I was young, I do believe today (now that I can think for myself...!) that religions are THE greatest scam ever to be imagined by human beings. As for what we call GOD, it is a catch-all term for anything we can't explain today. If it suits many of you to call GOD what ought to be much "greater" than what we are, then go ahead, use it, believe it. But I certainly don't buy what religions have been describing about what this GOD really is.

    Anyways, I'm only an electrical engineer who loves to learn and read physic books, and the more I read, the more I am convinced of MY beliefs.. So until we know more, I sincerely hope that people start opening their mind to learning the truth and the tangible, and stop falling back on this term GOD or religions which serves nothing but wars and hatred among human beings.

    I know for most of you (and for my own mom) that can't be! God exists you say, it has to! Well, who am I to say it doesn't exist. But If only we could all understand physics and open our mind, people would not be so stubborn.

    In the mean time, enjoy life, for what it really is?!

  9. ricardo ramirez

    LiNk wAs HeLpFuL ThAnKs !!

  10. Ricardo Rodrigues

    @ Unknown77

    I just read your link... and I found it to be contradictory... at best!! He disproves the multiverse theory by saying that it can't be proven... but he defends that God exists!!! that sentence alone should disproof God... since it can't be explain has well ... and then he uses Occam´s razor to simplify the answer... come on!!! He has it up side down... Occam's razor eliminates God, because it requires a mush more complex explanation for the question... For God to exist it requires a hole new set of rules to explain HIM and his complexity ... With the multiverse you have a mutch more simple explanation... if you have a infinite amount of Universes with different settings then one of them should have the characteristics of our Universe... can´t get any simpler than that...!!!
    but both are mere speculations... so he proves himself wrong right from the start...

    The big difference here is that when science speculates it says exactly that... it forms a "theory" or "Theories" for the same problem... and then it trys to prove it by observation... and even then it is not the TRUTH, it stands only until someone comes up with a better solution... a fact is only a fact until someone comes with another fact to disprove it!!! Science isn´t the truth, it´s the pursuit of it it with ever more complete answers. it never stops by saying this is it!! it creates "maps" of certain specific events... but it will never come to a definite answer for everything like religion so selfishly does with no need for proof.

    God, multiverse, whatever... they are only theories and no one can claim them to be the Truth...

    1. get1949

      "Occam's razor eliminates God, because it requires a mush more complex explanation for the question... For God to exist it requires a hole new set of rules to explain HIM and his complexity ..."

      Why would God be "complex"? Why wouldn't 'He' exist in dimensionality that has low entropic value? If God has a Heaven then to think "things" there would decay out is contradictory--God would not get old for God is not restricted to time--He nis outside of time. He would also have "provided" His creation with all the information necessary for it to function thereby having a condition of information/intelligence order--low entropy information.

      Just thinking!

    2. Ricardo Rodrigues

      See... it´s hard to argue with a comment like that... you´re cherry picking scientific arguments... so he his out of time... and exists in a low entropic dimentionality... but you still apply entropy to try and describe something of he´s condition... and entropy is a result of thermodynamic transformations... it´s an invented measure like... gallons, or meters, or temperature... it serves to create measurable patterns observed in nature... in our Universe... specifically entropy measures waste of energy in thermodynamic systems... it only applies to human reality... we invented the concept...

      and when you talk of reason, intention and purpose... this things require complexity... so far as we know... to the extent of reason itself... complex things can arise from simplicity if you give it some time... but it does not require reasoning or intentionality...

      we differ from everything else for our complexity... we reason, we think and we create ... so when something appears that looks complicated we tend to assume it must have been created by reason and intentionality... I agree that is a pretty intelligent assumption ... but an assumption non the less... then along came science... and by observation we verified that complex things can arise from simple things... but we've never seen intentionality... we see things interacting following the lowest resistance see this in everything formation, in rivers... in volcanos... etc. etc. Does a volcano form in the lowest resistance part of the earth's crust by choice??... no... that is absurd... even in living structures we don't find purpose, and intensionality... we observe economy... things adjusting to the lowest energy consumption possible... why isn't a dog or a tree, or an atom aware of God?... cuz you need complex intelligent brain to do that assumption... and again... and assumption non the less... there is nothing in this world that proves intentionality other then Human action itself... therefore, the simple answer in my opinion is that intentionality is a Human trade...

      All this to say that God had to be complex just to be aware of himself...

  11. Ricardo Rodrigues

    what is the point of saying there is a "God"... when it can´t explain it´s existence... if he´s the father of creation... who created him ...??

    if he really is omnipresent and eternal ... man... is he bored out... no wonder he created something to keep his mind occupied....

    Religious people tend to say there is no meaning in science, that it's empty of meaning... seriously!!! what is the meaning of a being that sits around for all eternity... imposing he's righteousness on us mortal beings... Science is exactly that... the pursuit for meaning... it is on it´s infancy... don´t be naive... we only took babe steps so far... we don´t no nothing yet...

    Maybe in the end we will find a creator... and just maybe science will be the road to find God... but we will grant value... and proof... not prejudice and fascism...

    In this context if science finds God... Religious people will be so blinded in they´re own beliefs that they wont recognise the same God they pray to...

    There is beauty in the words "I don´t know"... stop saying you know... you don´t know... and please stop the "Feeling and awareness" excuse... feelings and awareness are subjective, and only apply in a personal context... it will never be a good measuring tool.

    Good science keeps an open mind at every possibility... there is a lot fundamentalism in a lot of the comments here... you can´t find common ground when your speaking in different "languages" .... it is pointless ...

  12. justaguy114

    Um. At 18:37, it's spelled "Electrical." Only because It's not everyday I get to correct super smart scientists.

  13. SniperIynk Dustin Ramsey

    i dont think you people should be saying that Christianity is wrong because i found that even through science it is a possibility. Scientifically there has to be a being working outside the laws of the universe, whether it is a god that loves and cares for all creation or a god that just sent everything out to take its course without even worrying about what actually happens and just staring at the wondrous beauty. either way, the idea that the universe is crafted by a divine hand is not flawed because it is as possible as everything just appearing out of nothingness

  14. Monica

    I’m amazed that humans can even create a particle smasher and record the results of things that are smaller than atoms when I can’t even truly imagine how small an atom really is and a particle is smaller! Scientists have put so much time and energy into learning more about our universe and we still know very little. I love being able to watch this show whenever I want through my iPad or phone thanks to DISH. I work there so as soon as I found out about their TV Everywhere, I got onboard and bought a Sling Adapter. I just really appreciate this show since most shows are superficial or dull.

  15. Snoik

    This series shoots the creationists down in flames. Shut up, your aguament is invalid.

    1. His Forever

      Oh? How so? The more I watch them the more I marvel at the workmanship of God.

      Read this statement for me: GODISNOWHERE.

      Did you read: "God is no where" consistent with your disbelief?

      I read it as "God is now here!"

      Sometimes you atheists miss God's thumbprint on creation for the lack of your already blinded mindset.

      Great doc. by the way!

    2. kotchpatts

      Can you provide any empirical proof of the existence of this thing you call God?

      'I don't need proof, I have faith' is as flawed as the Ontological Argument and does not withstand even the lightest critique.

      Watch a film by Bill Maher called Religulous and then try convincing yourself that your God is not simply a creation of human imagination designed to control the masses and provide comfort in defining a purpose where there is none.

      Wake up.

    3. tom m

      wake up to what? Evidence that from not a single thing NO THING, not even the thought of an atom...the big bang assumes there is mass to expand from...religion assumes there is god at the beginning to create the universe...

      anyone please tell me in scientific terms or any terms how nothing becomes something?

    4. Ricardo Rodrigues

      does the Universe really need a reason to create something...?! or do we??

    5. Dave

      Hello Tom,

      No one can! What all physicists can do for now is explain how OUR own universe came to exist and expand: the big bang.

      That does not mean that before that there was "nothing".

      There are a a few theories supported among physicists that our universe may have come to exist from some sort of collision from a parallel universe. Grossly, "string theory" is trying to explain this phenomenon where they try to examine some energy "particle" that "cease" to exist in our own universe (possibly being transfered to a parallel universe).

      So the Big Bang theory seems legit and so far they were able to explain it pretty well, but to say that something was created (not even out of thin air) but out of nothingness is really something NO ONE yet can really explain.

    6. Warmech

      I would agree with you that evidence is mounting towards some sort of creator force or consciousness. But, what you are missing from this scientific golden age we are entering, is that every religion is proving to not only be fake, but even more outrageous then believing in it all came from absolutey nothing.

      I am assuming you are a christian(or jewish or muslim) since you spelled the word god, God. If you think what those fantasy books tell you has anything to do with why we are here, then you need to re-evaluate what all these scientists are discovering and sharing with us. I hate to say it, but we are not THAT special. Just a little bit special. We are getting closer to proving we are the 1st step in a process that takes millions of years, and may never end. We are conscious. But we just started being conscious very recently.

      If there is a creator, I'm pretty sure he, she,(it?) does not care much about you individualy except for the fact that you are life made conscious, and how beautiful that is. When you look inside the tank, and see the seamonkeys floating around, you arent worried about a few dieing are you? No but you want them to thrive as a species. Let's hope we make it off this rock and stop trying to supress, kill, enslave, desensitize, and hurt eachother and other forms of life. Until we learn to live with eachother on this planet, we have no right to go anywhere else. If we don't solve our own social problems before we start exploring other parts of the galaxy, we are doomed. Are we going to rape and pillage alien societies? Give them blankets with small pox? Burn them at the stake because they prove that their is no allah? Knock down the borders, demilitarize the planet, and all hold hands and sing koombuya.... Good f*cking luck....

    7. Sameh Zarour

      You make a great point and I completely agree with your thoughts on how we interact with each other and the world around us. My question is to you..Where did it all begin?

    8. Michael Hoevenaar

      kotchpatts you must lead a very sad life having no purpose.

  16. John Laite

    @a Brother: Your comments are biased and unsubstantiated at best. I really do not evdn know where to begin in tearing down your inaspicious argument. Firstly, how can you know the Christian god is real and not one of the other just as "plausible" gods that have been conjured up by man? And how can you arbitrarily define what has meaning and what does not based on your own limited learning capacity? You do now know what is real becasue you have already defined what is real based on your own prejudices. Free your mind, Neo.

  17. D-K

    A Brother:

    Your comment reads like it would be on a pamflet with lots of exclamation marks distributed at the airport by men in orange dresses.

    Also, and perhaps this is my fault, I can't seem to find the central point you're making, do you have one?

  18. Achems Razor

    @a brother:

    Are you perhaps doing the "Pascal's Wager" just in case? Hmmm.

    Re: your quoting of bible scripture?

  19. a brother

    Vlatko do you honestly think that I am so naive or idiotic to "discard" the computer or anything that results from Science?! You see, this is the imaginary problem between science and religion. The Reality is a single coin which Science and Religion (talking about Abrahamic religions) look at from a different side. In the middle of them is our consciousness. When it is oriented outward and seeks to understand the outer world we associate this with scientific thinking. When it is oriented inward we associate this with moral judgment and religious thinking. But there is another orientation rarely understood or spoken of and this is the un-orientation a.k.a awareness. So these three states of consciousness are the Holy Trinity of Reality, the Three Pillars, namely Science, Religion and Mysticism.

    They correspond to the Body, the Soul and the Spirit. The dialectic between them is the history of humanity and the basis of our tragedies and triumphs. At the end of this road lies the Spirit, the middle Pillar, the Realization of the Self as it is called. And You my friend, will also follow that road inevitably, because this Spirit is You. This quest for Truth whether as Science or Religion is in reality the quest for the knowledge of ourselves. It translates as the Quest for Pure Spirit and it is a state of consciousness and awareness of ourselves.

    The funny part is that the scientists search for the meaning of life digging particles of physical matter. There is no meaning in them. We are those who give that meaning. We are those who realize a meaning of something. That's why in the end, that is what is going to happen. Scientists will find this meaning in themselves and not in nature. They will realize that they are the nature. And there will be no more conflict based on scientific reason and religious truth. That is the esoteric interpretation of the End of Times.

    And why you gave me this "computer" thing in the first place? Why this constant inferiorization of people who talk about spirituality as if they are some feeble-minded morons? The human civilization was born and supported by spiritually enlightened people. For example all the letters we write are a product of such people. The product of science is even the stick or the simple axe or hammer when the science as we know it, in its western style, was not anywhere to be found. The tools we make are extensions and enhancement of our bodies.

    They are here since the beginning of humanity. They are not a product of (somehow) your particular kind of science. And they were being made in a religious environment for thousands of years. Its a single road from the axe to the computer. You dont mind me using an axe but you find problems with me using a computer. Stop being ridiculous and get serious.

    There are many fundamental religionists that constantly talk BS so I can understand you about that. I have an aquaintance, who literally thinks the Heaven is up there in the sky and the Hell is below his feet undergorund. Besides that heaven and hell do not physically exist but are symbolical names for states of consciousness, the faith of the likes of my aquaintance is probably what made you write about the discarded computer. I understand you perfectly about that. But what I am saying is something different.

    I was somewhat arrogant but there is really some constant disregard for authentic spirituality and spiritual experiences from scientists and religionist alike that I think my indignation is justified. The point is that there should be listening and understanding.

    1. Cole Long

      Why just Abrahamic religions? Whats wrong with Hinduism?

  20. a brother

    This is what "Know thyself" means. Our own consciousness is the real scientific object which has to be investigated by our own awareness of it as the subject who investigates. This is the mysterious for so many scientists subject/object dichotomy. The object is not the so-called material, empirical world of space-time, but our very consciousness that thinks and reasons. The process is called meditation, the laboratory is our bodies, the result is enlightenment. And this is where there is no conflict between science and religion. Thats it is said God is one because God is Coincidentia oppositorum. The mind coincide with the body and this results in realization, a revelation of God within, as it is said "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."Luke 17:21

    1. Vlatko

      @a brother,

      Obviously you're in grand delusion. No one is forcing science onto you. Discard it if you want. Meditate as long as you want and read the gospels as long as you want.

      While doing that why don't you discard the computer you're typing on since that is the product of "modern science priests".

  21. a brother

    The Scientists... the Modern Priests of the Religion of Science, preaching about what you must believe and what must not. Their motto - Blessed are they that have seen, and have believed.
    Let me tell you about space travel, energy or particles alright? Each night when I lie down to "sleep", I visit in spirit, as an astral projection body, the world of my consciousness which is even more real than the world we inhabit by our material bodies. It's called lucid dreaming. The movie Matrix is mostly about this state of consciousness that we all can have if we open our minds enough and realize how far the rabbit hole goes. Countless possibilities... I visit another planets, talk to all kinds of people even the dead, fairytale beings, places I choose with my mind power, themes and persons I create only by my imagination, I fly like a bird, turn into an animal, make love to the most incredible women, I can experience every imaginable thing I can possibly experience. And this folks is for free! This is our nature which God gives us. Not some multi-billion dollar project or some collider which would supposedly answer the questions that humanity supposedly always asks! Questions whose answers lie within us! Questions that were answered thousands of years ago, at the dawn of humanity by God, through His wise men. The power that we seek in this world is to no avail because the real power lies within. We are spiritual beings and thats the whole secret and this is the sole purpose we are born to discover. Let them build multi-billion dollar space-programs or spaceships, my spaceship is my consciousness and it's for free!

  22. Laurie Robillard

    Many mechanisms (data storage)consistent with the known laws of nature to store and transmit information all require energy and at least a two state system. 1.electrochemical impulses 2. positive and negative charges in an electrical circuit 3. tiny dots of magnetic north or south on a tape or disk surface 4. particles with spins up or down 5. the quantized magnetic flux of a supercomputing loop 6. photons in a fiber optic cable 7)temperature differences in material objects 8. velocity differences among molecules or atoms or electrons 9. polarization of photons or electrons 10. holographic patterns of refraction in a physical medium

    Again any storage or retrieval of data requires energy and a system with distinguishable states.
    Within the realm of currently understood scientific laws 1. quantum mechanics asserts that it is fundamentally impossible for position and momentum (to be known to unlimited accuracy) 2. chaos theory asserts that microscopic alterations or uncertainties of the present state can be amplified to produce arbitrarily large changes in the future course of the physical world. The future with predicted unlimited, precision cannot be foreseen. It appears fundamentally impossible for any one-state system to be a repository of data. A perfectly undifferentiated, completely homogeneous, immaterial essence (either mass or energy field)cannot be a repository of data.

    This is the heart of the difficulty. If God is a “perfectly UNDIFFERENTIATED completely homogeneous, immaterial essence, and God works in any sense within the realm of physical law,then it follows that God can neither store nor process any information, much less be “OMNISCIENT”

    How can one address this difficulty?
    One can conceive that temperature differences or velocity gradients exist in God, but this goes against the traditional notion of an OMNISCIENT, OMNIPRESENT, immaterial God.
    Another solution is to identify God with the Universe (or the vacuum), but this is a pantheistic theology, distasteful to many. God would be able to compute as well as the Universe (or the vacuum)computes, and God would be as OMNISCIENT as the Universe which indeed contains a vast amount of knowledge. But such a God would also be exactly as caring and compassionate as is the Universe, and would answer prayers to exactly the extent they are answered by the Universe–no more or less! This does not seem much like the God worshipped as “our Father in heaven” by Jesus.

    The surprise discovery in late 1998 of the current acceleration of the expansion of the universe, apparently caused by an anti-gravity force similar to the huge energy of the vacuum or Einstein’s cosmological term. This background energy alone may destroy the argument of creation from nothing.

  23. D-K

    @Randy: Exactly my point!

    Those numbers could give great insight in elemental formation and atomic fusion/defusion.

    The answer to matter vs anti-matter may lie in "simple" numbers corresponding to certain compositions. I used to think that the tendency to "cluster up" is what made matter previal, but this is obviously massively simplistic. Numbers corresponding to strong nuclear force and how and when it is affected could provide VERY interesting answers.

    I will intesify my search.


  24. Randy

    Achems makes an interesting point.

    We really don't know what holds atoms together, just what breaks them apart.

    Hmmm... can you extrapolate that to the macro-cosm of our environmental niche?

    We don't know what holds the eco-system together, but we know how to destroy it, well enough...

    We need to wave "bye-bye" to the Earth, now...

  25. Achems Razor


    No, the numbers did not come from LHC, I do not know if anyone even knows the numbers that hold atoms together, they apparently know what can split them apart though, when critical mass is obtained.

  26. Achems Razor


    Strong nuclear force. Typical fission events release about two hundred million eV (200MeV)

  27. D-K

    I was hoping that with the LHC they could maybe get some proper estimates on the force involved in atomic attraction (can't remember the actual term, drives me crazy)

    Y'know, the force that keeps atoms from exploding.. I'd like very much to get the numbers on that. How much force is necessary to overpower this force, and how would that relate in LHC scenarios compared to fusion/de-fusion in supernova's.

  28. 420 Vision

    I like to think that the Higgs Field is similar to the dazzeling motions of a flock of starlings.

  29. 420 Vision

    Alas, fusion escapes humans for now, and it remains that only within the hearts of the stars will the really heavy fusions take place - try fusing two Fe, this is the first fusion reaction that requires energy, and in the process ends the lives of massive stars, collapsing the equilibrium, and giving rise to things like humans.

    Think about this the next time your bleeding.

  30. Randy

    Dark matter/energy could very well be a mathematical "illusion"-- an anomoly based on some faulty mechanics.

    As The Hate Machine stated, we do know all of the matter that exists, and we can see it the formulae... however, if you simply remove some of the Newtonian "absolutism" from the equations, everything balances and there is no need for Dark Matter/Energy...

    Maybe, I mean, I am just saying there is no need to get excited about it until we can prove or disprove it through some physical experimentation and testing. Which may be coming soon.

    I hope it is true/proves out true, it is a great mystery! But, alas... in the meantime, I have some overseas calls to make...

  31. Coyote03

    great watch, really informative and entertaining, definitely going to watch all of them now! :D

  32. Atrophy

    @ Eric
    My thoughts:
    Our known universe, as the result of the big bang is finite. However, for it to be expanding, it has to have someplace to go otherwise everything runs into a magical barrier and we all wonder whats on the other side. In that respect the 'unknown' universe, beyond the limits of our ability to observe' has to be infinite by definition.
    If indeed there is an edge to the universe, then the edge is being brought into our realm of understanding merely by proximity of either structured matter or energy. In other words, if you reached the edge of the universe, you would create more empty space just by being there.
    My brain just cant grasp the concept of something being inside of nothing.
    Hate_Machine prolly has something to say now :P

    1. maxavail

      You can easily overcome the difficulty of understanding something inside of nothing if you consider that the physical universe may, in fact, be, virtual. Remember when you played Age of Empires and your character walked up to the end of the map, what happened then ? He simply walked on without moving forward. Funny, in a sense, but I think that's exactly what happens when we reach the edge of our universe.

  33. HaTe_MaChInE

    @ Eric - " If i travel faster than speed of light (lets suppose :) ) when ill reach the edge of our universe, what should i get?"

    You will end up floating with all the other stuff that can travel faster then the speed of light.

    We say that the universe is finite because we have to follow laws of physics, including nothing can travel faster then the speed of light. If you dont follow the rules of the universe you can makeup anything you want. If you do follow the rules of the universe you end up with the universe as we see it now. 100 years ago the universe was only the milky way and was infinitely old... we had to scrap that model for something that fits current rules. In another 100 years we might have another perspective of the universe.

    I see it his way. If a black doesnt have to have volume... why does the universe have to have volume outside the "bubble".

  34. Eric


    Thanks for your answers.

    I understand your explanations about dark matter, it cant be infinite, maybe our universe is expanding inside infinite dark energy.
    My question is not easy to explain, but if we imagine our universe as an expanding bubble, there must be something beyond the limit of our universe. If i travel faster than speed of light (lets suppose :) ) when ill reach the edge of our universe, what should i get? What would happen to my spaceship? There is a container for our universe?
    Perhaps this is why we will never be able to travel faster than the speed of light.
    There is a theory pretty well accepted about multiverses, those multiverses need to be in something logically.

  35. layman4sure

    Think of Dark Matter as Water and where weight moves in water constantly sinking, lighter objects float or suspend in place with its own gravitational force around it, where the water is space so to speak.

    When this project is finally attempted, Earth will cease to exist, they will Kill us all of course, when the Dark Matter expands from within our core, we all become dark matter or one mass new Black Hole Rift, like a ripple effect dropping a large rock on a small puddle of oil on the surface of the water, we or the Dark Matter will find its new place in Space.

    But then again wtf do I know, I'm just a burnt out pot smoking

  36. Steve

    Where does quantum physics come into play? The Higgs is, I'm assuming, a type of quantum particle so wouldn't it react in ways predicted by quantum theory (superposition)? Do any of their experiments attempt to address this?

    And I thought that Dark Matter was believed to be other universes pressing against our universe and causing gravitational distortions. I think I saw another video where they talked about a satellite telescope called LISA that was going to be able to detect this after it's launched in 2011.

    Seems to me like there are some competing theories out there. I'm glad all these science documentaries are available, but it can make things confusing for a poor layman like myself.

  37. HaTe_MaChInE

    @ Eric - "Maybe dark matter always existed and is infinite, the big bang (or multiple big bang) simply form into that."

    All mass has in fact always existed. Its not infinite because we know exactly how much is out there. If there were more dark matter the universe wouldn't be expanding. If there was less dark matter all the galaxies would fly apart.

  38. HaTe_MaChInE

    @ Eric - "We could get the same result by cooking the particles, but do you think the results could be analyzed as easily?"

    I dont know... but cooking seems like a much more controlled process. It works extremely well in mass spectrometry.

    "Is it possible that dark matter is not a particle?"

    If you can continue to slice a sample of dark matter into slammer and infinitely smaller pieces then it is not a particle. This idea goes against all the current science we know about the universe.

  39. Eric

    oups, i mean, matter and antimatter :)

  40. Eric

    We could get the same result by cooking the particles, but do you think the results could be analyzed as easily?

    Is it possible that dark matter is not a particle?

    Is dark matter really exist? could it be black holes and super dense objects that give shape to our universe?

    Maybe dark matter always existed and is infinite, the big bang (or multiple big bang) simply form into that.

    How can we be sure that equal amount of matter and dark matter where form at the big bang?

  41. Achems Razor


    You are right on that one, I stand corrected.

    Particle accelerators convert energy into subatomic particles.

    Was thinking of an electric generator that uses magnetic fields to transfer mechanical energy into electrical energy, that of course does not apply to this scenario.

  42. HaTe_MaChInE

    @Achems Razor - "the collisions that are creating energy by force"

    You cannot "create" "energy" by "force"

    You can slam two things together so hard that they no longer stick together.

    At very high energy levels the basic forces that "glue" the particles together can be overcome.

    There are two ways to do this. Cook the particles in a soup (fusion reactor+++) or speed up some particles and smash them together.

    If we were good at cooking particles at a few millions degrees we could get the same results as the accelerators.

  43. JAMarton

    Best in the series so far. Great show. Love the shots of the positron/electron flares!

  44. Larry_Moe

    Very well put together... Nice choice of music as well.

  45. Achems Razor

    Sorry, I should of said they are "trying" to change energy into matter, and matter into energy.

  46. Achems Razor

    My take is that they are not creating new particles, only bringing into existence particles that are already inherent, from the collisions that are creating energy by force, colliding sub-atomic particles together trying to find the building blocks of the particles. How can you create something that already exists.

    They are changing energy into matter, and matter into energy. The so called new particles do not appear out of nowhere. They were always there. From the quarks and smaller, wherever that ends, if ever. Is there a limit to smallness? Not in mandelbrot sets/fractals, even though I realize they are math constructs.
    I'm just sayin!

  47. Sam

    No. The particles that smash together "become" the new particles (that doesn't mean the number of total particles remains constant though). Anyways the parent particles needn't survive the collision - even though they can of course.

  48. HaTe_MaChInE

    @solenoid - "did not mention the eventual danger of creating a tiny black hole"

    I would say that anyone that believes a black hole can exist would have to also believe that a black hole must evaporate. Believing in a black hole but not evaporation is like believing that 2 + 2 = 4 but 4 + 4 cant = 8. Its all the same theories.

  49. HaTe_MaChInE

    @ez2b12 - "has both the particles that made up the parents and particles created from the massive release of energy"

    I dont think there is enough energy to create new particles. I think there is enough energy to break protons into sub-subatomic particles.

    Its like shooting a watermelon with a rifle... you get some rind, you get some seeds, you get some juice(some evaporates really quickly) and some meat. With a really powerful rifle we might even get some chemical reactions. Maybe some oxidation of sugars. But no matter how many times you shoot a watermelon with a rifle you will never achieve nuclear fission.

    Don't quote me on the subject but I don't think the LHC hits hard enough to turn particles into elementary energy. It just hits hard enough to break the elementary particles free of their natural forces. The last I heard the LHC wasn't even hitting hard enough to find all the particles that have been predicted.

  50. ez2b12

    So are they saying that the resulting spray of particles created when two particles collide (in the LHC for instance) has both the particles that made up the parents and particles created from the massive release of energy/heat? I hope that made enough sense for someone to answer.

  51. solenoid

    That was a nice documentary. They did not mention the eventual danger of creating a tiny black hole when the accelerator works on full power and collisions are violent like never before. Some say, that due to Hawking radiation those holes will evaporate, so no worries.

  52. Achems Razor

    Yes, will continue my quest for knowledge.

  53. doc-fan

    Great documentary! thanks admin!