A Big Bang machine on the moon
The Large Hadron Collider at CERN switched on in 2015, colliding protons at the highest energy ever used for such a purpose, re-creating the conditions of the universe as they were just a fraction of a second after the Big Bang, and what physicists are learning so far is that our universe seems to be extremely odd. But to know exactly how odd it is we need to build a bigger collider, to get even closer to the moment of the Big Bang. How big do we need to go? Join particle physicist James Beacham as he explores what we would likely learn from a hadron collider around the moon, about dark matter, the Higgs boson, and whether we live in a multiverse — and what this means for society.
James Beacham, Particle physicist, ATLAS Experiment at CERN
Dr. James Beacham searches for answers to the biggest open questions of physics using the largest experiment ever, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. He hunts for dark matter, gravitons, quantum black holes, and dark photons as a member of the ATLAS collaboration, one of the teams that discovered the Higgs boson in 2012. In addition to his research, he is a frequent speaker at popular sci/tech/art events around the world, including the American Museum of Natural History, the Royal Institution, SXSW, and the BBC. His talk, “How we explore unanswered questions in physics”, was featured on TED.com and has been viewed nearly 1.5 million times. He contributes to podcasts, radio shows, and documentaries, and has been featured in The New York Times, Wired, and Gizmodo, among others. Beacham trained as a filmmaker before becoming a physicist and regularly collaborates with artists. In 2015 he launched Ex/Noise/CERN, a project exploring the connections between particle physics and experimental music and film.