LHC 'Big Questions'
5) Can the work at CERN be used to build more deadly weapons?
Unlikely for two main reasons. Firstly, CERN and the scientists and engineers working there have no interest in weapons research. They are trying to understand how the world works, not how to destroy it.
Secondly, the high energy particle beams produced at the LHC require a huge machine (27km long, weighing more than 38,000 tonnes – half the weight of an aircraft carrier), consuming 120MW of power and needing 91 tonnes of supercold liquid helium). The beams themselves have a lot of energy (the equivalent of a Eurostar train travelling at top speed) but they can only be maintained in a vacuum, if released into the atmosphere they would immediately interact with atoms in the air and dissipate their energy in a very short distance.
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