When the Large Hadron Collider opened, some (stupid) people thought it was a life-ending or universe-ending event. None of that happened, but now scientists are at it again, this time with a laser they’re hoping to use to punch a hole in time and space.
What’s more, by giving spacetime a hernia, it is hoped that theorized “ghost particles” may spill from the fissure, providing evidence for the hypothesis that extra-dimensions exist and the vacuum of space isn’t a vacuum at all — it is in fact buzzing with virtual particles.
Such a laser could also help in understanding the nature of dark matter, the “missing” mass that is thought to pervade the entire observable Universe.
As we all know, all good megalomaniac plans for world domination start with lasers (not necessarily attached to sharks’ heads). But the lasers planned by the Extreme Light Infrastructure Ultra-High Field Facility, known as “ELI,” would concentrate 200 petawatts of power — that’s 100,000 times the world’s power production — and fire it at a single point for less than a trillionth of a second.
The combined power of 10 separate lasers would be focused down to a very small volume, creating conditions more extreme than in the center of our sun. It is hoped (yes, hoped) that this immense energy will punch a hole through the fabric of spacetime itself, heralding a new era of exotic physics discovery.
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