The World Wide Web began at the Swiss nuclear research facility, CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), and that may be its biggest claim to fame. But CERN really is a nuclear research facility and is home to some of the most advanced technologies for probing the inner workings of matter, especially sub-atomic particles. For example, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is located there. Hadrons are composite subatomic particles composed of quarks. They come in two flavors, baryons (three quarks) and Mesons (a quark and an anti-quark). We learn in Wikipedia that hadrons are “single particle excitations of the basic theory of strong interactions.” How do you study excited hadrons? You could use the LHC, slated to be completed in May 2008. But that might only be good for single particle excitations. What if the subatomic particle were really excited? Then, according to the New York Times, you might want to use the Large Hardon Collider.
While the Large Hadron Collider is familiar to elementary particle physicists, the Large Hardon Collider seems to be new. Thanks to a hat tip on Boingboing, we managed to find a diagram at http://largehardoncollider.com/:
You can read more about the Hardon Colllider here.