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The Big Deal

The Big Deal

When CERN's Large Hadron Collider is completed in 2008, it will be the world's largest and most expensive machine. Why build an $8 billion behemoth to search for the smallest particles in the universe? Seven top physicists describe why it's so important, and explain what they hope to find. Listen online by selecting Play All, or choose individual clips below. Listen offline by downloading clips.

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Stephon Alexander

Stephon Alexander
Particle Cosmologist
Penn State University

"The thing that would surprise me the most is if we don't find the Higgs particle."

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Running time 1:22

Janet Conrad

Janet Conrad
Experimental Physicist
Columbia University

"What is so great about nature is that nature isn't elegant."

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Running time 1:26



Peter Fisher

Peter Fisher
Experimental Physicist
MIT

"We don't understand 97 percent of the universe."

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Running time 1:47

Sheldon Glashow

Sheldon Glashow
Theoretical Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Boston University

"Either there's something new and exciting, or the game is done."

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Running time 1:44



Meenakshi Narain

Meenakshi Narain
Experimental Physicist
Brown University

"The LHC will give us that evidence needed to really understand what the state of the universe was after the big bang."

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Running time 1:08

Lisa Randall

Lisa Randall
Theoretical Physicist
Harvard University

"I think it would be incredibly exciting to find evidence of extra dimensions."

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Running time 0:54



Dave Wark

Dave Wark
Experimental Physicist
Imperial College, London

"In some sense, the LHC is just a pure leap into the dark."

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Running time 1:45

Text version of audio clips

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Stephon Alexander (592K)
Janet Conrad (564K)
Peter Fisher (716K)
Sheldon Glashow (760K)
Meenakshi Narain (448K)
Lisa Randall (384K)
Dave Wark (744K)

This feature was produced by David Levin and Rima Chaddha, with audio editing by David Levin.

Images: (Stephon Alexander) Courtesy Stephon Alexander; (Janet Conrad) Courtesy Janet Conrad; (Peter Fisher) © NOVA/WGBH Educational Foundation; (Sheldon Glashow) © Boston University; (Meenakshi Narain) © NOVA/WGBH Educational Foundation; (Lisa Randall) Courtesy Harvard University; (Dave Wark) © NOVA/WGBH Educational Foundation





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