Physicists probing the origins of the cosmos at CERN‘s Large Hadron Collider hope that next year they will turn up the first proofs of the existence of concepts once reserved for the scifi world. Despite centuries of increasingly sophisticated observation from planet Earth, only 4 per cent of that universe is known — because the rest is made up of what have been called, because they are invisible, dark matter and dark energy.

Billions of particles flying off from each LHC collision are tracked at four CERN detectors — and then in collaborating laboratories around the globe — to establish when and how they come together and what shapes they take.

The CERN theoreticians say this could give clear signs of dimensions beyond length, breadth, depth and time because at such high energy particles could be tracked disappearing — presumably into them — and then back into the classical four.Parallel universes could also be hidden within these dimensions, the thinking goes, but only in a so-called gravitational variety in which light cannot be propagated — a fact which would make it nearly impossible to explore them.

As the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN near Geneva moves into high gear, they are talking increasingly of the “New Physics” on the horizon that could totally change current views of the universe and how it works.

“Parallel universes, unknown forms of matter, extra dimensions… These are not the stuff of cheap science fiction but very concrete physics theories that scientists are trying to confirm with the LHC and other experiments,” according to the  center’s Theory Group, which mulls over what could be out there beyond the reach of any telescope, wrote in the CERN Bulletin this month.

Part of the LHC at CERN, an experimental endeavor
Part of the LHC at CERN, an experimental endeavor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At full throttle, the LHC could provide scientists with new insights into the nature of mass, dark matter and the origins of the universe. But many of them hope that instead of confirming string theory, dark energy, the Higgs-Boson, etc. — something entirely unexpected will emerge from the CERN-run experiment, for example the detection of certain types of supersymmetric particles, that could be seen as what physicist Michio Kaku calls, “signals from the 11th dimension.”

The detection of certain types of supersymmetric particles, aka sparticles, could be seen as what physicist Michio Kaku calls, “signals from the 11th dimension.”

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