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The little things matter

By Cassidy Blackwood

Guest Writer

Research by the European Organization for Nuclear Research on matter is more crucial for understanding the universe than NASA’s work with the James Webb Space Telescope. The European Organization for Nuclear Research (also known as CERN) has two major projects that will uncover an understanding of matter and particle physics as well as explore materials at the nanoscopic level. The James Webb telescope, which was built by NASA to photograph space and learn how celestial bodies form, has stirred commotion from recently released pictures of space. It is my opinion that CERN’s research is more pivotal for discovering more information about the universe because we need to understand the creation of matter to understand the creation of stars and planets, because once we have knowledge of matter we can build off of it, and because of the limit to the observable universe.

First of all, and most importantly, I believe we need to assimilate matter to explain how stars and planets form. CERN has a project called the Large Hadron Collider, a particle accelerator that boosts particles to understand atoms, molecules, and the laws of physics. The machine is used by scientists to explore the existence of normal and dark matter. Normal matter is anything that contains mass or is visible, while dark matter is anything that has gravity yet is invisible. Normal and dark matter is all around us and theorized to make up the universe. According to an article by CERN discussing dark matter, “[dark matter] does not absorb, reflect or emit light, making it extremely hard to spot. In fact, researchers have been able to infer the existence of dark matter only from the gravitational effect it seems to have on visible matter… But what is dark matter? One idea is that it could contain “supersymmetric particles” – hypothesized particles that are partners to those already known in the Standard Model. Experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) may provide more direct clues about dark matter.” This shows that CERN is currently building and utilizing tools to further understand matter. The study of normal and dark matter can further explain stars’ and planets’ creation process. To properly grasp how they form, we need to discover the composites that make them up in the first place, which CERN is helping with. 

Additionally, some might argue that NASA’s work is more vital because we need to visualize what we’re studying to properly understand it. The James Webb telescope only sends pictures of the faraway universe that scientists use to infer the formation process of stars. However, we already have an idea of the limits to the universe, we just need the James Webb telescope to see it clearly. With CERN’s work of studying incredibly small magnitudes, we not only capture the strange world but also build in it. CERN has developed a powerful tool similar to a microscope named the XB540 FIB-SEM. It is used by scientists to study, photograph, and even draw at the nanoscopic level. For instance, CERN drew its logo, stating that “The microscope’s ion beam milling capabilities have been used to reproduce the CERN logo on a silicon wafer at a milling depth of 50 nm, This proves that CERN has developed a sapient understanding of materials and composites by building and drawing subatomically. While both CERN and NASA’s work provide a clearer understanding of the universe, CERN’s research is indubitably essential because it can be expanded and built upon.

Lastly, the James Webb telescope has a flaw CERN’s work won’t face: the limit to how much can be photographed and studied. We can’t see further than the observable universe simply because the light has not reached us yet. In the meantime, CERN’s work uses machines to observe materials at a nanoscale level with no wait. There is no theoretical limit to how small we can observe. XB540 FIB-SEM can see one-millionth of a millimeter. According to an article published on CERN’s website, “The ion beam allows us to study the microstructure, topography and chemical composition of cross sections and/or volumes of material. With the microscopy set in transmission mode, nanometric resolution can be achieved,This explains that XB540 FIB-SEM can capture materials to aid scientists in attaining the components that creates matter at a very small scale. When we see this small, we are learning about an unknown world right in front of us. There is a great deal we don’t know of the incredibly small compared to the incredibly big. As technology advances, XB540 FIB-SEM and similar machines will be able to assist scientists in the study of matter to understand the universe with no observable limit.

As expressed, CERN’s research will play an increasingly vital role in understanding the universe than NASA’s photos from the James Webb Space Telescope. This is because to understand space we need to understand matter, because CERN’s research is interactable, unlike NASA’s, and because there is no apparent limit to how small we can see. For these reasons, it is my opinion that subatomic and molecular studies at CERN are imperative for grasping concepts about the universe. The point of life has always been pondered, but with the help of science, we are close than we have ever been to solving this question. As theories continue to pop up due to images released by NASA, people should keep in mind the significance of CERN’s research on understanding the universe.

FEATURED IMAGE: The large hadron collider (LHC) PHOTO CREDIT:

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