SA researchers on a mission to discover the universe and its origins

South African researchers are playing a role in the largest science experiment on earth.

UCT and Wits University, and research facility iThembaLABS, will make components available as part of the upgrade to the Large Hadron Collider that will allow scientists to analyse how particles behave inside matter at a temperature of 5.5-trillion degrees celsius.

National Coordinator of the ALICE experiment Dr Thomas Dietel says, in a nutshell, they are trying to answer the question, what did the universe look like in the first second.

What we know is that it was extremely hot and dense...

Dr Thomas Dietel, National Coordinator of the ALICE experiment

Surprisingly the answer for that is not coming from astronomy but particles. So the Large Hadron Collider allows us to recreate those conditions in a laboratory meaning we can do those experiments over and over.

Dr Thomas Dietel, National Coordinator of the ALICE experiment

Dr Dietel says they know in the beginning there was a big bang that started all the creation in the universe but they still don't know what created that big bang.

We want to know what happened after the big bang and religion is not something that we are taking into consideration here.

Dr Thomas Dietel, National Coordinator of the ALICE experiment

To hear the rest of the interview with Dr Thomas Dietel, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : SA researchers on a mission to discover the universe and its origins


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