Fresno's Connection to the Big Bang Experiment

September 10, 2008 9:24:44 PM PDT
Ten Fresno State students and a professor were part of Wednesday's historic test.It's a quest to discover the building blocks of the universe. The first test of the world's largest atom smasher in Geneva was a success-- and a team from Fresno State's Physics Department is proud to have been a part of it.

Steve Wilburn, Fresno State Student: "It is amazing the tides have converged that I'm a physics student in the time that we are just going forward with the largest physics experiment in the history of humanity. It's a wonderful situation."

Steve Wilburn is a senior at Fresno State studying physics and math. He spent 41 summer days in Switzerland with four fellow students coming up with software for the large Hadron Collider.

"To monitor the inside portion of the detector and make sure that none of the $10 billion dollars worth of equipment is going to be damaged from our freight train of protons."

Wilburn credits his professor, Dr. Yong Sheng Gao for getting the department involved in the historic project.

Dr. Yong Sheng Gao, Fresno State Professor: "The exciting thing about the collider is there are so many other new possibilities or new physics that's what we're shooting for."

Dr. Gao and his students never believed the doomsday theories that the 10-billion dollar experiment would create a black hole.

Now they're looking forward to the next phase in October-- to see exactly what will happen when the two protons collide in an attempt to recreate the big bang.

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