'60 Minutes' preview: The 'Big Bang' machine

In the season premiere, correspondent Steve Kroft descends into the Large Hadron Collider, which aims to provide insight into the formation of the universe.

Dubbed the "Big Bang machine," the Large Hadron Collider could be the biggest science experiment in history--the goal of the scientists working there is to re-create what the universe was like just nanoseconds after it began.

The particle physics at the core of the LHC may be daunting for those of us who last reckoned with protons and neutrons in high school, but the real-world aspects are much more straightforward--if staggering in their own way. The project, 20 years in the making, has a price tag of $8 billion and involved the work of 9,000 physicists. The massive machinery sits more than 300 feet underground, stretching in a 17-mile circle across the French-Swiss border.

There's even a rap video that imparts a sort of Schoolhouse Rock vibe to the supercollider--and that became a YouTube hit.

On Sunday, in the season premiere of the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes, correspondent Steve Kroft takes you underground to get a closer look at the Large Hadron Collider and the people who made it possible.

See also:
• Images: Where particles, physics theories collide
• When rap, physics, and fame collide

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Sci-Tech
About the author

Jonathan Skillings is managing editor of CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. He's been with CNET since 2000, after a decade in tech journalism at the IDG News Service, PC Week, and an AS/400 magazine. He's also been a soldier and a schoolteacher, and will always be a die-hard fan of jazz, the brassier the better.

 

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