Images

Hands-on at this exhibit

  • Search for the telltale tracks of monopoles in MoEDAL detector scans.
  • Find monopoles in MoEDAL trapping detectors using a coil.
  • Use MoEDAL TimePix detector chips to measure radiation from everyday items.

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In the Large Hadron Collider the hunt is on for the new physics of magnetic monopoles.

 
The hunt is on for the elusive magnetic monopoles. In this amazing video, watch exciting new developments by scientists at CERN.

It is well-known that magnets have two poles, north and south, but is this really always true? Particle physicists have long suspected that elementary particles carrying a single magnetic pole should exist. Our exhibit shows how experiments in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN may make it possible to create and detect such particles, revolutionising physics.

The existence of magnetic monopoles was first predicted by the famous physicist Paul Dirac in 1931. But these particles have so far evaded our detection, and remain theoretical. The upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider now allows it to smash particle beams together at even higher energies. This gives us the best chance yet of creating and detecting magnetic monopoles, in an experiment called MoEDAL. The discovery of these particles would reveal a new physics beyond the Standard Model of known particles and forces, and they could have a wide range of practical applications.

Lead image: An artist's illustration of the elusive magnetic monopole. New experiments into elementary particle at CERN's Large Hadron Collider may revolutionise physics. Credit: Heikka Valja.