Public interest around the globe is again focused on the CERN project in Geneva because of the disputed discovery of neutrinos that seemed to travel faster through Earth than light in a vacuum. Scientists seem to have successfully repeated this experiment.
One main target of the experiments at CERN, however, is the investigation of the big bang process of our universe. Accelerating elementary particles nearly up to the speed of light and shooting those at each other, scientists attempt to reach the ultra-high energy density of the assumed big bang of the universe. One result may be the completion of the physicists' fundamental particle list with a so called "Higgs particle". This postulated Higgs particle provides matter with mass features by broken symmetries of energies and a theoretical mass background field. The scientific confirmation of this assumption is a critical milestone, because if such a theoretical particle will not show up, physicists are forced to dismiss the current standard model of physics and to restart thinking at Galileo's and Newton's historical platforms of fundamental physics.
Another result may be generation of tiny black holes but which are predicted to be unstable and immediately evaporate, although scientists do not have a clue whether dark energy and dark matter may somehow intervene in such a process, particularly since dark energy and dark matter dominate our universe with today's presumed 96% of the total energy. An alternative to the model of broken symmetries is possible if we consider the construction of elementary particles' basically symmetrical and realise that scientists monitor those from an as yet still unspecified asymmetrical observation environment and position in space and time. Einstein's space-time continuum supports such an alternative approach because it is actually asymmetrical, consisting of the three space-dimensions length, width, height and a physically different fourth but equally treated time-dimension. This upside down view could call a Higgs particle into question, explaining the mass feature of matter by changing aspects of an asymmetrically curved space-time environment with perceived segments of acceleration, deceleration and inversion.
New hope to solve those riddles of the universe is currently growing in another exciting research field - high energy laser physics and technologies. A European laser project has just been started to build the by far most intense lasers on Earth. About 40 various research centers and academic institutions in 13 countries of the European Union are participating in this "Extreme Light Infrastructure" project. "ELI" is designed to reveal further secrets of matter and electromagnetism on ultra-short timescales.
The first three sites of ELI will be situated in Prague (Czech Republic), Szeged (Hungary) and Magurele (Romania) and are hopefully operational in 2015. An additional fourth site will be selected next year. The European Community grants for this project exceed 700 million €.
ELI in Prague is designed to focus on beams of compact laser plasma accelerators. In Szeged, ELI will investigate ultra-fast evaluation methods with attosecond intervals. An attosecond is an amazing billionth of a billionth of one second. ELI in Magurele, last not least, will support laser-based nuclear physics. The fourth location will host the most powerful laser, ever built. The laser power is planned to reach for extremely small fractions of a second astonishing 200 Petawatt, which is about 100 000 times the united power of the total electric grid around the world.
Today, the effects of electromagnetism are described in great detail by physicists and widely used in daily life by engineers but the real origins and true nature of electricity and magnetism are still undiscovered. We know that electricity and magnetism are two sides of the same coin although they appear with different features, for example electrostatics of particle charges and magnetic dynamics of the particle spin. Electromagnetism indicates again the asymmetrical observation from an individual location within Einstein's space-time in the sense that one effect appears static and the other dynamic. Any electromagnetic oscillation, like the light beam of a laser or the TV-signal for the satellite dish, appears as a wave or as a particle, just depending on the observation method. This curiosity expresses another unsolved riddle of an asymmetrical perspective and is called "the dualism of wave and particle". Laser photons can be converted into pairs of electrons and positrons, obviously by a rotational process in space-time, shooting those at atomic nuclei. This kind of matter generation is today already state-of-the-art.
The better understanding of electromagnetism at ELI and other research centers will be another important key to elicit secrets from nature. ELI will develop into a serious competitor to CERN with regard to investigations in particle physics, nuclear physics, gravitational physics, nonlinear field theory, ultrahigh pressure physics, astrophysics and cosmology.