Monday, May 16, 2011 5:23:14 PM
@SlothOfDoom Yeah, several. The most famous smaller particle accelerator is probably the Stanford Linear Collider.
But in particle physics size matters, and there are always plans for a bigger one. The next one is going to be called the Very Large Hadron Collider, inventive I know.
This uninventive naming style crops up in other areas too. In astronomy there is a telescope called the Very Large Telescope. It's pretty big. Then the next one in development is the Extremely Large Telescope. It`s quite a bit bigger. Then the one planned even later, but unfortunately cancelled, is the Overwhelmingly Large Telescope. Seriously.
Even trying to give things good names doesn`t always work. When they were naming a new pair of quarks (a type of particle) there were two competing ideas Truth and Beauty, or Top and Bottom. A compromise was reached and the accepted names are now Top and Beauty.