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Atom Smasher Unlocks Big Bang Secrets (31st March, 2010)

Scientists got a huge step closer on March 30th to finding out how the universe started. Physicists created an experiment in which tiny atoms crashed into each other at unbelievable speeds. This recreated what happened at the time of the Big Bang billions of years ago. It all took place in a $10 billion atom smasher in Switzerland, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). One of the world’s leading physicists Michio Kaku told the Associated Press news agency that this experiment would help unlock the secrets of how our universe began.

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This is one of the most exciting experiments ever. Phil Schewe from the American Institute of Physics called the LHC a time machine. He said: "Some of the particles they are making now, or are about to make, haven't been around for 14 billion years." This means scientists will have a better understanding of how our Earth was made. Another expert, professor Harvey Newman, was excited about the new technology the LHC would help start: "It [is] the beginning of a new era of exploration in a new range of energy," he said.

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PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article.

Paragraph 1

1.

Scientists got a huge

a.

began

2

tiny atoms crashed

b.

secrets

3.

at the time

c.

years ago

4.

billions of

d.

into each other

5.

unlock the

e.

step closer

6.

how our universe

f.

of the Big Bang

 

Paragraph 2

1.

one of the most

a.

for 14 billion years

2

a time

b.

of energy

3.

haven't been around

c.

exciting experiments

4.

have a better

d.

new era

5.

the beginning of a

e.

understanding

6.

a new range

f.

machine


LISTENING GAP FILL

Scientists ______________________ on March 30th to finding out how the universe started. Physicists created an experiment in which tiny atoms ______________________ at unbelievable speeds. This recreated what ______________________ of the Big Bang billions of years ago. ______________________ $10 billion atom smasher in Switzerland, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). ______________________ leading physicists Michio Kaku told the Associated Press news agency  that this experiment would help unlock ______________________ universe began.

This ______________________ exciting experiments ever. Phil Schewe from the American Institute of Physics called the LHC a time machine. He said: "Some of the particles ______________________, or are about to make, haven't been around for 14 billion years." This means scientists will have a better understanding ______________________ made. Another expert, professor Harvey Newman, was ______________________ technology the LHC would help start: "It [is] the ______________________ of exploration in ______________________," he said.


MULTIPLE CHOICE

Scientists got a huge step (1) ____ on March 30th to finding out how the universe started. Physicists created an experiment in which tiny atoms crashed into (2) ____ other at unbelievable speeds. This recreated what happened at the time of the Big Bang billions of years ago. It (3) ____ took place in a $10 billion atom smasher in Switzerland, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). One of the world’s (4) ____ physicists Michio Kaku told the Associated Press news agency  that this experiment would help unlock the secrets of how our universe (5) ____.

This is one of the most exciting experiments (6) ____. Phil Schewe from the American Institute of Physics (7) ____ the LHC a time machine. He said: "Some of the particles they are making now, or are about to make, haven't been (8) ____ for 14 billion years." This means scientists will have a better understanding of how our Earth was made. Another expert, professor Harvey Newman, was (9) ____ about the new technology the LHC would help start: "It [is] the beginning of a new era of exploration in a new (10) ____ of energy," he said.

Put the correct words from this table into the article.

1.

(a)

closer

(b)

closely

(c)

closest

2.

(a)

all

(b)

each

(c)

one

3.

(a)

all

(b)

every

(c)

whole

4.

(a)

leads

(b)

leader

(c)

leading

5.

(a)

beginnings

(b)

began

(c)

beginner

6.

(a)

ever

(b)

never

(c)

even

7.

(a)

calling

(b)

calls

(c)

called

8.

(a)

rounds

(b)

around

(c)

rounded

9.

(a)

excited

(b)

excitement

(c)

exciting

10.

(a)

raged

(b)

arrange

(c)

range


SPELLING

Spell the jumbled words (from the text) correctly.

Paragraph 1

1.

a huge step lseroc

2.

how the venuirse started

3.

ahdercs into each other

4.

lsinobil of years ago

5.

the world’s adlineg physicists

6.

help ncoukl the secrets

 

Paragraph 2

7.

the most ntixgice

8.

a time acmihen

9.

haven't been ndarou

10.

have a ebtter understanding

11.

cixeetd about the new technology

12.

a new range of egnery


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

at the time of the Big Bang billions of years ago. It all took place in a $10 billion atom smasher in

(    )

the LHC would help start: "It [is] the beginning of a new era of exploration in a new range of energy," he said.

(    )

of how our Earth was made. Another expert, professor Harvey Newman, was excited about the new technology

1  )

Scientists got a huge step closer on March 30th to finding out how the universe started. Physicists created an

(    )

experiment in which tiny atoms crashed into each other at unbelievable speeds. This recreated what happened

(    )

Switzerland, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). One of the world’s leading physicists Michio Kaku told

(    )

about to make, haven't been around for 14 billion years." This means scientists will have a better understanding

(    )

Physics called the LHC a time machine. He said: "Some of the particles they are making now, or are

(    )

This is one of the most exciting experiments ever. Phil Schewe from the American Institute of

(    )

the Associated Press news agency  that this experiment would help unlock the secrets of how our universe began.


THE READING / TAPESCRIPT

With a partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

universe     out     the     started     Finding     how.    

2.

each     atoms     into     other     Tiny     crashed.    

3.

Bang     happened     time     Big     What     the     the     at     of.    

4.

of     world’s     physicists     One     the     leading.    

5.

how     Unlock     our     the     universe     secrets     began     of.    

6.

One     ever     experiments     exciting     most     the     of.    

7.

years     billion     14     for     around     been     Haven't.    

8.

will     a     understanding     Scientists     have     better.    

9.

New     start     help     would     LHC     the     technology.    

10.

era     beginning     of     of     exploration     a     new     The.    


DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________


WRITING

Write about the Big Bang for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________


HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. THE BIG BANG: Search the Internet and find more information about the Big Bang. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about the Big Bang. Include imaginary an interview with the scientists in Switzerland. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

4. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the scientists in Switzerland. Ask them three questions about the Big Bang. Give them three of your opinions on the Big Bang. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Your partner will answer the questions you asked.

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