Now, in the LHC, atoms are collided together using intense Electromagnetic fields which accelerate them to near light speed. It takes an awful lot of energy to accelerate anything to near light speed. (In fact, it takes a nearly infinite amount of energy to get to light speed, but that's another story).
I am intrigued by the Higgs field, as a framework for the standard model (although I admit that I'm personally rather quite lost in the somewhat metaphysical speculations about superstrings and M-theory).
The LHC is, in my eyes, as was probably indicated by the tone of the OP, a sex-machine par excellance and although they have had some setbacks with the project (which is what you'd expect with this level of technology) I think it will produce some interesting results in the years to come.
OK, I'll throw this one in as well, as it is a pretty good description of how the standard particle model, through the Higgs field, unites with the standard cosmological model in order to produce a coherent physical image of the entire known (or knowable) universe:
The LHC could reveal "spectacular evidence" of one spatial dimension vanishing as the machine approaches the high-energy conditions seen soon after the Big Bang, says Landsberg. If his ideas are correct, then the LHC will soon start to access a two-dimensional universe. "Collision debris that you would expect to spray out in three dimensions, will instead be confined to a two-dimensional plane," he says.
I personally think it's ridiculous to consider that humans could ever create a legitimate full size black hole. (I do however believe that we can create micro black holes that only lasts fractions of a second.) When our sun dies, an object that is fueled by nuclear fusion at its core, that has been going on for roughly 5 BILLION years and will go strong for roughly another 5 BILLION years, even it isn't powerful enough to create a black hole, much less mere mortals. It takes a star at least 20 times the mass of our sun to create a black hole when it dies in a supernova explosion. In a few days of this type of explosion the dying star puts out more energy then the sun will put out in its entire approximate 10 BILLION year lifetime.
Ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge is power. -Me (I think) Thanks to denial, I'm immortal. -Fry Futurama Crocodilians take better care of their young then a lot of parents I know. -Dr. Brady Barr
I do however believe that we can create micro black holes that only lasts fractions of a second.
See now, that's what I find fascinating. The LHC is like the most ultimate, upgraded version that exists of the old boys' game of picking things apart to find out how they work. The nerd in me finds it exciting to think that minuscle black holes can possibly be created and the processes that led up to that point may be extrapolated to space-at-large. I recently had an interesting exchange of words with somebody about this issue - and we agreed (after much bruhaha) on the notion that the sum total of energy and mass in all of the known universe equals zero.