In a previous video, I answered the question: “Will a 14-lb. bowling ball float in the Dead Sea?” Now, in a new video in a series that aims to combine themes of travel, science, culture, humor, and a little MythBuster ingenuity, I attempt to answer one of the greatest mysteries of science: Can a really powerful electromagnet at CERN cut through a piece of cheese? (I know you’ve all been dying to know.)
If you don’t know already, CERN is that international nuclear research center based outside of Geneva, on the border of Switzerland and France. The organization is comprised of over 3,000 scientists who come from around the world to study and share knowledge of nuclear physics, and how it relates to our universe. You may have heard of CERN from the book/film Angels and Demons, but most recently, they made international headlines when the scientists there discovered the elusive Higgs boson particle — known by some as the “God particle” — which validates many theories about the creation and expansion of the universe. And if that’s not impressive enough, you should know that it was at CERN that the World Wide Web was created in 1989. You wouldn’t be stalking your friends on Facebook — or reading this on Discovery.com — without them.
As impressive as all these accolades are, can the formidable brainpower and high-tech equipment of CERN be used to cut a piece of cheese in an imaginative way? That’s just what I proposed to the folks there. And after months of discussions, we were able to set up the cheese-cutting experiment, using an old resistive magnet that was used in a former particle accelerator, the ISR (Intersecting Storage Rings):
Now “cutting the cheese” — no matter how you interpret that phrase (I prefer the immature one) — will never be the same again.