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Large Hadron Collider Goes Live September 10th

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the get-your-affairs-in-order dept.

Science 409

Naznarreb writes "CERN announced today that the first attempt to circulate a beam through the Large Hadron Collider will be on September 10th, 2008. You can read the press release here. They also announced the event will be webcast live. According to the release, they're just planning to run a few tests laps, not smash any particles, so the world won't be ending quite yet." And despite that September 10th date, according to the BBC, "On 9 August, protons will be piped through LHC magnets for the first time."

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409 comments

September 10th? (4, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514587)

And will take 1 day to warm up right?

Re:September 10th? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24514619)

No. Cool down. The reason that everyone has been waiting for the last couple of months is for the system to cool to less than 2 K. That is what is limiting the operation of the complete LHC.

Re:September 10th? (4, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514973)

The reason that everyone has been waiting for the last couple of months is for the system to cool to less than 2 K.

Less than 2K what? Two thousand Centigrade? Fahrenheit? Damn n00bs and their lack of units, don't you realize that's the kind of mistake that swallows worlds in a fit of microblackholish pique???

Re:September 10th? (2, Informative)

Scotteh (885130) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515005)

The reason that everyone has been waiting for the last couple of months is for the system to cool to less than 2 K.

Less than 2K what? Two thousand Centigrade? Fahrenheit? Damn n00bs and their lack of units, don't you realize that's the kind of mistake that swallows worlds in a fit of microblackholish pique???

2 K is 2 Kelvin, not 2 thousand. The "damn n00b" was using the proper standard scientific units for temperature.

Re:September 10th? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24515095)

And, like you, the "damn n00b" missed the joke.

Re:September 10th? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24515479)

Captain Obvious to the rescue: The GP was joking...

Re:September 10th? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24515203)

2K = 2 Kelvin, in SI units. 'K' in that case is the symbol of the unit.

Re:September 10th? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24515385)

K *is* the units...Kelvin. 2 degrees Kelvin is COLD

> The kelvin (symbol: K) is a unit increment of temperature and is one of the seven SI base units. The Kelvin scale is a thermodynamic (absolute) temperature scale where absolute zero, the theoretical absence of all thermal energy, is zero (0 K).

Re:September 10th? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24515391)

2 Kelvins, and its actually 1.79 K

Re:September 10th? (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515447)

>Less than 2K what?

Less than 2 degrees Kelvin, for those who slept through middle school science.

Re:September 10th? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24515531)

K is the unit. Kelvin.

Re:September 10th? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24515529)

September 10th? Damn, less than a month and I've still got 25 items on my 'things to do before you die' list.

Get your affairs in order, people (3, Funny)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514601)

Did we ever reach an agreement about those micro-black-holes?

Re:Get your affairs in order, people (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24514719)

Did we ever reach an agreement about those micro-black-holes?

Um, if the entire planet is zortched out of existence, people won't really have to *worry* about having their affairs in order, will they?

Re:Get your affairs in order, people (2, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514777)

Um, if the entire planet is zortched out of existence, people won't really have to *worry* about having their affairs in order, will they?

The real question is, if one is created, will there be enough time for anyone to report it, or will the black hole swallow things almost instantly or will it grow faster than the information can travel?

Re:Get your affairs in order, people (4, Funny)

schklerg (1130369) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514905)

Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws. So I think we'd hear about it first.

Re:Get your affairs in order, people (1)

SBacks (1286786) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515001)

Well, if one is created (impossible at these energies according to the Standard Model), it would be destroyed almost immediately due to Hawking radiation.

Even if it did survive, it would be incredibly small (about a Planck length, or 10E-20 times the size of a proton) and would take a long while to collect enough mater to start growing rapidly.

Re:Get your affairs in order, people (4, Informative)

SBacks (1286786) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515081)

Sorry to self-reply, but even once it got going, it wouldn't destroy us immediately. A black hole with the mass of the Earth still only has Schwarzschild radius of 1.5cm.

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/astro/blkhol.html [gsu.edu]

Re:Get your affairs in order, people (4, Funny)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515285)

Oh, thank heavens... So beach front property in Geneva is still a good investment then...?

Re:Get your affairs in order, people (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515221)

it would be destroyed almost immediately due to Hawking radiation.

Awesome. I always knew Stephen Hawking was a badass, but now I find out he's a superhero with the power to destroy black holes!

I can see it now: thousands of people panic through the streets, while Stephen Hawking slowly wheels himself into a phone booth, only to fly out a second later and fly to the black hole, destroying it instantly with his Hawking radiation eye-beams! That's going to be sooo cool!

I must admit, his disguise is ingenious. I never suspected he was anything other than a mild-mannered physicist.

Re:Get your affairs in order, people (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515171)

A microsingularity can be considered a point mass, but it doesn't change the fundamentals of gravity - a microscopic mass has microscopic gravitational effects. What would presumably happen is that it would fall rapidly like in free fall towards the core due to earth's gravity, absorbing the mass it's falling through in an exponential growth. And certainly it wouldn't accelerate earth's mass to anything near lightspeed (the speed of information in an optical cable). Only a completely wild guess I'd say more than a minute and less than an hour.I

Re:Get your affairs in order, people (2, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515283)

Only a completely wild guess I'd say more than a minute and less than an hour.I

So probably not enough time to find the nearest woman and convince her you're a virgin and don't want to die that way. Unless it's closer to an hour, in which case I could probably pull that trick on two or three women.

Re:Get your affairs in order, people (1)

42forty-two42 (532340) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515373)

Most likely it would take a long time (years, maybe decades) to reach a dangerous size. However, once it consumes enough of the core to produce a hollow cavity, we might begin feeling it on the surface.

Re:Get your affairs in order, people (4, Funny)

clem (5683) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515079)

Easier to ask forgiveness that permission. Especially easy if there's no one left to ask forgiveness of.

To be heard on Mars, 9/10/2008: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24515019)

Where is the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom! This makes me [wikipedia.org] angry, very angry indeed."

Re:Get your affairs in order, people (4, Informative)

Gotung (571984) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515029)

There is virtually zero chance the LHC will produce micro-black holes.

Even if it somehow does, they will very likely dissipate in fractions of a second.

Even if they doe form, and are stable, they will be so small so as to sink to the center of the earth and star devouring it at the alarming pace of 1 atom a year.

For frame of reference you have about 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms in your body.

So it would take billions of lifetimes (or more) for you to even notice the effects if one were stuck in you.

Re:Get your affairs in order, people (1)

pha7boy (1242512) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515059)

They also announced the event will be webcast live.

Just in case they doom-sayers are right, we can at least watch it live. Gots to love the webcasting.

Re:Get your affairs in order, people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24515107)

Yes. There are cosmic rays that have orders of magnitude more energy than what the LHC can produce. For example, Oh-My-God particles have been observed with energies higher than 10^20 eV (the highest at 3 * 10^20 eV ~= 50 J). The highest energy the LHC will be able to produce is only PeVs, which are over 100,000 times weaker than the Oh-My-God particles that have bombarded the Earth for billions of years. If the Oh-My-God particles couldn't make significant black holes or turn the Earth into strange matter, there is little hope for the LHC to do so.

Re:Get your affairs in order, people (1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515297)

You don't understand, that's the beauty of it, you don't NEED to get your affairs in order because EVERYONE will die!

Re:Get your affairs in order, people (4, Funny)

Nos. (179609) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515445)

No way, I'm not getting sucked into that again.

Aaaahhhhhhh !! (4, Funny)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514627)

It is a good day to die !!!!!

Re:Aaaahhhhhhh !! (1)

Sunshinerat (1114191) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514773)

It is a good day to die !!!!!

Expect the world to end a couple of days before that. There must be at least one scientist who cannot controls his patience, breaks, and quietly switches it on.
"I could not wait, I wanted to see how it worked, if only for a couple of seconds...").

Hummmmmm...whop!, and the world is gone.

Re:Aaaahhhhhhh !! (2, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514997)

If it disrupts time itself, perhaps it will have already happened by now. :-D

Timeline rewriting to begin shortly thereafter... (0)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514643)

...so do whatever you feel like doing, because it'll all be erased and rewritten anyhow. Unless, of course, we're finally in the timeline where the LHC never quite works.

Re:Timeline rewriting to begin shortly thereafter. (4, Funny)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514783)

Unless, of course, we're finally in the timeline where the LHC never quite works.

OR the timeline where you're the only non-cloned human left alive, surrounded by clones of your ex-girlfriend. Then you'll wish you didn't get on her bad side right before 'the accident'.

This is great! (0)

Urger (817972) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514649)

I have a project due the week after, looks like I can just relax until judgment day then.....

Re:This is great! (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514775)

Sorry, FTS they're only running a few "test laps" - Not actually smashing anything. Get to work.

TFA doesn't say when they actually plan on destroying earth.

Re:This is great! (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514839)

Although it does say:

Once stable circulating beams have been established, they will be brought into collision, and the final step will be to commission the LHCâ(TM)s acceleration system to boost the energy to 5 TeV, taking particle physics research to a new frontier.

So I guess they're not waiting long after the "test laps" mentioned in the summary. OK. Blow off your project.

If the world turns into a stranglet (0, Redundant)

PJCRP (1314653) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514675)

I fucking called it.

Re:If the world turns into a stranglet (2, Funny)

evwah (954864) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514745)

two bad nobody will even be able to care who called it.

Re:If the world turns into a stranglet (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24515299)

Let's preemptively care that way we have something to do.

I hope goes a lot more smoothly... (1)

iXiXi (659985) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514705)

..than the launch of Microsoft Windows XP. Will anyone forget the BSOD live?

Re:I hope goes a lot more smoothly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24514795)

That was so funny, I forgot to laugh.

Re:I hope goes a lot more smoothly... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24514877)

That was so laugh, I forgot to funny.

Day after tomorrow? (1)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514735)

Well the day after my birthday actually. So my pressie from the scientists at CERN is going to be the end of the world. A day late. Ain't life grand!

Its actually a plot... (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514831)

What you don't realize, is that it is a giant extra terrestrial plot designed to prevent you from receiving superpowers on your birthday. honest.

They start smashing particles the next day (2, Interesting)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514747)

They actually start smashing particles the next day. Which is Sept. 11. Oh, wait...

Re:They start smashing particles the next day (3, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514909)

Yep... Bin Laden is about to be upstaged by a supercollider. The whole war on terror to avenge the destruction of the a few buildings in NYC will seem moot after a couple of european scientists accidentally suck the entire state into a black hole.

Re:They start smashing particles the next day (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24515245)

Bin Laden is a fairy tale invented by your government. Oh look out, the sand nigger is coming to get you, terruh terruh, he lives in a cave and rides camels, and he hates white people, terruh!

Oops (3, Funny)

Mr.Fork (633378) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514751)

I can see it now...
Dr. Dieter Kriegstien: "Acceleratz protonz to maximumn speedz. Dr. Smitz, please pushz zat big ved button."
Dr. Keron Smith: "Pushing big button... you meant the blue one didn't you Dr. Kriegstien?"
Dr. Dieter: "Insolenze...vait... vat iz dat veading on zee scopz? Hmm.. it lookz like a microsopikz vack ol..."

And at this point, the entire mass of the Earth is sucked into a minature black hole the size of a pinhead over a period of 2 microseconds. :)



Of course, in reality, this is as likely as me winning a superball jackpot lottery, 10'000 timse in a row. But I just CAN'T HELP MYSELF!

Re:Oops (1)

Khue (625846) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515367)

Do we have any statistics experts around? If you were to play the superball jackpot lottery and everything was the same each time you played it wouldn't the chance of winning it 10000 times in a row be the same as winning it 1 time? I thought the out come of one superball lottery does not affect the odds of the subsequent superball lotteries.

Re:Oops (1)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515491)

The chance of winning 10000 subsequent times is Probability-of-winning^10000. However, for each one of those 10,000 times, regardless of the result of the previous time, the probability of winning is the same as it was the previous time.

Re:Oops (1)

sarlos (903082) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515497)

The odds of each individual win is, indeed, identical. However, he says "10,000 in a row" which implies winning succesively and, therefore, each event depends on each prior event. You must win it once, then win it again, and again, ad nauseum.

The End is Nigh (2, Funny)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514755)

Ok. Sept 10 plus one day to warm up. Sheeze couldn't they have picked another date for the end of the world?

Ok, in the Naked Science episode which featured the Large Hadron gizmo they said that some people are concerned that "the micro black holes they create could consume an *entire* city..." then they paused for a short while and added "... and the entire earth!". Love that pause.

Other than that I got nothing.

Re:The End is Nigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24514991)

no no no. They promised all the black holes will harmlessly evaporate.
http://www.livescience.com/environment/060919_black_holes.html
So I guess you better still do your homework this week end dude.

scary (0)

pdwestermann (687379) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514771)

knowing very little about what the ramifications of this project include didn't seem to bother me half as much as simply looking at the pictures and thinking it looked like the powerful thing ive ever seen

Nostrdamus predicts the end by LHC!!! (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514871)

"Our old friend Nostradamus' words ring from the grave with this grim prediction:

Nostradamus quatrain 9 44:

Leave, leave Geneva every last one of you,
Saturn will be converted from gold to iron,
"Raypoz" will exterminate all who oppose him,
Before the coming the sky will show signs.

Did Nostradamus predict the Large Hadron Collider?

Will the Earth disappear into a black hole of its own making?"
http://www.virginmedia.com/digital/science/endoftheworld.php?vmsrc=vmhpld [virginmedia.com]

Stay tuned for next weeks exciting adventures of Earth Sucking Black Holes!!!

Re:Nostrdamus predicts the end by LHC!!! (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515099)

Did Nostradamus predict the LHC will create a Black Hole?
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ozjq80IF9dg [youtube.com]

Ah yes, the nut jobs come forth...

Underground search for 'God particle'
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4229545.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Hunting for the God Particle
http://youtube.com/watch?v=9OnMjhp8RwM [youtube.com]

THE LUCIFER PROJECT
http://youtube.com/watch?v=3-baLC03wUU [youtube.com]

Spooky people who take this shit seriously. Yikes.

Oh and any physicist who uses the word "god" needs to be place in front of their own particle accelerators and vaporized.

Re:Nostrdamus predicts the end by LHC!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24515461)

Oh and any physicist who uses the word "god" needs to be place in front of their own particle accelerators and vaporized.

"I do not believe in a God who plays... *ZAP*" --Albert Einstein

Congratulations. You just killed the foremost physicist of the 20th century. Moron.

Re:Nostrdamus predicts the end by LHC!!! (2, Informative)

Mascot (120795) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515337)

Yeees.. His predictions always seem to come true.

Assuming you count people interpreting them to fit past events as coming true. I can't remember a single instance of someone interpreting Nostradamus as predicting something *before* it actually happens, and in fact having just that happen.

The Date (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24514951)

It's an interesting date. 9-10-8. Like a botched countdown.

Re:The Date (1)

TheAngryIntern (785323) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515265)

that's the US way to write the date. In Europe the date will be written as 10-9-8, probably why they chose that day, i'd imagine.

OB Futurama (4, Funny)

notnAP (846325) | more than 5 years ago | (#24514959)

FARNSWORTH: So what are you doing to protect my constitutional right to bear doomsday devices?

N.R.A. MAN: Well, first off, we're gonna get rid of that three-day waiting period for mad scientists.

FARNSWORTH: Damn straight! Today, the mad scientist can't get a doomsday device, tomorrow it's the mad grad student. Where will it end?

Re:OB Futurama (1)

pha7boy (1242512) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515147)

OB Simpsons: But I'm mad now!!! (Homer when he finds out there is a 5 day waiting period to buy a gun)

Avoid Slashdot on September 10th. (1)

rugatero (1292060) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515035)

I guarantee, I can already see a thousand Slashdotters preparing their best "NO CARRIER" jokes.

Push the button, Dr. Freeman (5, Funny)

wreave (1282730) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515085)

Looks like 9 September will be a good day to charge up my HEV suit and sharpen my crowbar...

Re:Push the button, Dr. Freeman (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515387)

I'll actually be at some company called Aperture Science that week doing some volunteer tests, so I should be nice and safe there. They supposedly even have cake.

Why worry? (1)

ryants (310088) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515111)

Dr Ray Stantz: You know, it just occurred to me that we really haven't had a successful test of this equipment. Dr. Egon Spengler: I blame myself. Dr. Peter Venkman: So do I. Dr Ray Stantz: Well, no sense in worrying about it now. Dr. Peter Venkman: Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back.

Anyone else getting this error from that link? (5, Funny)

ChangeOnInstall (589099) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515149)

HTTP 599
Service Permanently Unavailable

The server you are trying to contact has crossed the event horizon of a black hole.

Service Permanently Unavailable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24515403)

Some theorize you might be able to reconstruct the packets from the hawking radiation, but the latency would still really suck.

I think the most interesting outcome (1)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515213)

of this experiment will be if they are unable to detect the, "God Particle," the Higgs boson.

Admittedly a slim chance but if so; so very exciting as it means we humans must face the fact that the only thing that exceeds our arrogance is our imagination.

Uhm, the title makes me giggle... sorry... (1, Redundant)

Sparky9292 (320114) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515239)

Large Hadron Collider Goes Live September 10th

Sorry, I keep seeing:

Large Hard-on Collider Goes Live September

It's really sad that my sense of humor has not progressed since junior high school. *sigh*

It's always 9:11 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24515275)

Perhaps this explains why I regularly "just happen" to look at the clock at precisely 9:11 at least 6 times a week. It used to give me chills and now it's just pissing me off. It's been happening for a few years and I actually started to purchase survival shit before the last two 9/11s. I think this one has a higher probability of being something of significance. On a lighter note, it's probably just some massive coincidence that I keep looking at the clock at 9:11...

Re:It's always 9:11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24515449)

Are you sure the clock is actually working?

Aug 9 vs. Sep10 (1)

barakn (641218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515293)

There is no conflict between the two dates. Aug 9 is an injector test and Sep 10 is when they test the main ring.

Out of this world. (2, Funny)

synth7 (311220) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515323)

Advice to the scientists: When you first get back up after the explosion, make sure to stay away from the lip of the pit one screen to your left.

Top 10 Ways to DESTROY the Earth!!! (5, Interesting)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 5 years ago | (#24515341)

Darn the LHC is only number eight on the list. http://www.livescience.com/technology/destroy_earth_mp-1.html [livescience.com]

Sucked into a microscopic black hole

You will need: a microscopic black hole. Note that black holes are not eternal, they evaporate due to Hawking radiation. For your average black hole this takes an unimaginable amount of time, but for really small ones it could happen almost instantaneously, as evaporation time is dependent on mass. Therefore you microscopic black hole must have greater than a certain threshold mass, roughly equal to the mass of Mount Everest. Creating a microscopic black hole is tricky, since one needs a reasonable amount of neutronium, but may possibly be achievable by jamming large numbers of atomic nuclei together until they stick. This is left as an exercise to the reader. [I love that part].

Method: simply place your black hole on the surface of the Earth and wait. Black holes are of such high density that they pass through ordinary matter like a stone through the air. [Yeah, so then how will I place it *on* the Earth. Lousy instructions.] The black hole will plummet through the ground, eating its way to the center of the Earth and all the way through to the other side: then, it'll oscillate back, over and over like a matter-absorbing pendulum. Eventually it will come to rest at the core, having absorbed enough matter to slow it down. Then you just need to wait, while it sits and consumes matter until the whole Earth is gone.

Highly, highly unlikely. But not impossible.

Earth's final resting place: a singularity of almost zero size, which will then proceed to happily orbit the Sun as normal.

Source: "The Dark Side Of The Sun," by Terry Pratchett. It is true that the microscopic black hole idea is an age-old science fiction mainstay which predates Pratchett by a long time, he was my original source for the idea, so that's what I'm putting.
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