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LHC Success!

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the good-news-everybody dept.

Science 1007

Tomahawk writes "It worked! The LHC was turned on this morning and has been shown to have worked. Engineers cheered as the proton particles completed their first circuit of the underground ring which houses the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). (And we're all still alive, too!)" Here is a picture from the control room which I'm sure makes sense to someone that isn't me.

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More than scientific learning (4, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946089)

I expected the "turned on" link to be linking to XKCD [xkcd.com].

My only question is, when the smoke clears and we're all fine, will the doomsayers ever learn for the next time? Probably not. I'm sure next time they'll say
"this time, its different, the world is really going to end this time".

Re:More than scientific learning (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946255)

will the doomsayers ever learn for the next time?

Well, they still haven't made the black hole yet. Just wait. When you get sucked in don't come crying to me. I'll be many, many light years away.

Re:More than scientific learning (4, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946277)

this time, its different, the world is really going to end this time

Honestly, my take is this. If the LHC guys really do manage to destroy the universe in some science shattering stranglet experiment, well...

That would be rather impressive. It's just too bad no one would be around to bear witness to the fact. ;-)

Or to put it in the context of Stargate...

Carter: He destroyed a solar system.
Jeannie: MEREDITH!

Re:More than scientific learning (5, Funny)

Frekko (749706) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946461)

Alien species are certainly going to take pictures of that and add the words EPIC FAIL on top.

Re:More than scientific learning (1)

torqer (538711) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946549)

lol... still laughing over that one. I could have had a coffee/monitor accident there.

Re:More than scientific learning (2)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946561)

If there were any survivors their life would be hell, people would expect them to destroy systems everywhere..

"You know, you blow up one sun and suddenly everyone expects you to walk on water." Samantha Carter

Re:More than scientific learning (4, Funny)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946391)

... will the doomsayers ever learn for the next time? Probably not. I'm sure next time they'll say "this time, its different, the world is really going to end this time".

Don't knock the doomsayers man! When they think the world is going to end, they start selling (never understood this? The world is gonna end! My couch for $20! Just in case I need to pay a toll on the way to the afterlife..) or giving away all their stuff! I need a new couch so I hope they get all spooked. If I'm lucky, one will have been a gadget nerd and I can get some computer parts too!

you can't stop the doomsayers (5, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946397)

Remember when Comet Shoemaker Levy 9 hit Jupiter? There were people saying (and being interviewed on the BBC no less) that pieces of Jupiter would break off and collide with Earth...

The claims of some regarding LHC are no less crazy. What distresses me is the level of coverage these nutbars have had on the news channels. I don't know about you, but I've had several people with non scientific backgrounds who've been scared by this 'news' turn to me for some real world information/reassurance.

When you are dealing with the level of brain dead reasoning that produces such spurious and inaccurate statements about things like the LHC, you can't hope to succeed. Honestly, even if you come up with good reasons, it automatically becomes a cover up to those people, thus excusing even wilder claims.

Re:you can't stop the doomsayers (4, Interesting)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946525)

True true. I know there have been several instances like this before. And it seems like each time something like this comes up, there are people with "strong evidence". I'm just saying that it seems like we don't really learn from history like they say we do.

Will you ever learn? (5, Funny)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946513)

If disaster movies have taught us anything, it is that only when the party is over and everyone is a little tipsy, the problems will arise.

At that point, one lowly scientist (possible of Asian origin) will still be working in his office - despite regular calls of 'Hu! It's all fine, come out here and have some champagne'. He shouts out 'In a minute, I'm just checking something' Then to himself 'This is wrong. This is all wrong. Planck's constant shouldn't be varying like that.'

And then it all goes wrong.

Jeez, were you born yesterday!

Mark my words... come Friday, we'll all be eating black holes for breakfast with lashings of superheated strange milk.

Re:More than scientific learning (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24946519)

I thought they had already turned it on yesterday... Wait, today is September 10th... Again ?

Re:More than scientific learning (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946551)

>will the doomsayers ever learn for the next time?

Nope. Doomsaying is a form of extreme vanity. Its complimenting yourself. "I know the world will end regardless of what you eggheads say and it makes sense the world would end in my lifetime because iI'm important!!!" This is a 3rd grade mentality. Most people never, ever grow out of it.

Re:More than scientific learning (3, Interesting)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946571)

My only question is, when the smoke clears and we're all fine, will the doomsayers ever learn for the next time? Probably not. I'm sure next time they'll say
"this time, its different, the world is really going to end this time".

For a local astronomy club, I once did a little presentation, I think the title was "bad astronomy in popular culture". While the scope was mostly about stuff like sound-in-space, space planes ála Star Wars, and so on, one of the topics I covered was Niburu - the supposed planet that will kill us all. It actually had little visibility even in mainstream press so it sort of warranted coverage.

http://www.detailshere.com/niburu.htm [detailshere.com] is the "Doom!" page. Anyway, for my research, I just checked out webarchive.org...and looked at the snapshots from previous years. It was basically updated every year to say that "next year IT will come". As you can see, right now it's saying "2008-2011" :). Compare with the version from 2003 february [archive.org] or from 2005 [archive.org] as examples :)

Re:More than scientific learning (1)

drix (4602) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946593)

Yes, but consider the asymmetry: you get to gloat when you are right, but they don't get to say anything when they are right. Thus, the doomsday profits get to naysay in advance, and the rationalists get to gloat in the aftermath. It works out even.

Of course we're still alive... (5, Insightful)

numbware (691928) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946113)

If I'm correct, no collisions have taken place yet.

Re:Of course we're still alive... (5, Informative)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946251)

If I'm correct, no collisions have taken place yet.

Correct. That will happen later this month.

Re:Of course we're still alive... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24946469)

I dont think that colliding hardons is in line with God Particles plan. Im sure that the religious right has something to say about this...

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Re:Of course we're still alive... (5, Insightful)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946259)

Yeah, you'd think we'd be able to avoid the headline hysteria here at least.

Re:Of course we're still alive... (1)

numbware (691928) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946407)

I was about to say you must be new here, but your UID is lower than mine...

Re:Of course we're still alive... (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946417)

you'd think we'd be able to avoid the headline hysteria here at least.

You must be new here ;)

Re:Of course we're still alive... (1)

RandoX (828285) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946581)

The combination of the first two replies above me make me want to punch myself in the face.

Epic fail (5, Funny)

ZeroFactorial (1025676) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946121)

What you don't realize is that everything around the LHC is being converted into strange matter.

It started with the scientists, so noone has noticed anything different yet.

Re:Epic fail (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946455)

It started with the scientists, so noone has noticed anything different yet.

Speak for yourself. Mr. Freeman has noticed lots of things that are different ;)

If I could only find my crowbar......

Re:Epic fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24946505)

Yes, they're using Linux on the Desktop.

Re:Epic fail (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946515)

It started with the scientists, so noone has noticed anything different yet.

So that means the LHC project in Japan started when exactly?

No risk yet. (3, Insightful)

fprintf (82740) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946127)

The only question is, when they start colliding and/or accelerating the beams up toward the speed of light will this be the end of the world? As the XKCD comic says, they haven't really done anything interesting/risky just yet.

Either we're alive or... (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946131)

we're sliding down the gravitational tunnel of a very, very large event horizon... either way, I'm having cake!

Re:Either we're alive or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24946377)

I, for once, welcome our new (strange) particles overlord!

Picture to prove it (3, Funny)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946139)

"It worked! The LHC was turned on this morning and has been shown to have worked"

Here's [hisupplier.com]proof.

BFD (4, Informative)

TheNecromancer (179644) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946145)

I thought that the critics of this project were worried about the effects of COLLIDING the particles. Since that hasn't happened yet, this story is a whole lotta nuthin'.

Re:BFD (4, Funny)

neoform (551705) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946263)

Does this mean I'll have to build up another sigh of relief and let it out again at a later date?

B F *G* :( (1)

saudadelinux (574392) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946301)

I thought that the critics of this project were worried about the effects of COLLIDING the particles. Since that hasn't happened yet, this story is a whole lotta nuthin'.

Something better happen! I blew my life's savings on one of these [wikipedia.org] getting ready for the alien hordes that'll come spilling through the gate they'll open!

Re:BFD (3, Insightful)

hairykrishna (740240) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946423)

The vast majority of the 'critics' you refer have no idea what they're actually scared of. This switch on should reassure them well enough. The loons that make up the other fraction of the 'critics' will carry on doomsaying. Fortunately the majority of the reporters giving them air time don't really understand either so this switch on should effectively shut them up too.

By the way the story is 'the LHC is switched on'. It heralds the beginning of one of the most interesting science experiments of our age. The story is not really 'we are still alive' as that is no surprise to anyone who is not a retard.

Re:BFD (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946429)

I don't think it is "nuthin", it is important news. They got stuff running, so they can go to next step - colliding particles - which will happen right away in this month - probably in next two weeks.

Anyway, this is exciting for a geek. From technical details to physics itself. Much better than Google Chrome news.

Re:BFD (4, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946445)

I thought that the critics of this project were worried about the effects of COLLIDING the particles. Since that hasn't happened yet, this story is a whole lotta nuthin'.

Huh? You do realize that the purpose of building and turning on the LHC isn't to silence black-hole-apocalypse believers, right? The purpose of the LHC is to do new science. Successful containment and acceleration of the beams is an important milestone for this project. That's why this is news.

Presumably you will still think this story is "a whole lotta nuthin'" once collisions do happen, because those collisions will be at energies already probed by other accelerators. And even once LHC ramps up to full power, it will still be "a whole lotta nuthin'" because those energies already occur in nature (e.g. cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere).

I think it would be more accurate to say that the worries about black-hole-apocalypse are "a whole lotta nuthin'" whereas a successful activation of the LHC is amazing news for anyone interested in science.

Re:BFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24946485)

Exactly. The concern is over what happens when they direct two beams into each other and start smashing protons.

Re:BFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24946491)

So for you, seeing the 5 billion dollar hardware work as expected is a whole lotta nuthin', but disproving a crackpot theory would be newsworthy?

Furthermore (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946557)

Looks like these are (relatively) low-energy test runs for the time being

"During winter, the LHC will be shut down, allowing equipment to be fine-tuned for collisions at full energy. "

They messed with space-time I think (1)

ccguy (1116865) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946149)

Reading will only be possible in the Mysterious future!

Re:They messed with space-time I think (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946199)

Sort of you are right. This morning on the radio one of the scientist explained that the experiment will run for 10 years, so not to expect results too soon.
Could be in a month or could be a year or longer.

The way he said it was as if they expect a result in about a year.

Back to the future (1)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946425)

The mysterious future, or the past. I vote for the latter, 'cause that "control room" graphic looks like it was created on an Apple ][.

Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24946159)

I was hoping we got stuck in the horizon of events.

Based on the images... (3, Funny)

Adreno (1320303) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946169)

Based on the images released thus far, I've come to the conclusion that a team of well-trained monkeys working exclusively in MS-Paint are close to modeling the stock market. In unrelated news, the head scientists at the LHC are planning their lavish retirement on Grand Cayman. More at 5.

Damnit! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24946173)

You're all still here.

Congrats. (1)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946177)

It's always nice to see complex engineering projects that work. It gives the impression that theory and reality are getting closer.

16 bit colour? (0, Flamebait)

knutkracker (1089397) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946197)

How can they spend £2.6 billion and have control screens that look like a ZX spectrum?

Re:16 bit colour? (5, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946309)

Because screens with colour used informatively, rather than making eye candy screens with flashy gradients and transparency, make the actual information easier to discern. This isn't some commercial app that has to sell to Mac enthusiasts, nor is it Photoshop.

Re:16 bit colour? (3, Funny)

aapold (753705) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946589)

How can they spend £2.6 billion and have control screens that look like a ZX spectrum?

The control screens are high-res, 32-million colors. The 16-bit colors you see are a side effect of the LHC Process. The effect started there and has been spreading outwards... they said not to worry, that we won't know the difference once it hits.

Based on the control room shot... (-1, Flamebait)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946201)

It appears that turning on the LHC is transforming the world as we know it into the nightmare world of Linux on the Desktop...

Re:Based on the control room shot... (1)

krkhan (1071096) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946293)

Of course, it wouldn't have had been so ugly had they used Vista and DirectX 10. Or wait, perhaps LHC couldn't run Vista with all the bells and whistles.

Poor thing.

Re:Based on the control room shot... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24946341)

It appears that turning on the LHC is transforming the world as we know it into the nightmare world of Linux on the Desktop...

'Damn, this collider-multiverse package doesn't fit well with my graphics card... I'll recompile the kernel changing some stuff.
...

OMG kernel black hole!'

No need to ask (1)

inotocracy (762166) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946287)

Yes, it runs Linux.

Screenshot (2, Funny)

saterdaies (842986) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946317)

Well, I'm breathing a sigh of relief to see they're running some sort of *NIX. I was worried a Windows BSOD would mean the end of the world :-).

The LHC should be destroyed (-1, Troll)

Try a little harder (1099277) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946331)

According to some CERN scientist the LHC could spawn tiny black holes that would move around the eurth as satelites, feeding on it and eventually become noticable only four minutes before devouring the earth. No scientist can say this definitely won't happen, some say there's a 50% chance. I would not allow any experiment of this kind before everybody is sure the risk was zero. Even then I would suggest we cool it and focus on real problems. Those who say the tiny lack holes would dissapear instantly, you are misinformed. They are solid mass. They can only grow, and anything that interacts with them will be sucked in.

Re:The LHC should be destroyed (3, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946587)

Those who say the tiny lack holes would dissapear instantly, you are misinformed. They are solid mass. They can only grow, and anything that interacts with them will be sucked in

Mr. Hawking [wikipedia.org] disagrees with you.

And even if he is wrong, my understanding is that particle collisions with the same energy levels happen on a routine basis as cosmic rays strike our atmosphere. That would seem to suggest that either these collisions lack the power to create black holes or Hawking's theory is correct and they evaporate pretty quickly.

research to application life cycle (5, Interesting)

lyapunov (241045) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946339)

When I was an undergraduate studying mathematics one of the most intriguing comments made by a professor was
 
Cutting edge mathematics takes about 50 years to find its way into physics, from there it takes about 25 years to find its way into engineering.
 
With the advent of the LHC and other amazing advances, like easy access to substantial computing power, do you think that this still holds true? By this, I mean do you think that life cycle times will shorten, or will they remain the same because even though these advances are being made, they are at higher, or very specific level, and as such, they will not be able to be developed into applications as quickly?

Thoughts?

Re:research to application life cycle (1)

Chief Camel Breeder (1015017) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946553)

50 and 25 years sound suspiciously like two and one human generations respectively. And 50 years is roughly an academic career from start of university education through to retirement. Maybe we only get the new stuff as the old guard are replaced?

There is an argument that gross computing power lessens the near for, and appeal of, "cutting edge mathematics". Researchers are less likely to work for a tricky, analytical solution if they can brute-force a numerical one for less effort.

Re:research to application life cycle (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24946563)

My thought is "A witty saying proves nothing" - Voltaire.

You would need to cite some historical examples for that quote to mean much, who knows if it is even true or not? Didn't much of the cutting-edge mathematics of the 19th and some of the 20th century comes from physicists first?

History Channel Special & Their "Comuiting Gri (3, Interesting)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946347)

The history channel ran a special on the LHC last night - I highly recommend everyone watch it!

I've always known this project was enormous, but I really didn't get it until I watched this special. They'd spend 5 minutes or show showing this massive facility with 30 foot high equipment - and this would be just like a little instrumentation room - just one of many. Truly amazing.

Working in "technology" - all the same-'old same-'ol computers we see day-in and day-out look like stupid adding machines next to the scale and complexity of the stuff there.

Speaking of which - it also went over their "computing grid". Their data storage farm was enormous. They also had ten thousand nodes to crunch the data!

BTW - What kind of machines did they have you ask? Some slick IBM 1u rackmount chassis? No - just a bunch of cheap, off-white, off-brand tower PCs sitting on rows and rows of shelves.

I'm sure they (did the smart thing) and did what Google did. High-end machines? No. Support Contracts? No.

If it dies? Pitch it and get a new one.

Excellent! (1)

deadhammer (576762) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946349)

Well-written article on the Large Hadron Collider free of any scaremongering and vague references to "some questions have been raised"? Check. Bring in the crazies!

Re:Excellent! (1)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946535)

I'll start, LHC turned on - Earthquake in Iran. Second beam fires and my three colleagues sneezed sequentially down the row. It's only the start!

We're alive, yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24946357)

...where did all these headcrabs come from?

Can we please talk about physics now? (5, Insightful)

Doug Neal (195160) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946421)

Am I the only one who's sick of every news story and every discussion about the LHC deteriorating into giving the "end of the world" bullshit even more time of day that it doesn't deserve?

This is one of the most important and ambitious scientific experiments that has been attempted in a long long time, but it seems that instead of taking the opportunity to get the general public inspired about science and discovery, the mainstream media has used it to spread unfounded doomsday rumours and anti-science propaganda. The fact that it's dominating even Slashdot discussions (albeit mostly in a joking way) is pretty tragic IMHO.

Prof Brian Cox said it best [telegraph.co.uk] - "anyone who believes the LHC will destroy the world is a twat".

I've taken a huge interest in all this lately and have been spending hours on Wikipedia reading about bosons and leptons and so on.. it would be great to get some quality posts in this thread from some real hardcore particle physicists (come on, I know you're out there...)

Re:Can we please talk about physics now? (1)

Rikiji7 (1182159) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946537)

I agree, it'd be interesting to hear from a particle physicist out of official information channels...

The discoveries will rock physics (1)

Bicx (1042846) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946431)

I'm really happy to hear that the LHC successfully tested without any major hitch. This huge machine will doubtlessly help us discover amazing things about our universe. On an unrelated note, my car kept veering to the east this morning on my way to work. Need to check those tires.

Dumb question (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24946447)

Does the 'large' in large hadron collider refer to the size of the hadrons or the size of the collider?

"particles known as protons?" (2, Insightful)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946449)

Huh? That's like saying "sparky stuff known as electricity" or "an attractive force known as magnetism". If you don't know what a proton is, is knowing it's a particle going to help you understand the article?

Re:"particles known as protons?" (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946599)

A better comparison would be trying to explain colors to a blind person*.

* born blind, obviously.

Pretty picture, but not the one you want... (5, Informative)

bockelboy (824282) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946475)

That picture is from smashing the beam into the collimator, not from passing the beam through ATLAS.

This is one of the final tests that you perform before passing the beam through - the result though is that millions of muons from the beam smash and deflect off the collimator, touching off all the different parts of the detectors. That's why you see so many energy deposits (green) throughout ATLAS.

When you're just circulating beams, the only thing you see are Cosmics and BeamHalo - any muons which collide with remaining gas particles upstream of the detector and basically circle right outside of the beam. Here's some pictures of CMS beam halo:

http://cmsdoc.cern.ch/cms/performance/FirstBeam/cms-e-commentary.htm [cmsdoc.cern.ch]

This was a triumph... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24946483)

I'm making a note here, huge suc-bah, fuck it.

I'm still keeping a crowbar handy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24946509)

just in case...

Weighted Companion Cube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24946511)

Isn't the icon for 'Atlantis Canvas ' a Weighted Companion Cube at the top left of the image?

Now... (1)

CBob (722532) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946531)

Someone let me know when they start producing antimatter in useful quantities, I've got plans....

No one in Australia is afraid... (0)

GrpA (691294) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946541)

Of course, everyone in Europe will probably be sterilised by the radiation as the black holes decay...

But not us!

We've got the entire planet between us and your folly!

You guys in the US should be afraid though... You've only got the Atlantic Ocean.

Perhaps you could invest in lead underwear?

GrpA

Picture (2, Funny)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946555)

> Here is a picture from the control room which I'm sure makes sense to someone that isn't

Looks like one of those freeware DOS screensavers from the 90s.

"And we're all still alive too!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24946565)

And we're doing science (no, really, we are).

Java Suitable for LHC? (2, Informative)

mb10ofBATX (126746) | more than 5 years ago | (#24946573)

That GUI looks to be implemented in Java - a quick google seems to validate that impression.

Java's licensing agreement, under the paragraph 3. Restrictions. [java.com] states:

"You acknowledge that Licensed Software is not designed or intended for use in the design, construction, operation or maintenance of any nuclear facility."

So, Java's no good for a nuclear facility, but it can operate a black hole generating facility just fine.

If you weren't concerned before ... now might be a good time.

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