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CERN Releases Analysis of LHC Incident

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the training-exercise-was-too-trite dept.

Science 149

sash writes "From the fresh press release: 'Investigations at CERN following a large helium leak into sector 3-4 of the Large Hadron Collider tunnel have confirmed that cause of the incident was a faulty electrical connection between two of the accelerator's magnets. This resulted in mechanical damage and release of helium from the magnet cold mass into the tunnel. Proper safety procedures were in force, the safety systems performed as expected, and no one was put at risk. Sufficient spare components are in hand to ensure that the LHC is able to restart in 2009, and measures to prevent a similar incident in the future are being put in place.'"

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But but.... (5, Insightful)

sanso999 (997008) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407217)

When is there ever a guarantee when it comes to electrical? Things frizzle, large areas have no power, cables wear out, the list goes on. 2009? I see this being a long project indeed.

Re:But but.... (4, Funny)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408011)

Guarntee? Hell no. But there's usually a warranty: 30-day money back, 2 year with manufacturer (if you pay for shipping) and 1 year or more extensions by paying 20% or more of purchase price. If I were the USA or Europe, I would make a claim on the warranty. Return the LHC under the money-back or warranty terms. Besides, with all that helium leakage, its obvious that a bunch of Chipmunks run the whole show. So much for science. Bah!

1. Buy Monster Cables
2. Spend too much money
3. ????????????
4. Working LHC ?????

Re:But but.... (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409741)

Of course if they'd used gold cables, none of this would have happened...

Re:But but.... (4, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408139)

AFAIK, there's nothing terribly innovative about the accelerator or cryo portions of the LHC, apart from the scale of the thing.

The CEBAF in Virginia has been operating at 2 Kelvin since the mid-80s. The technology to operate an accelerator at Liquid Helium temperatures is mature and well-understood.

Odds are, this is a one-time design/construction hiccup. It's unfortunate that it happened, but should be something which can easily be overcome.

Re:But but.... (1)

Falstius (963333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408281)

I'm guessing a cable was specified to XYZ and the supplier sold them a cable with spec X labeled XYZ. It wouldn't be the first time that has happened at CERN. Cables for harsh environments are expensive to make and expensive to buy, so there is a lot of temptation to cut corners.

Re:But but.... (5, Insightful)

g-san (93038) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408987)

Or consider when you buy the amount of cable they did, that 0.00001% chance of defect creeps in.

Re:But but.... (2, Informative)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409451)

If you really believed that, you'd never willingly board any aircraft.

Sure, things break down, whether electrical or mechanical. So what? That's why we conduct regular inspections, replace components based on established life-cycles, and conduct regular test-runs to ensure all systems function prior to being put into active service. Technicians aren't a bunch of witch-doctors, dancing around the machinery, shaking rattles, and moving components at random. It's a science like any other, and it produces repeatable results on which we can, and do, rely on to keep us safe and productive.

First time... (0)

MahJongKong (883108) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407219)

...Physics news make the news!

They got the idea from Deep Thought (5, Funny)

101010_or_0x2A (1001372) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407221)

If one faulty electrical connection (out of several thousands I'm sure), can cause the "largest scientific project on earth" to stall for 6 months, these hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings will probably have to wait for as long as Deep Thought did (7.5 million years I believe) to find out that the world has already ended, and they should've stuck to 42

Re:They got the idea from Deep Thought (1, Offtopic)

stim (732091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407775)

Why is this modded down? Douglas Adams isn't even respected in here anymore?

Too bad (5, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407233)

It's too bad that projects like the LHC will soon run out of funding as bankrupt nations concentrate on keeping their populations fed and/or preventing the overthrow of their governments, rather than burning issues like "what is mass, really, when you get down to it?". Of course glitches and malfunctions like this (and the previous ones) will only serve to put us past the point of possibly having been able to answer that question, but failing due to lack of funding.

How many billions of Euros have been spent on this project already?

Re:Too bad (5, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407461)

About the same amount as it takes to build 10 kilometres of underground metro in Budapest.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25409379)

ott a pont.

Re:Too bad (1, Interesting)

jnmontario (865369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407463)

I'll take the above as sarcastic...but sometimes it's hard to tell. Honestly, there's always an argument for 'fix the wrongs of society' before funding pure science. That said, what society is worth living in that doesn't fund pure science. It is completely human (and arguably native to all thinking creatures) and satisfies the deep urge 'to know'. Think of what pure science has done for us. It has lifted us from the caves of Europe/Asia to space and beyond. It has given us everything from the internet to the ballpoint pen. I would gladly give my tax dollars to pure research rather than corporate tax cuts which benefit only human greed.

Re:Too bad (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407635)

I'll take the above as sarcastic...but sometimes it's hard to tell. Honestly, there's always an argument for 'fix the wrongs of society' before funding pure science. ...

You have committed the logical fallacy of: False Dichotomy.

This is not an either/or. You could do both (or neither).

Why is it "pure science" vs "fix the wrongs" instead of "pure science" vs "cosmetics" or "cosmetics" vs "fix the wrongs".

Additionally, can you ever "fix the wrongs," or will there always be more?

Re:Too bad (5, Insightful)

denton420 (1235028) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407963)

Exactly.

Unfortunately for most of the population, the amount of money that governments generate is unimaginable. (My self included) When you are talking about that much money, the term it self almost loses the everyday definition. It is pure power to make things happen on a huge scale. A mobilizing agent of human power and innovation.

There is so much money to be spent that the government hardly knows what to do with it all.

Well maybe that last statement is unfair. They know how to spend it, they just do not know how to do it in an efficient manner without gross negligence in many instances.

And hey, maybe figuring out what mass is "really" will help us solve world hunger. Its worked before...

Re:Too bad (5, Insightful)

UCSCTek (806902) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408089)

Well, it seems to me like you can't put the 5 billion euros into both the LHC and other causes at the same time.

The point about fixing the wrongs is a good one. LHC will ultimately yield substantial progress towards understanding the universe (which, to fully appreciate, you really have to be a physicist). What is the expectation of sinking the money into a social program? Many programs here in the states are poorly constructed or simply underfunded so end up a waste, while some can truly help many people more directly and immediately than basic science research. From this angle, it seems science is a lower risk investment.

PS Obviously things are just that simple, though...

Re:Too bad (2, Interesting)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409485)

Some social programs DO work - the problem is that when governments spend money on social development they generally either can't predict or don't care about the efficiency of the program. The politician who promises to increase welfare payouts to poor families probably doesn't give a damn about whether his promise will have a positive or negative effect in the long term - he cares mostly about getting votes.

You see the same things in other examples of government spending. NASA did some amazing things in it's early days, but since then it's become a bloated government body which cares more about maintaining it's source of funding and keeping all it's bureaucrats employed than it does about developing a viable means of space exploration, or about keeping it's astronauts safe.

Of course, once in a while governments manage to get it right, as in the case of the LHC. But, more often that not, the best way for them to contribute positively is to stay the hell out of our way.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25409453)

Once everyone has ready access to food, clothes and shelter, we can consider all the wrongs fixed that should be.

Re:Too bad (4, Informative)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407499)

How many billions of Euros have been spent on this project already?

About 3.4 billion euros, and estimated to total around 6 billion euros in the end. Compared to a lot of other things, that isn't that much. Especially when you consider that several countries have been shouldering the cost together

Re:Too bad (5, Insightful)

NewsWatcher (450241) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407953)

If I had the choice of spending six billion euros on a quest to unlock some of the greatest mysteries on earth, or spend $US700 billion bailing out overpaid bankers and their cash-poor customers, I know what I would choose.

Re:Too bad (4, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408379)

Me, too. But if someone wants to pick "neither," what right do we have to take his money and spend it on our pet projects, anyway?

Re:Too bad (4, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408867)

with any public program there will be some people against its funding. so does that mean we do away with public schools, roads, mail system, police, fire departments, libraries, and all forms of public infrastructure and government?

a democratic society makes decisions based on public good. most people would agree that funding the arts and sciences is in public interest. if you are really against public research, you can try to petition the government to cut scientific funding (this has happened recently). if that is not enough, you can move to a country where the government doesn't fund any scientific research (i'm sure there are a few out there).

living in a society with other people means making compromises, that is part of the social contract which allows a civil society to exist. a free society doesn't mean everyone gets everything that they want even when it conflicts with the interests of the majority. thinking that you should always get what you want regardless of the good of the whole is a rather self-centered and immature attitude to take.

Re:Too bad (4, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409025)

It's not a question of whether or not it is in the public interest. Clearly the public benefits from funding in the sciences, and less easily measurable in the arts. But how does that interest weigh against a man's right to the fruits of his own labors?

The question is who funds it. If I believe (and I do, btw) that funding basic sciences and building particle accelerators a boon to myself and mankind, I'm inclined to donate some money to universities or other organizations engaged in the research I'm interested in (or that someone makes a cogent argument as to why I ought to be interested in.)

The question is: do I have the right to demand YOUR treasure for things that make ME happy. I'm willing to concede that I have the right to spend *some* of your money on projects of particular import: police, fire, national defense, certain critical infrastructure, but every expenditure of public monies (even those I just mentioned) should be thoroughly debated, for every dollar spent was taken under threat of violence.

Re:Too bad (1)

hansraj (458504) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409571)

If everything needed to be sold to people before they contributed for *that* cause, only "sexy" things would sell. OK, maybe not necessarily "sexy" but I think basic science costing $6 billion might be a hard sell.

That said, maybe your idea would work. Heck, wikipedia works far better than anyone would have guessed few years ago about everyone freely editing an encyclopedia, and your idea doesn't even sound as insane as wikipedia would have sounded to most people back before it started. But your idea hasn't been tested anywhere. And it is just that I am (and probably many are) wary of it being tested in $mycountry.

Re:Too bad (5, Insightful)

stjobe (78285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409647)

do I have the right to demand YOUR treasure for things that make ME happy.

In a word: No.

YOU have no right to demand much of anything from ME. However, if we live in the same society, that society have rights to demand things of both you and me. It might demand some of MY treasure and give it to YOUR pet project.

When you (implicitly) agree to take part of the benefits of living in a society, you also (implicitly) agree to pay the costs.

The second you paid your taxes it's no longer your money, it's ours (as in yours and mine and everyone elses in our society). The distribution of which we've decided to leave up to our politicians (since we cannot bother ourselves).

The politicians do "thoroughly debate" every expenditure, but not necessarily in a venue you or I have (easy) access to. This is in order since we've relinquished our right to influence those decisions.

Forgotten the $3+ trillion war already? (3, Insightful)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408839)

You remember - the unnecessary war of aggression, waged on false pretences, that most people* found abhorrent?

(*counting non-Americans)

Indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25409221)

At least the money spent on the LHC has gone do people actually producing stuff, from digging it out of the ground to turning it into useful materials and ultimately into functional objects.

What have the bankers done other than push money around and create derivatives of derivatives that are increasingly detached from any real meaning or value?

Probably the main productive task involved was having extra large pockets sewn into their pants so they could trouser more of the money as it flew on by.

Re:Too bad (5, Informative)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407511)

"The total cost of the project is expected to be 3.2-6.4 billion.[15]" - wikipedia
[15] = http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/03/god-particle/achenbach-text [nationalgeographic.com]

Skimmed over the reference, page 6 states:
"Some U.S. money has gone into the LHC, which will cost billions of dollars: five, maybe ten--the exact number is elusive (the science will be precise, but the accounting apparently follows the Uncertainty Principle)."

Contrast that with, say, the Joint Strike Fighter program+purchases:
"Total development costs are estimated at more than US$40 billion (underwritten largely by the United States), while the purchase of an estimated 2,400 planes is expected to cost an additional US$200 billion.[49]"

Re:Too bad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407811)

So this is a mostly paid for by U.S. taxpayers project that has been getting glorious coverage over here. I remember post modded up just basically bashing the U.S. and how the E.U. was ahead on this one. This is kind of a drop in the bucket in the amount of funding that is required.

Also a lot of military equiptment is subsidized to European countries, so they get a break by not having to spend heavily on military. Drop the weapons subsidizing and let them spend their own money on defense, the pandering would come drifting over when things are not subsidized.

Re:Too bad (5, Funny)

Attila the Bun (952109) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407893)

Contrast that with, say, the Joint Strike Fighter program+purchases: "Total development costs are estimated at more than US$40 billion (underwritten largely by the United States), while the purchase of an estimated 2,400 planes is expected to cost an additional US$200 billion.[49]"

...and if you arrange all those Joint Strike Fighters in a circle, the circumference is nothing like 27km. And they don't get anywhere near the speed of light. And they hardly ever collide.

So all in all, the LHC is vastly better value for money.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407933)

but the LHC is nowhere near as sexy looking...

Re:Too bad (4, Informative)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408405)

I suppose, if 35 km [google.com] (25 km if you go wingtip to wingtip) is "nothing like" 27 km.

Re:Too bad (4, Funny)

g-san (93038) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409005)

Hey babe, wanna go for a ride in a fighter jet?

vs.

Hey babe, wanna go see my collider?

Fighter jet wins.

Re:Too bad (3, Funny)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409173)

Collider? I barely know her!

Re:Too bad (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407979)

You're wrong! The JSF and the LHC projects all fit in together.

Once the acceleation of photons are complete, they will move up to increasinly larger objects. Two JSFs will go at 99% Speed of Light and collide. The blackhole created will allow the remaining 2,398 planes to roam the universe, setup 7-11's, drill for oil, collapse the housing markets, outsource labour, etc. etc. Same old, same old.

Re:Too bad (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407955)

About a rounding error in the interest on the E2,000B the EU countries are spending bailing out their over-leveraged banks?

Re:Too bad (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408239)

Wikipedia gives an estimate of 3.2-6.4 billion euro. That's not peanuts by any means; but it is actually pretty reasonable for a project of that scale. Cheaper than the Big Dig(Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff are to be avoided, as it turns out), and roughly the same as the saudi contract for 72 eurofighter typhoons.

The LHC will definitely find itself on the chopping block if we go back to mud farming and cooking our food by burning witches; but it is pretty cheap for a science project of that scale and scope.

Re:Too bad (1)

erlando (88533) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409117)

How many billions of Euros have been spent on this project already?

About 0.03% of the total EU GDP. In 2007 the EU seen as one nation had a GDP of 12.143 trillion Euro. The LHC costs a mere 4.4 billion Euro.

Don't underestimate China (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409137)

For better or worse, never underestimate the "communists"... China is just starting to gear up, and a major project that builds on, or stands tall alongside of, LHC will give China plenty of "face" in the world.

Think they just want to spend money on the Olympics?

The Chinese will pick up the slack and lead technology where large capital investments are required, again - for better or worse.

Re:Too bad (3, Informative)

tenco (773732) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409277)

The german government increased funding for CERN projects by about 90 million EUR for the next 3 years just a few days ago.

Horizontal boosters? Alluvial dampers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407287)

Well that's not it. Bring me the hydrospanners.

Re:Horizontal boosters? Alluvial dampers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407407)

I believe it's actually a problem with the Oscillation Overthruster [wikipedia.org] !
Lord John Whorfin may have tampered with the equipment.

MONKEY BOYS IN THE FACILITY!!!!!!!!

I'm just glad I wasn't the grad student... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407291)

in charge of that component.

But what causes the flash-forward? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407293)

And can they make it happen again?

According to the sumary, the problem was a dropped (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407333)

penis penis penis pee nis pee nis pee nis pe nis pe nis pe nis pen is pen is pen is.

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Bleah. Big hassle. (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407345)

It's worse than I'd thought. They may have to pull quite a few magnets out of the tunnel for repair, and some sheered off their mountings.

There's a lot of energy stored in those superconducting magnets. A magnet quench, where superconductivity is lost, is a violent event, even when the electrical safeties all work properly, as they did here. The magnet heats up suddenly, and boils the liquid helium. That blasts into the vacuum insulation cavity, setting off further quenches in nearby magnets. The pressures were high enough to blow out relief disks (as planned) and damage the vacuum valves to adjacent sections (not expected.).

None of this is about the physics. It's all plumbing and electrical work.

Re:Bleah. Big hassle. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407771)

"None of this is about the physics. It's all plumbing and electrical work."

No, it's about overlooking a design flaw and going back to correct it. That's more engineering.

But let's take what you said at face value--Are you kidding me? Forgetting that you are trying to dumb down something that is far more complex than you probably understand, much of plumbing and electrical work IS physics.

On the magnet blow, the physicists designed the equipment in concert with engineers of various expertise. Clearly, some physics did not get adequately passed across to them; I am not putting fault to one or the other, or that even fault is the correct word as the design of the LHC is difficult...

The LHC is a sequence of physics experiments in itself to study more physics. To state that it has nothing to do with physics when a (significant) part of the device has a now known (and bad) outcome and something was clearly not adequately anticipated is mind-numbingly silly.

Re:Bleah. Big hassle. (4, Insightful)

Zackbass (457384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407961)

I don't really understand what point you're trying to make. A lot of plumbing and electrical work IS engineering. The engineers know that all their analysis tools are based on physics and it doesn't take a physicist to understand how the support systems work and how to analyze them. The design of the systems is NOT a physics experiment, all the phenomena at work were well pinned down before anyone even thought of making the LHC. This is an engineering problem just like the space shuttle is an engineering problem. Just because the engineers didn't account for a particular failure case doesn't mean that the underlying dynamics aren't known.

Re:Bleah. Big hassle. (1)

DiegoBravo (324012) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407835)

At least this time was not a bad PHP script; the human race is improving.

Re:Bleah. Big hassle. (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408009)

None of this is about the physics. It's all plumbing and electrical work.

A LOT of physics went into designing and modeling the most powerful magnets ever made. Heck at full strength they will be about as strong as the strongest fields within the sun.

Look at it this way. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408235)

If some of the consequences were unexpected, we now know far more about the energies involved in superconducting magnets when they quench. Our knowledge of physics at the extreme end of superconducting magnetism has lept forward by a considerable distance - quite literally, if it was placed on top of one of the magnets.

Re:Bleah. Big hassle. (1)

g-san (93038) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409009)

"It's all plumbing and electrical work."

And here I was thinking it was like rocket science.

Re:Bleah. Big hassle. (5, Funny)

cmorriss (471077) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409037)

It's all plumbing and electrical work.

Send in Joe the Plumber!

Re:Bleah. Big hassle. (3, Informative)

chtephan (460303) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409483)

Actually, the quenches themselves are not the problem, these are quite under control and during the so-called training campaign something that is even deliberately induced.

The problem here is more a chain of unfortunate events, and something that wasn't expected during design.

Basically what happened is:
- faulty electrical connection caused the power supply to trip (i.e. detect some problem and shut down)
- fast discharge was triggered as a consequence
- during fast discharge the current couldn't be handled by the faulty connection, causing an electrical arc
- the arc burnt a hole into the insulation

This is the first thing that hadn't been considered in the design. The cold mass can withstand a very high helium pressure. Helium is not expected to go in the vacuum outside of the insulation (which is there as a thermal shield).

Then, the next problem:
- the electric arc caused some bad electrical fluctuations, causing the quench protection system in several magnets to think there was a quench
- as a consequence, the quench protection heaters then actually induced real quenches
- as a consequence, a lot of Helium got evaporated, causing the Helium pressure in the cold mass to increase sharply

This wouldn't have been a real problem, hadn't there been the hole caused by the arc.

Now the Helium entered the thermal shield around the cold mass with high pressure, causing emergency shutters installed all 107 meters
to close, which are there to protect the vacuum in the rest of the magnets. Unfortunately they were maximally designed to withstand a pressure of regular atmosphere and not the Helium under high pressure. As a consequence they were completely torn by the pressure, causing connections between magnets to be damaged and even more Helium to be released. Several hundreds of meters of tunnel were affected by this, which leads to my personal conclusion that the pressure must have broken several shutters in both directions, until they could finally hold.

So, as a consequence, the actual faulty electrical connection was a small problem compared to the chain reaction which caused in total 29 magnets to be damaged.

(Disclaimer: Personal interpretation of the incident report, there might be flaws in it)

Stop the Insanity!!! (5, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407351)

Fools!!! Don't you see? LHC turns on, financial blackhole appears out of nowhere and sucks our banks dry! It's just like in the movies - it's the damned physicists, both at CERN and Wall St. Blood's on your hands, you cretins!

Re:Stop the Insanity!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407473)

I really don't know what this has to do with Wallstreet but maybe you have something there.

Re:Stop the Insanity!!! (1)

Falstius (963333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408297)

A lot of those wiz kid 'quants' had PhD's in physics. Not kidding. No, really, I'm not.

Re:Stop the Insanity!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407569)

So you're saying 2 trillion dollars just got sucked into a black hole ??

Re:Stop the Insanity!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407751)

Black Hole, CEOs' wallets, private "trusts" of the elite to add 000's to their balance sheets ...what's the difference?

Re:Stop the Insanity!!! (1)

itai.saku.kusari (1222274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407799)

No, the U.S. national debt of 10 trillion dollars just got sucked into a black hole !!

Or so many Americans would wish.

Re:Stop the Insanity!!! (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408013)

Um, you do realize that while it's a big number the US debt as a percentage of GDP is among the lowest in the industrialized world right?

Re:Stop the Insanity!!! (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408083)

Wish i had mod points for this... So many people focus on the big scary numbers without realizing what they actually mean.

Re:Stop the Insanity!!! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25408195)

Really??? Wow!

10 Trillion debt => GDP ~ 14 trillion so 71% debt to GDP ! HA!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_public_debt

Sorting by debt to GDP, US is 27th best (last year!, now worse)

I see a lot of coutries better than 70% :)

  * Spain? (30%)
  * Iran! (25%)
  * Mexico (22%)
  * New Zealand (20%)

How about external debt??

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_external_debt

US is world's worst total debt. holder. Per capita, it is still on first page.. Nasty anyway you look at it. And no one is talking about it.

Re:Stop the Insanity!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25409677)

No you've got it all wrong! It will fail again in 2009, they will then postpone it to 2010. And again to 2011. They will finally create a black hole on December 21, 2012 - to fulfill the Mayan prophecy!

That's what they want you to think. (5, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407355)

What really happened is that the LHC destroyed the universe, but then put it back almost the same way as it was before, at least close enough that nobody noticed it.

"But," I hear you ask, "how could the LHC put the universe back together from inside a universe that, speaking rather loosely, did not at the moment exist?"

Well, an equivalent (from an observational standpoint) way of looking at it is that the LHC created a nearly exact duplicate parallel universe at the same time it destroyed the one it was currently residing in. However, it would be totally pointless to create an exact duplicate, otherwise how would you know you actually did it? So it ... left out a bit. Specifically the bit that was containing the liquid helium in LHC'.

It really is one hell of a parlor trick.

Re:That's what they want you to think. (5, Funny)

HertzaHaeon (1164143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407459)

I think I may have found one more difference in the new universe.

I woke up on the day of the accident with a goatee, which of course means I am my evil twin in this universe.

Re:That's what they want you to think. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407553)

It's better than waking up with goatse

Re:That's what they want you to think. (4, Funny)

scrod98 (609124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407533)

Very well then, thank you for a means to explain the panties that suddenly appeared in the glove compartment of my car. Just a spacial shift when the universe was recreated.

Re:That's what they want you to think. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407679)

No, that's just a dream... no nerd has ever had a reality (this one, or another) that involved panties, unless they stole their sister's.

Re:That's what they want you to think. (5, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408359)

CRAP! Why didn't I think of that!

I just got busted by the guys on my hockey team for wearing panties. When one of them asked how long I'd been doing that, I had to tell him, "Since my girlfriend found them in my glove box."

Re:That's what they want you to think. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407763)

Douglas Adams is that you? I thought you were dead.

Re:That's what they want you to think. (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407929)

If this parlor trick fails, can we have one where David Blaine disappears with? That's more the type of magic I like!

Re:That's what they want you to think. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25408371)

The LHC did destroy the universe. We're just in an alternate one where it failed instead.

no one was put at risk... (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407363)

Some interns were sucked into a black hole created by the experiment,
but in any undertaking this complex you must expect some minor setbacks.

So they soldier on with a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the mission.

I've had experience dealing with this! (3, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407385)

If their machine opens a gateway to hell, I've dealt with that before... I forget where.

Re:I've had experience dealing with this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407431)

So have I...

My plasma rifle and railgun are locked and loaded, you just bring the rockets.

Re:I've had experience dealing with this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25408305)

Doom has no Railgun, that's Quake.

Re:I've had experience dealing with this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407507)

Is that where you found your wife?

Re:I've had experience dealing with this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407755)

But are you prepared for Xen?

Re:I've had experience dealing with this! (1)

aslvrstn (1047588) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407773)

I smell a Buffy fan...

No?

Anyone?

Anyone?

Re:I've had experience dealing with this! (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408409)

"Howard the Duck," actually, I think.

Re:I've had experience dealing with this! (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409219)

Buffy f'in rules!!!

(But I'm still all man)

Re:I've had experience dealing with this! (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408103)

Were crowbars included in the LHC design specification?

If so, then I might know a guy who can help...

Re:I've had experience dealing with this! (3, Funny)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409355)

You work in tech support?

Meanwhile, in related news ... (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407437)

... officials at CERN reassured the scientific community, in high, squeaky voices, that the helium leak will have minimal impact on the LHC program over the long run.

Re:Meanwhile, in related news ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25408663)

could have been worse. Could have been a Helia leak.

What really happened... (4, Funny)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407529)

Was this [wikia.com] .

Safety First! (1)

pugugly (152978) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407653)

Fortunately our Safety Inspector [photobucket.com] was able to assure us that the large electrical arcs and hole in the facility were perfectly okay.

Thank god for that right!

Pug

 

And he will be replaced with homer simpson (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407983)

And he will be replaced with homer simpson

train wreck in the tunnel (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25407823)

(Intentionally) lost from the antiseptic description of events is a detailed description of what the tunnel actually looked like. Train Wreck. LHC dipoles were ripped from their stands and accordianed like a derailed freight train.

The design flaw which allowed this to happen is a pretty big one; basically there's no "bypass" for current passing between magnets. There needs to be a safe path for current to flow around faults when you open the circuit in a big magnet system, otherwise you get an arc. Not "so" big a deal in a normal conducting system, arcs like we saw here are, as we've seen, catastrophic for cryo cooled accelerators. This design flaw exists between every magnet in the entire 17 mle ring. Fixing it is no small deal.

In spite of what the press release says, there is No Way In Hell they didn't _know_ they were at risk of this failure mode. This was the result of a deliberate decision on their part to minimize the number of penetrations in their magnet cryostats. (All well and good, but claiming it was a surprise is complete bullshit)

MAYBE they can turn on in '09, but they've got a very very big job ahead of themselves.

Denial (1)

dark grep (766587) | more than 5 years ago | (#25407923)

So they are not saying it was caused by a world gobbling black hole? I bet if they were asked, they would _deny_ it was caused by a black hole. So obviously the problem was caused by a black hole.

I'm pretty certain... (1)

Roskolnikov (68772) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408019)

I found the idea of 'world gobbling' black holes entertaining but why stop at one? If you made more than one, would one consume the other? would they balance? I'm thinking about a car going oh, say the speed of light and you turn on the headlights; does relative time slow down or speed up? did that damned tree fall? is the cat dead? how did Alia get into her grandfathers head?

They're waiting for you, in the test chamber (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25408203)

Overhead capacitors to one oh five percent. Uh, it's
probably not a problem, probably, but I'm showing a small discrepancy in... well, no, it's well within acceptable bounds again. Sustaining sequence.

No matter how many times I read it (1)

banffbug (1323109) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408355)

...it's still the Large Hardon Collider in my mind.

wohooo, world's gonna last a couple more months! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25408457)

wohooo, world's gonna last a couple more months!

Re:wohooo, world's gonna last a couple more months (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25408651)

wohooo, world's gonna last a couple more months!

Or maybe it wont come back online till 2012. Bets anyone?

Kidding aside, I will shit myself if this thing isn't running by 2011. Given the state of the global economy, it might get funding cut for awhile. I'm just saying...

A better spend money?! (1)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25409225)

Shouldn't be better to spend billions on some war rather then failed experiment?

Thrilling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25409441)

Thrilling. Let me know when they accidentally open up a portal to another dimension and evil monsters, hungry for human flesh, comes through.

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