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Life and Work On the LHC At CERN

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the one-ordinary-day-with-teravolt-beams dept.

Science 81

An anonymous reader sends in a CNet Crave interview with a working physicist at CERN. The interview is full of detail about what it's like to work in this geek paradise (if a bit dumbed-down for an audience assumed not very technical). Dr. Paul Jackson, a particle physicist working on the LHC's Atlas experiment, says there's no chance of black holes wiping us out, and that the time travel speculation is bunkum. He is 100% convinced that they will find the Higgs boson. The scientists there favor Macs, while computers in the control room are Linux-based. "What would happen if you were standing in front of the beam? You would die. It would be a pretty spectacular death, and you wouldn't know a lot about it. ... It would be the equivalent of having 87kg of TNT dumped into your body."

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mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part now (4, Funny)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246756)

"It would be the equivalent of having 87kg of TNT dumped into your body." jamie wants big boom

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246822)

"It would be the equivalent of having 87kg of TNT dumped into your body." jamie wants big boom

LOL!

I clicked through here specifically to post that. Whether or not it's "myth", it would make for a pretty cool Mythbusters episode. They could travel to CERN and tour the LHC, interview some scientists about the cool stuff going on there and then blow up a pig or two!

It would be exceptionally cool if the guys at the LHC would let them blow up a pig by putting it into the particle stream, but I'm sure that would do too much damage to the LHC, which is having enough trouble as-is.

Just keep believing in political correctness (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30247086)

A supposedly intelligent person claimed that blacks are at least as intelligent as whites because they are so ‘innovative.’ His example was that blacks would take an old steel oil-drum (which whites considered to be rubbish) and turn it into something useful – a steel drum. Leaving aside whether or not a steel-drum band of muds is, in any way, shape or form, ‘useful,’ let’s look at his argument.

The white man had made the steel oil-drum as a means of transporting oil around the world. This involved creating an industrial technology, and developing mining industry to a point where oil wells could be sunk in the North Sea (or Gulf of Mexico), and crude oil successfully removed. Then a world-wide trading network had to be established. Let us gloss over the need for international economic transactions, international credit and banking, electronic money transfers, telephonic and satellite communications, and the stable economies and governments needed to make this possible.

Instead, let’s look at the need to produce oil tankers to transport the oil. The need for computers to navigate the ships, the level of technology needed to produce the ships, the schools needed to educate those who will serve on the ships, the engineering skills and training for those making them.

Let us now think about the products kept going by the oil. The plastics, the chemicals, the cars, and so on. And all this on a world-wide scale, over generations. And we haven’t even touched on road and rail systems, intensive farming and refrigeration to feed those in the industrialised cities, the factories, the building trade, power generation, written and computerised record keeping, or a thousand and one other things, all associated with the world oil production and trade.

And of all this, the oil drum is a minor by-product, a practical but simple and fairly primitive form of storage whilst in temporary transit.

And if, by some chance or accident, one of these oil drums washes up on the shore of dusky Africa, what do the native inhabitants do? Use it in their own oil industry? No. Use it as a spring-board towards future development? No. They turn it upside-down and hit it with sticks! Call me pedantic, but that doesn’t make them my equal. Not one of the dozens of items I listed above has appeared in Africa, ever. Not even writing. A continent surrounded by ocean, watered by massive lakes and rivers, and the black natives never dreamt a sail. Thousands of miles of flat grasslands, and they never fashioned a wheel, nor domesticated animals. Surrounded by stone, they never constructed a building better than a hut. Acres of diamonds and the world’s largest gold fields, and they never glanced at them until shown their beauty by white men. And all this for tens of thousands of years, thousands of generations living with no change, no progress. But they are our equal.

Re:Just keep believing in political correctness (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30247264)

New York Minute, n. - the time that passes between the submission of the parent comment and its subsequent down-moderation. Potentially eligible for inclusion in the standard S.I. units.

Political correctness, n. - that holy of holies upon which all modern political thought is based. It is religious in nature because you are made right and morally correct by adhering to it, which naturally means anyone which does not adhere to it is wrong. Facts and reasoning and observation do not factor into the judgment of right and wrong under this system, only whether the subject of discussion is a member of a "protected" group that has been granted special status such as immunity to criticism no matter how well-founded. An attempt is made to reconcile this feature of superior privileges for some groups with a belief in the fundamental equality of all human beings, leading to much neurosis. This belief system is marked by a distinct inability to articulate its own justification or necessity and in fact, asking it to justify itself will cause one to be regarded as a heretic. In its advanced stages, this religion of political correctness is to be protected at all costs, even at the cost of free speech and even at the cost of truth.

Sycophant, n. - a moderator who sees the parent post and immediately mods its down, in knee-jerk fashion, without ever feeling a need to rebut its claims. This is an authoritarian "might makes right" maneuver because at no point does the mod need to demonstrate the incorrectness of the parent post. He or she need only demonstrate that they have moderator points.

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (2, Interesting)

careysub (976506) | more than 4 years ago | (#30248032)

"It would be the equivalent of having 87kg of TNT dumped into your body." jamie wants big boom

... Whether or not it's "myth", it would make for a pretty cool Mythbusters episode. ...

Looking at a description of the LHC beam dump system, it sounds like this sort of experiment could be arranged: http://lhc-machine-outreach.web.cern.ch/lhc-machine-outreach/components/beam-dump.htm [web.cern.ch] .

The beam dump is a 7 m long, 0.7 m wide graphite cylinder (about 5 tonnes) surrounded by a cooling system and several hundred tons of concrete and iron. The beam gets their by shooting down a 600 m tunnel after extraction from the ring. Normally this tunnel is filled with nitrogen at 1.2 atmospheres (since the carbon dump gets heated to 1000 c and would catch fire if oxygen were present), but some arrangement where a test chamber gets inserted in the tunnel seems possible.

What is a dumped beam like? It is very narrow, at the tunnel entrance window it is 1.5 mm , but is swept in a spiral path (length 110 cm at the window) by deflector magnets as it enters the tunne. The spiral expands to a 1.2 m wide spiral pattern 4 m long when it reaches the dump [cern.ch] . The initial mass absorption coefficient is 80 g/cm^2 (for carbon) indicating a mass of tissue 6 inches thick with a density of 1 would absorb something less than 20% of the energy (360 megajoules, indeed about 87 kg of TNT), which see [web.cern.ch] . The mass of a 1.5 mm x 4000 mm irradiated zone is only 6 g.

So, perhaps 15 kg TNT of energy would be absorbed by several grams of tissue in a long stripe. It would make a very violent explosion. The MythBusters guys better bring a strong walled chamber.

Complete Myth (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30248902)

So, perhaps 15 kg TNT of energy would be absorbed by several grams of tissue in a long stripe.

The amount will be far, far less than that because it takes time for the hadronic shower produced by the protons to develop. Energy deposition is not linear but peaks at a distance into the material (this is why lower energy proton beams are used for treating brain tumours). So while you may end up dead, depending on what the beam hits or from the radiation later, I doubt it will be in any way "spectacular". The vast majority of the energy will go right through you but tissue close to the beam will get effectively cooked.

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30250938)

*Normally this tunnel is filled with nitrogen at 1.2 atmospheres (since the carbon dump gets heated to 1000 c and would catch fire if oxygen were present)*

Great. So instead of fire, we get cyanide radicals.

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (1)

Like2Byte (542992) | more than 4 years ago | (#30248182)

I clicked through here specifically to post that. Whether or not it's "myth", it would make for a pretty cool Mythbusters episode. They could travel to CERN and tour the LHC, interview some scientists about the cool stuff going on there and then blow up a pig or two!

The very idea of dumbing down science by blowing up pigs is just hogwash!

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (1)

spammeister (586331) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246832)

And then when THAT ultimately doesn't work, they put in 10 times the amount and do it again.

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (2, Interesting)

zygotic mitosis (833691) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246840)

I'm curious about this point because under a previous LHC article, someone commented that "11 trillion electron volts sounds impressive, but when I flick something with my finger, far more energy is transferred." (paraphrase, obviously)

Could someone more versed in physics tell a layman how this scales up?

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (2, Informative)

swillden (191260) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246894)

I'm curious about this point because under a previous LHC article, someone commented that "11 trillion electron volts sounds impressive, but when I flick something with my finger, far more energy is transferred." (paraphrase, obviously)

Could someone more versed in physics tell a layman how this scales up?

I'm not a physicist, but I typed "11 TeV in Joules" into Google and it says "1.76239411 × 10-6 joules". That's not very much energy. It's enough to accelerate 1.7 micrograms from rest to a velocity of one meter per second -- a gnat's whisker to a slow walk. Yeah, flicking a finger is far more energetic.

However, that's the energy in the most energetic particles in the particle stream. There are a lot of particles in the stream, so their total energy is much higher.

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (1)

ameline (771895) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246974)

Yes, that is the energy in each *individual* particle (for the most energetic ones). And as you point out, there are going to be lots of particles. It will add up.

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (4, Interesting)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246978)

Yeah, even a few billion atoms (which isn't very much at all) and you're already talking about hundreds of Joules.

I forget the exact energy specifications of the LHC, but if you're interested in getting a feeling for the power it packs, do a search for "LHC beam dump". This is a huge block of solid material (some sort of a lead-composite, IIRC) that's only job is to be vaporized if they need to shut down the beam quickly.

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247274)

.7m x 7m long carbon cylinder sucking up 350 MJ, surrounded by 750 tons of concrete and iron to keep it from going "sproing".

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247296)

PS, 350 MJ is around 84 kilos of TNT. Perhaps they are running a bit hot?

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (1)

speedbiker (1234566) | more than 4 years ago | (#30250826)

.7m x 7m long carbon cylinder

That's about what I remember from a TV show about the LHC a while ago; roughly about 1 m in diameter (what's that in foot, 10 square feet?), 7m (23 feet) long. If the beam is directed into it, it heats up to about 800 degrees C (~1700 degrees F according to Google) in an instant.

I can picture the scientist going "Operation room, the pizza's a bit stale, and the coffee machine blew up. Would you mind rerouting the beam once more?"

(s/degrees/the simple circled degree character that /. is munging for some reason/g)

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (1)

speedbiker (1234566) | more than 4 years ago | (#30250850)

about 1 m in diameter

Argh, /. ... That was supposed to say 'about 1 m^2 in diameter'!

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30251710)

What?

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30252998)

Considering how he converted everything, I'd imagine us Americans must have a different definition of diameter.

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (1)

dr_tube (115121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247026)

From wikipedia: ...under nominal operating conditions (2,808 bunches per beam, 1.15×10E11 protons per bunch)

And the X TeV is the energy of a single proton in the beam. So we are talking about something like (5 TeV in Joules) x (10E14) = about 100 million joules

Ballpark: Multiply by 10 to the 23rd power.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30250558)

per for each gram of particles accelerated (assuming the particles in the accelerator are roughly the mass of protons / neutrons). I'm not sure how the energy of acceleration affects the mass, but I'm assuming that Avagadro's number should put you in roughly the right ballpark.

That's about 10 ** 18 ish Joules, so my guess is somewhere between 100 PetaJoules to a few Exajoules per gram.

Yipes! That's a *LOT* of energy. Wikipedia says that 60 TJ was release in the nuclear explosion over Hiroshima.

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (1)

The -e**(i*pi) (1150927) | more than 4 years ago | (#30251756)

They did a test and the beam vaporized like a 40 M long copper tube a mm wide or so.
Now they have a large graphite tube encased in like a foot of concrete to stop the beam and they scan the beam across it so it heats up evenly.

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (1)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 4 years ago | (#30258288)

It's enough to accelerate 1.7 micrograms from rest to a velocity of one meter per second -- a gnat's whisker to a slow walk. Yeah, flicking a finger is far more energetic.

Good point. For a particle that microscopic compared to an atom to have enough energy to move a macroscopic object like a a gnat's whisker to a slow walk is hella impressive when you think about it.

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247006)

IANAP*, but I do play one on TV.

You see Volts deal with Electrons, and Electrons are really tiny. Fingers aren't very big either, but they are bigger than electrons [citation needed]. Some scientist somewhere took 11 trillion electrons with 1 volt each and sent them towards a single finger, in flicking motion. The battle raged for just over a year, and in the end, the finger was the victor.

*or a lawyer

DEATH BY STUPIDITY (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30246878)

Einstein said '2 things i deem infinite, the Universe and the stupidity of man'. He also explained us what mass is: a hurricane-like vortex of spacetime which according to his principle of equivalence between mass and acceleration, attracts more the faster it turns. Nobel prize wilczek and myself in my work on fractal Universes showed we can find the mass of all particles by considering the frequency of those vortices. But quantum physicists wouldnt accept Einstein nd when he died tried to promote absurd theories like the 'higgs' particle which nobody knows how can give 'mass' to every other particle of the Universe if it is invisible, if particles colliding repel... But Einstein was a lonely genius and quantum physicists were doing Nuclear Bombs and Atomic cannons (LHC is aquark cannon but in orwelian neolanugage now this industry has been privatized after the cold war nd). Plainly speaking we do not need this Damocles machine, a 13 billion $ hoax who prevents the expansion of true science, denies Einstein's work and will produce black holes and Einstein's quark condensates responsible for nova explosions. But a marketing campaing has convinced mankind with the hype of replicating the big-bang of the Earth and find the absurd Higgs particle that Nobel Prizeweinberg called the toilet particle to be flush in a vortex of mass of Doctor Einstein as the Earth will be this christmas. We will indeed die of infinite stupidity, because a extinct species nows nothing=0 and Knowledge/0=Infinite stupidity. Einstein also said 'those who pretend to impose truth with power will be the laugh of the gods'.

Re:DEATH BY STUPIDITY (1)

jonamous++ (1687704) | more than 4 years ago | (#30252972)

Knowledge/0=Infinite stupidity.

You can't divide by zero. Additionally, learn to type so that people can understand the point you are attempting to convey.

Dumped through where? (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247044)

Now I'm thinking that depending on which opening you drop those 87 kg of TNT into someone's body, this may finally be a thread where the goatse link isn't off-topic ;)

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (2, Informative)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247378)

Well, the beams have the energy equivalent of 87 KG of TNT. Your statement implies that standing in front of the beam would cause you to explode, which I very much doubt.

I am curious as to what actually WOULD happen. The beams themselves are very narrow (on the order of a millimeter according to http://lhc-machine-outreach.web.cern.ch/lhc-machine-outreach/beam.htm [web.cern.ch] ). With such a tiny size I might guess the beam would quickly cut a hole straight through you.

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247752)

With such a tiny size I might guess the beam would quickly cut a hole straight through you.

Aren't there cheaper ways [wikipedia.org] to achieve that? ;)

Re:mythbusters have to test the 87kg of TNT part n (4, Informative)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247912)

Your statement implies that standing in front of the beam would cause you to explode, which I very much doubt.
I am curious as to what actually WOULD happen.

This is the closest thing I could find:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatoli_Bugorski [wikipedia.org]
http://forgetomori.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/anatolibugorski3.jpg [forgetomori.com]

A Modest Proposal (3, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246770)

What would happen if you were standing in front of the beam? You would die. It would be a pretty spectacular death, and you wouldn't know a lot about it. ... It would be the equivalent of having 87kg of TNT dumped into your body.

So you're saying it'd be pretty painless? You could revolutionize flawed processes we have in the United States [latimes.com] by providing an alternative that may have a more expensive start up cost but would solve budget problems by providing needed services for both our prison system and science research at the same time. I mean if we ignore the ethical problems with televised executions, the costs of an LHC could be mitigated by commercial segments ...

Re:A Modest Proposal (1)

Pezbian (1641885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246912)

Why not just go "Hey! Look over there!" and shoot them in the head? $1 for a bullet and they never know what hit them.

Re:A Modest Proposal (1)

Murple the Purple (130813) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247046)

Why not just ask them to take a shower and pump in some Zyklon B?

Re:A Modest Proposal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30247492)

Simpsons already did it...err...I meant Hitler

Re:A Modest Proposal (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247116)

Then we could take a lesson from China, and bill the family for the bullet!

Re:A Modest Proposal (1)

gmueckl (950314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247084)

That is, if you figure out how to clean up the mess - or what's left of it.

Re:A Modest Proposal (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30253990)

So you're saying it'd be pretty painless?

Executions are small potatoes. Think suicide machines! Die painlessly now! Mind you this is the most expensive suicide booth I've ever heard of!

Higgs boson (1, Interesting)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246780)

I personally hope they don't find the Higgs boson as Dr. Hawking has predicted, as that will be far more interesting than if they do in my opinion.

"I'd put the chance we will find the Higgs boson or something similar to it at pretty close to 100 per cent. From a physicist's standpoint, if you don't find that it's almost more interesting, because it means we got it wrong and there is other stuff going on we don't understand." - Paul Jackson

Re:Higgs boson (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246830)

Isn't the pursuit of science meant to determine the truth of things? While discovering the Higgs boson or not will be truth either way, once discovering it we could move onto better and cooler things. I find it odd that Physicists find it more interesting when there is something you can't explain rather then testing a theory that could explain it.

I mean, I hope they find the Higgs boson so that everyone can stop clammering about it. It would take a very short amount of time to find it, and confirm its existance, as opposed to this never ending story of how "We haven't found it yet".

THAT could go on forever, if we let it.

Re:Higgs boson (2, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247028)

I hope they do find it. Simply because it has public interest. On /. everyone gets that if it isn't found that would be GOOD science. The general populace will be like BOOO science sucks, it never gives any answers, I love jeeebus. Scientists wrong again. And honestly? I'd much rather have something called the GOD-particle proven true just to have another 'Science, it works bitches' moment.

Re:Higgs boson (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247500)

Personally, I hope for destructive interference from the future preventing the test from ever happening. But mostly because I want to see a progression of less and less probable occurrences delaying the event, until at the last moment when the lead scientist reaches over to press the 'on' button, he spontaneously turns into a giant codfish, as all the particles in his body tunnel into a different configuration.

Because that would be AWESOME!

Re:Higgs boson (2, Funny)

tom17 (659054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30248190)

Are you saying that the IID is just a failed, although only by a fraction of a tiny margin, attempt at discovering the Higgs-Boson?

I wonder if they drink much tea there...

Tom...

Working physicist (5, Funny)

Pezbian (1641885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246782)

Look, kids! A real life working physicist. He's got a job that doesn't involve waiting for an internship to open up at a University.

Re:Working physicist (1)

burni2 (1643061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247148)

Well, then we just have to build some more accelerators at costs of some billion euros,
to employ some more physicists ?

Re:Working physicist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30247196)

"Look, kids! A real life working physicist. He's got a job that doesn't^W used to involve waiting for an internship to open up at a University."

Fixed that for you.

Re:Working physicist (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247562)

I think LHC is a pretty cool guy. eh kills hardons and doesn't afraid of anything...

Re:Working physicist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30248024)

well played, good sir, well played

87 Kg TNT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30246786)

Sould probably leave a bit of a mess... Albeit in little tiny pieces!

Wait What?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30246798)

Scientists using MAC's and the place controlled by Linux...

This flies in the face of all the Microsoft Advertising! You mean reality and what I see in print and TV are not the same?!?!!?!

I'm just happy to use this as a new item to throw in front of the MSFT fanbois at work.. Hmm, Microsoft is not stable enough to run this important facility, Why do we trust it here?

It will make them squirm... I love making them squirm...

Re:Wait What?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30246914)

Scientists using MAC's and the place controlled by Linux...

This flies in the face of all the Microsoft Advertising! You mean reality and what I see in print and TV are not the same?!?!!?!

I'm just happy to use this as a new item to throw in front of the MSFT fanbois at work.. Hmm, Microsoft is not stable enough to run this important facility, Why do we trust it here?

It will make them squirm... I love making them squirm...

If you like seeing the shareholders squirm keep using FOSS.

Re:Wait What?? (1)

Again (1351325) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247790)

Scientists using MAC's and the place controlled by Linux...

Yes, I'm guessing that if their computers are networked then they are using MAC addresses.

Re:Wait What?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30249576)

Stability is what you get when your hardware and associated hardware drivers do not suck. It has had very little to do with ones choice of operating system for several years now.

Stupid Scientists (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30246816)

Anyone that prefers a MAC has intelligence issues..

Re:Stupid Scientists (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247100)

Anyone that prefers a MAC has intelligence issues..

Now that really is not very kind. (Disclaimer: I mostly use Linux, but I have a MacBook) Some people do actually manage somehow to get serious work done on Windows when they're not downloading the latest patch or anti-virus update. ;-)

Re:Stupid Scientists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30247548)

As if Mac or Linux were imune to virus...

Re:Stupid Scientists (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30248284)

Anyone that prefers a MAC has intelligence issues.

Yes. They prefer to apply it to something other than keeping their computing system up and running.

visions in my head (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#30246890)

"What would happen if you were standing in front of the beam? You would die. It would be a pretty spectacular death, and you wouldn't know a lot about it. ... It would be the equivalent of having 87kg of TNT dumped into your body."

Am I the only one that IMMEDIATELY pulled up the vision of the green beams combining inside the deathstar?

(deathsar firing [youtube.com] at 30 sec)

Re:visions in my head (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30251278)

I imagined all life as I know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in my body exploding at the speed of light.

You wouldn't feel a thing (2, Interesting)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247112)

and you wouldn't know a lot about it.

...not after being cooled down to -271 C and exposed to vacuum (if you were very lucky, in that order)...

Re:You wouldn't feel a thing (1)

burni2 (1643061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247440)

Well according to a /. article from 3-4 months ago dying in a vacuum wouldn't be that cruel, with a tube preventing the delinquent from holding his breath. (prevents damaged lungs)

But also from complaining if it does hurt?

Human rights .. a dead man needs no human rights.

Re:You wouldn't feel a thing (1)

careysub (976506) | more than 4 years ago | (#30248092)

and you wouldn't know a lot about it.

...not after being cooled down to -271 C and exposed to vacuum (if you were very lucky, in that order)...

You don't need to get all frigid to have a meet and greet with the beam. They extract it and fire it down a 600 m tunnel, where it hits a 5 ton graphite cylinder know as the beam dump, to shut down the accelerator. Stand anywhere in the tunnel and all you'll need is some bottled oxygen or a bubble (the tunnel is flooded with pure nitrogen since the beam dump would catch fire in an oxygen containing environment)./P

Anatoli Bugorski (5, Interesting)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247142)

source : http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.12/science.html [wired.com]

====== snip======
So it was in 1978 that when the proton beam entered Anatoli Bugorski's skull it measured about 200,000 rads, and when it exited, having collided with the inside of his head, it weighed in at about 300,000 rads. Bugorski, a 36-year-old researcher at the Institute for High Energy Physics in Protvino, was checking a piece of accelerator equipment that had malfunctioned - as had, apparently, the several safety mechanisms. Leaning over the piece of equipment, Bugorski stuck his head in the space through which the beam passes on its way from one part of the accelerator tube to the next and saw a flash brighter than a thousand suns. He felt no pain.

From what we know about radiation, about 500 to 600 rads is enough to kill a person (though we don't know of anyone else who has been exposed to radiation in the form of a proton beam moving at about the speed of sound). The left side of his face swollen beyond recognition, Bugorski was taken to a clinic in Moscow so that doctors could observe his death over the following two to three weeks.

Over the next few days, skin on the back of his head and on his face just next to his left nostril peeled away to reveal the path the beam had burned through the skin, the skull, and the brain tissue. The inside of his head continued to burn away: all the nerves on the left were gone in two years, paralyzing that side of his face. Still, not only did Bugorski not die, but he remained a normally functioning human being, capable even of continuing in science. For the first dozen years, the only real evidence that something had gone neurologically awry were occasional petit mal seizures; over the last few years Bugorski has also had six grand mals. The dividing line of his life goes down the middle of his face: the right side has aged, while the left froze 19 years ago. When he concentrates, he wrinkles only half his forehead.
====== snip======

Re:Anatoli Bugorski (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30248086)

So you're saying that if he had stuck his head in there a bit longer he would've become young forever?

Re:Anatoli Bugorski (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30248282)

From what we know about radiation, about 500 to 600 rads is enough to kill a person (though we don't know of anyone else who has been exposed to radiation in the form of a proton beam moving at about the speed of sound).

Sound propagates at the speed of light in your area?

Re:Anatoli Bugorski (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30248742)

Protons, not photons, fool!

Re:Anatoli Bugorski (2, Insightful)

Smurf (7981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30249210)

Fascinating. Thanks for the info.

But do take into account that Bugorski was using an accelerator from 1978, and for all we know it may not have been one of the top of the line even at that time. The LHC is the most powerful accelerator built till now, and 30 years have passed. Chances are that the beams Dr. Jackson refers to are orders of magnitude more energetic than the one that hit Bugorski.

Re:Anatoli Bugorski (1)

drerwk (695572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30251856)

The more energetic beam might well do less damage. See the Brag Peak in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton_therapy [wikipedia.org] . The point being that Proton beam therapy sees beams up to say 250 Mev. And I think that is because higher energy goes too deep. Note also that the higher the energy of the proton, the smaller its cross section to tissue.

Re:Anatoli Bugorski (1)

toxygen01 (901511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30250658)

proton beam moving at about the speed of sound

just to fix that, speed of light
otherwise perfect info, thanks for sharing!

Euro Scientists (0, Troll)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30247248)

"The scientists there favor Macs"

Even the physicists turn pansy in Europe. A disgrace.

Real scientist ? (2, Insightful)

Zoxed (676559) | more than 4 years ago | (#30248110)

> Dr. Paul Jackson, a particle physicist working on the LHC's Atlas experiment, says there's no chance of black holes wiping us out, and that the time travel speculation is bunkum. He is 100% convinced that they will find the Higgs boson.

Maybe it is me, but when I hear someone say "no chance of..." or "100% convinced that they will find..." they sound more like a politician than a scientist. I thought the latter should have an open mind until proof was presented ?

Re:Real scientist ? (1)

mpoulton (689851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30248762)

Maybe it is me, but when I hear someone say "no chance of..." or "100% convinced that they will find..." they sound more like a politician than a scientist. I thought the latter should have an open mind until proof was presented ?

What "proof" is sufficient to permit a scientist to say something with decent certainty? How about naturally-occurring collisions at this energy level on a daily basis for as long as the earth has been bombarded by cosmic rays? How open do scientists need to be to possibilities that are strongly and repeatedly contradicted by good evidence?

Re:Real scientist ? (2, Informative)

Smurf (7981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30249154)

Dude, like a true Slashdotter you didn't RTFA, congratulations. Dr. Jackson didn't use the exact words mentioned in the summary (except, of course, the direct quote RE: 87kg of TNT).

In reference to the black holes, he gives a short but complete explanation of why they would not destroy the planet.

And about the Higgs boson, he said "I'd put the chance we will find the Higgs boson or something similar to it at pretty close to 100 per cent."

The summary is not misleading, but the scientist didn't really use the emphasis you frown upon.

Re:Real scientist ? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30249424)

proof has been presented. Lots of it. This is confirmation. I will be surprised if they don't find it. If thye don't it will be an interesting few years of trying to figure what else all our facts and evidence points to.

Re:Real scientist ? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30249500)

I forgot to put this in the other post, my bad.

Here is the actual quote:
""I'd put the chance we will find the Higgs boson or something similar to it at pretty close to 100 per cent. "

Sort of like .... (2, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30248304)

It would be the equivalent of having 87kg of TNT dumped into your body.

.... Mexican food.

Alternative to death (1)

Anonymous Matt (88376) | more than 4 years ago | (#30248346)

"What would happen if you were standing in front of the beam? You would die."

Or through a fluke of physics you'd become a super hero. The Higgs is called the "God particle" for a reason. Of course, nobody would stand in front of the beam for a while, because of all the safety precautions. But a few years from now maybe in 2012 when everybody's relaxed and used to working on it, it could happen. Probably around the holidays when people are distracted most. Probably around Christmas, since that's a big, stressful holiday and everybody's thinking about everything but work. It wouldn't happen on Christmas day itself but most likely a few days before that like around December 21 maybe. As a physicist the interviewee should expect strange things like that to happen. Where's the imagination? This is what happens when they interview Dr. Paul Jackson instead of Dr. Daniel Jackson.

Or Steve Jackson? (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30248940)

How to fight the creatures of CERN dungeon

Before embarking on your adventure, you must first determine your own strengths and weaknesses. You have in your possession a physics book and a backpack containing provisions (food and drink) for the trip. You have been preparing your quest by training yourself in physics and doing exercises vigorously to build up your stamina.

To see how effective your preparations have been you must use the dice to determine your INTELLIGENCE, STAMINA and LUCK scores.

Hmmm, ok. Name: Analatoly Bugorski. INTELLIGENCE: 15. STAMINA:18. LUCK: 2...

364
You notice a large steel chamber with what appears to be a Geiger counter and a small tube of poison. You barely have time to register the odor of overripe soft cheese in the air. With a grunt of effort, the pale skinned physicist lunges at you. Pencils clatter to the floor. You quickly side step and extend your leg. He goes down in a heap. You brandish your physics book at him and he cowers in the corner, hissing. You notice that he appears to have two small lumps growing on either side of his forehead. This LHC business is getting stranger by the minute. If you demand to know what is going on in this place, turn to page 152. If you throw him in the metal box in the corner, asking him "How do YOU like it?", turn to page 377.

Best quotes of the interview (1)

wickerprints (1094741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30249086)

Q: Have you tried to introduce the Kit Kat?

A: "Yes, the Brits have tried and it's in one of the vending machines, but it's not going down so well with the Swiss."

Q: It must be a fairly geeky place to work. What does it smell like?

A: "It smells probably much like you'd expect -- a bit 'games-heavy'. The experimentalists and the theoretical physicists have a different odour. The excessive amount of soft cheese in the area doesn't add to the spring-time freshness of the site."

LMAO. Well worth the read.

dumbed it down more plz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30249846)

So it would be the equivalent of having 87kg of TNT dumped into your body

I guess dump=ignite.

I wonder what is the energy efficiency of these electromagnetic accelerators: i.e. (beam power)/(operating power); I assume LHC will not qualify for any government green rebates by a long shot.

Holy strange analogy, Batman! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30250358)

It would be the equivalent of having 87kg of TNT dumped into your body.

The assumption being that the TNT is exploded once it's in your body? Or are we talking about a stream of TNT that's exploding as it's entering the body?

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