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LHC Reaches Over One Trillion Electron Volts

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the zzzzzzzzzzot dept.

Science 305

The LHC has become the world's highest-energy particle accelerator, weighing in at over one trillion electron volts. "Until now the LHC had been operating at a relatively low energy of 450 billion electron volts. On Sunday, engineers increased the energy of this 'pilot beam,' reaching 1.18 trillion electron volts at 2344 GMT. The previous record of 0.98 trillion electron volts has been held by the Tevatron accelerator since 2001. The LHC is eventually expected to operate at some seven trillion electron volts."

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305 comments

WOW! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272706)

With One Trillion Election Votes, he's a shoe in!

When will the science begin (4, Interesting)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272708)

The article asks this question fairly often and this is important. While testing is key and we need to make sure the systems are working properly (and will hopefully not break) the team at LHC needs to step it up a notch. Waiting this long to get to this test, and waiting another year to get to the 7.5TEVL and none of these are to do science. It's very disappointing to the science community (who at least understand the reasoning) but extremely disappointing to the rest of the world who can't fathom why something so expensive, with such a long development time...still has not provided any research.

Re:When will the science begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272724)

A first-poster who read the article? I want to subscribe to your exercise regime.

Re:When will the science begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272970)

A first-poster who read the article? I want to subscribe to your exercise regime.

Hear, Hear!

Re:When will the science begin (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272744)

I am sure it has provided plenty of research... into how to design and build a new generation of particle accelerators.

The science has begun!
Just, not the same science as what the project is to eventually accomplish...

Re:When will the science begin (5, Funny)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272756)

Science isn't about instant gratification.

Re:When will the science begin (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272800)

no but when this kind of energy is being required and the amount of money that has been pumped into it is being reported while economies round the world are crashing, joe public do start to ask questions (quite rightly). It is disappointing whatever you may think and I agree with GP post.

Re:When will the science begin (3, Informative)

znu (31198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273150)

Said amount of money being a little less than 1% of what the United States alone spent on its stimulus bill. And the project employs several thousand people.

Re:When will the science begin (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272822)

It isn't, since when?

Or are you talking about theory?

Re:When will the science begin (2, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272842)

Science isn't about instant gratification.

Not a sperm donor, I take it.

Re:When will the science begin (5, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273170)

That's self gratification, not instant gratification. Although I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt on that last part...

Re:When will the science begin (1)

Smooth and Shiny (1097089) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273192)

So masturbation is a science now? How... interesting.

Re:When will the science begin (2, Interesting)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272892)

I agree, science is not about instant gratification but science has to start at some point. LHC project started before:2004 (this was a date i found where parts were shipped, had a hard time finding an actual start date). LHC project was finished the build, and went live: Sept 2008 (first live fire). The LHC project has not started a scientific study as of November 2009. So how much patience do we need to start experimentation, let alone completing it, publishing the raw findings, analyzing the raw findings, and the coming out with some results?

To AC about my first post and reading it - the regime is 3 raw eggs daily, 2 hours of gym daily, 1 hour of sex daily, and reading the article hours before it was posted to /. and coincidentally going to /. just as the article posted :)

Re:When will the science begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273354)

So how much patience do we need to start experimentation, let alone completing it, publishing the raw findings, analyzing the raw findings, and the coming out with some results?

About 5 - 10 more years. Like I said in my other post, look up the history of any other collider of similar size, and see how long they took to get reasonable luminosity.

Expecting science this early is a little unreasonable.

Re:When will the science begin (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273542)

Yeah, yer right, what would go wrong with seven trillion electron volts. They should just turn it on already and hide behind the next mountain range. If it doesn't blow its bits, experiments out the whazoo!!

Re:When will the science begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273580)

To AC about my first post and reading it - the regime is 3 raw eggs daily, 2 hours of gym daily, 1 hour of sex daily,

I recall a wise person once saying that anyone who talks about sex a lot either isn't having it, or isn't very good at it.

Re:When will the science begin (3)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273700)

So how much patience do we need to start experimentation, let alone completing it, publishing the raw findings, analyzing the raw findings, and the coming out with some results?

Not to mention dropping us some more results on the LHC @ Home [lhcathome.cern.ch] grid. World Community Grid has been rather lonely for some time...

-l

Re:When will the science begin (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272806)

It's very disappointing to the science community (who at least understand the reasoning) but extremely disappointing to the rest of the world who can't fathom why something so expensive, with such a long development time...still has not provided any research.

In other words, the scientific community actually doesn't "understand the reasoning" and is as ignorant as the general public.

Re:When will the science begin (2, Informative)

Kelson (129150) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272818)

I don't see anything in the article that says they'll be waiting another year to test it at higher energies. I do see that they expect to do physics with it "next year" -- i.e. in the calendar year 2010, which is only a month away.

Re:When will the science begin (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273076)

@Kelson: FTA: "Officials say it is another milestone in the LHC's drive towards its main scientific tests set for 2010."

With 2010 being a month away, history has proven that if they were starting the project in a month they would have said so (it would be more exciting). Similar to condominium realtors who say "Gorgeous condos selling from the $200s"...and when you walk in it is in the 200,000 range....starting at $295,000. Plus the article says "Drive" which is another word for "aim" or for "goal" or better yet, "we are hoping"

@AC poster who claims to be a physicist...Nope not a troll. Just a person who takes ambiguity as an attempt to conceal something. But no matter how much you say "troll" at my original post, it just won't make it so.

Re:When will the science begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273602)

@AC poster who claims to be a physicist...Nope not a troll. Just a person who takes ambiguity as an attempt to conceal something. But no matter how much you say "troll" at my original post, it just won't make it so.

OK, so you're not trolling, but you *are* very naive in your estimation of how long it should take to get this machine running. Amongst experts (and I am one of those experts) the only surprise is that it is coming on so *quickly*!

But don't take my word for it -- go find a particle physicist or accelerator physicist and ask them.

Re:When will the science begin (2)

flabordec (984984) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273300)

From this article [arstechnica.com] :

The unexciting news is that we are all still here, and (barring a meteor strike) we will still be here when the LHC reaches 7.5TeV very late next year.

So it seems they are waiting for late next year.

Re:When will the science begin (4, Interesting)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273340)

Its a slow ramp up of energies. The LHC has already been doing a few collisions at 450 GeV, here see here [scientificblogging.com] , but since the injection energy to the ring 450 GeV, the LHC wasn't doing any acceleration at all there. The 1 TeV milestone show the LHC is in good working order, and the'll be increasing the energy in steps, the few 14 TeV might not be until 2011, it will run at 10 TeV instead for most of 2010 barring any more mishaps and do good physics. CERN have said the'll need to retrofit new quenching mechanisms (safety features for if the superconducting magnets get to hot and cease to superconduct), before they can run at the few 14 TeV. Although it might seem like a shame not to be running at full energy, the Higgs particles are expectable to be of mass 120-190 GeV, what CERN needs to find the Higgs is not high energy but high luminosity, large statistics on a lot of collisions. So the lower energy isn't going to stop the Higgs boson discovery. Supersymmetric particles could have any mass or not exist at all, but the losing the 10-14 TeV range, won't make much difference to begin with.

---

LHC [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Re:When will the science begin (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272920)

Troll?

It was only switched on again a week ago, and you want it to be spewing out Higgs' already?!!?

These machines are *stunningly* complex, and always take years to reach their full potential. Google for the luminosity history of any major machine (LEP, Tevatron, etc.) to see how long they took to reach their design goals.

Trust me, as a particle physicist (posting anonymously to preserve moderations), this week has been amazingly exciting, and everyone I know is stunned by how fast this machine is coming back on.

"step it up a notch" -- you *must* be a troll.

Don't rush it... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272984)

This amount of testing is not unusual for something this complex and costly. Have some patience. The LHC has already had plenty of down-time caused by unforeseen failures.

I work in the satellite industry, and it is not uncommon for a satellite to undergo 2+ years of testing before it gets launched. This kind of extensive up-front testing is not a matter of too much red tape, nor of being overly cautious. It is the result of decades of hard lessons - billions of dollars being flushed down the toilet, and in some cases, lives being lost, because of rushing a flawed product to delivery.

The LHC is already on shaky ground. Funding for this kind of science is extremely difficult to obtain even in good times, and a major system failure at this point may lead to the LHC getting shut down for good. And if that happens, it will be a VERY long time before funding for this kind of thing becomes available again. It takes a LOT of time to properly test a system this big and complex. So relax. The science will still be here when the testing is done.

Re:When will the science begin (3, Interesting)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273110)

When does the Science ever begin with a particle accelerator project? What do you define as science? They are now crashing particles faster than the Tevatron (as is the subject of the article) and have taken the title of "most powerful particle accelerator". Will this yield results different from what the Tevatron has seen for the past few years? We won't know until it happens. Will the LHC quickly ramp up to 7 TeV? We won't know until it happens. Will anything come of the data produced when it runs at 7 TeV? Again, we won't know until it happens. Considering how much time and money has been spent we should expect the odds are really good that some unique science will come of it some day, but to say that a decade long project is going too slowly because full power won't be reached for another year seems a little short sighted.

Re:When will the science begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273684)

That's bullshit. LHC is already operating at higher energies than any other accelerator in existence, hence it is already doing new physics. You are confusing the beginning of the search for new physics (at 1.18 TeV, which the LHC has already achieved) with the end of the search for new physics (at 7 TeV, which it will achieve past the end of 2010). It is entirely possible that something new is found within the next year.

Greenhouse Gases (-1, Troll)

Atomm (945911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272712)

seven trillion electron volts....

How does that equate to greenhouse gas submissions? And how can the EU hold the Global Warming Conference on one hand, and then generate this kind of power on the other?

Re:Greenhouse Gases (2, Informative)

el3mentary (1349033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272760)

7 000 000 000 000 electron volts = 1.12152352 × 10E-6 joules

The beam itself isn't too bad, most of the energy costs are for cooling etc. for the electromagnets

Re:Greenhouse Gases (2, Informative)

tist (1086039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272830)

A proton (or other particle) at full speed in the LHC: 7 trillion electron Volts 7.0 * 10 ^9 eV. A 100 watt light bulb burning for one hour: 2.2 * 10 ^24 eV So the light bulb represents 3.1* 10 ^14 (that’s 310,000,000,000,000) times the energy of the particle accelerated in the LHC. 7 trillion eV is really, really small.

Re:Greenhouse Gases (2, Informative)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273132)

7 trillion eV is really, really small.

That's actually eV/particle, so total energy depends on the number of particles at that energy.

Re:Greenhouse Gases (3, Informative)

Eudial (590661) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273152)

You've got to keep in mind that this is the energy PER PARTICLE. For reference, 1 gram of matter has something like 10^23 nucleons.

In particle physics, a trillion electron volts is absolutely HUMONGOUS. It is 500 times the energy you get from neutron-antineutron annihilation.

Re:Greenhouse Gases (1, Troll)

Jawn98685 (687784) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272780)

Know much about electricity and it's units of measure?
We didn't think so, so it's a silly question to even ask if you have any grasp at all of physics and the potential that this research holds.

Now, go troll somewhere else. Fox News would be a good start.

Re:Greenhouse Gases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272792)

A teraelectronvolt is about one ten-millionth of a joule, and a joule is about equivalent to a fart, energy-wise. I don't know what it costs to bring this beam up to a teraelectronvolt and contain it but it's not like it's a continuous nuclear explosion or something. I believe the precision is more important than the energy cost.

Re:Greenhouse Gases (2, Insightful)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272832)

Later, Atomm was seen driving off in his SUV, looking smug that he had put those damned scientists in their place.

You're on to me Powers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272894)

Yes, it's part of my plan to destroy the Earth unless I'm paid *da da dum* One Million Dollars!

Yours;

Dr. Evil.

Shocking (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272714)

Hopefully they know how to conduct themselves this time around.

Re:Shocking (3, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273254)

No. Now it's time for them to amp things up!

but where (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272730)

but where is the Muslim outrage?

Re:but where (4, Insightful)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273552)

Religions don't object to research into the unknown because faith gives confidence that the answers are either already known or theologically irrelevant.

Religions object only to research into topics where they have already been proven wrong.

No collisions yet, right? (2, Insightful)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272742)

Are these with collisions or merely accelerated beams in a loop? IIRC, the Tevatron did 2x0.98 TeV collisions. Which would be, well ... a bigger bang :)

But the flip side is that we've built the most powerful ray gun ever, now we just need to wait till the aliens attack.

Re:No collisions yet, right? (0)

kabloom (755503) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272860)

Even at 7 TeV, it's still only 2.68050555 × 10-7 calories, so it's not even powerful enough as a ray gun to boil water, let alone burn the skin of those superpowered aliens.

Re:No collisions yet, right? (2, Informative)

Game_Ender (815505) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273064)

That's not true at all. When the LHC broke down the first time it caused a decent amount of damage, boring a deep whole into the surrounding concrete. Also the normal beam can bore a hole through 40 meters of solid copper [ieee.org] , and it require a very special grouping of materials to stop used up beams.

Re:No collisions yet, right? (2, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273136)

The damage in the breakdown was all caused by the energy stored in the magnets that failed and by the pressure of the vaporizing helium.

LHC The Movie (1)

pjotrb123 (685993) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273416)

For those who haven't seen it yet, here is a movie about how the LHC works; from single Hydrogen atoms to extremely powerful particle proton beams:
http://www.snotr.com/video/3393 [snotr.com] (Flash movie alert)

Re:No collisions yet, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273652)

That's not true at all. When the LHC broke down the first time it caused a decent amount of damage, boring a deep whole into the surrounding concrete.

When the LHC broke down last year, there was not even beam in the machine at that moment. The damage was caused by the energy stored in the magnets evaporating helium, which caused a kind of explosion. It also did not bore holes into the surrounding concrete, but the support structure for some of the magnets was ripped out of the concrete floor.

Nevertheless, you are right in that the energy stored in the beam is quite substantial. What the previous poster was thinking of was the fact that the energy per particle is rather low, by standards of our macroscopic world. It's a bout the energy of a fly, per proton, so a collision has the energy of two flies bumping into each other. The trick is that all that happens on a tiny space, so the energy density is huge.

For the particle beam as a whole, one has to take into account that the beam consists of lots of particles. So the total energy stored in the beam is again quite substantial, also by macroscopic standards.

Re:No collisions yet, right? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273220)

Each particle has 7 TeV (or it will when the LHC is at full power). Considering there may be a million or more particles in the beam at any given time, the energy is actually quite immense. Of course, the issue of aiming it still comes into play, as I imagine picking up a 27 KM ring and pointing it at invading aliens would be mildly unrealistic.

Re:No collisions yet, right? (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272896)

This is 1.18TeV each way, so if they start colliding the total energy will be 2x1.18 TeV.

Re:No collisions yet, right? (1)

vondo (303621) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273074)

There have been collisions at 450 on 450. This week, presumably, there will be a day or so of collisions at 1200 on 1200. Progress is being made very quickly now, but they are still proceeding cautiously.

Translation into sensible units (2, Informative)

Eudial (590661) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272750)

If you, like me, are not accustomed to seeing electron volts in this dumbed down prefix-less format, you'll be grateful to find that I've translated the orders of magnitude in the article into a more conventional form:

1 trillion electron volts = 1 TeV
1 billion electron volts = 1 GeV

Re:Translation into sensible units (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272906)

If you, like me, are not accustomed to seeing electron volts in this dumbed down prefix-less format, you'll be grateful to find that I've translated the orders of magnitude in the article into a more conventional form:

1 trillion electron volts = 1 TeV
1 billion electron volts = 1 GeV

You're being stupid actually. Don't try to act smart by saying you failed to comprehend what 1 trillion of x means, because that makes you look more retarded than those seem to think would understand it.

Re:Translation into sensible units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273020)

Part of the problem is that Trillion and Billion mean different amounts to different nations.

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

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

Long Scale/Short Scale

So, I guess I could look up what the Tevatron did and compare, but I'm way too lazy for that.

Re:Translation into sensible units (2, Interesting)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272950)

I've translated the orders of magnitude in the article into a more conventional form:

1 trillion electron volts = 1 TeV
1 billion electron volts = 1 GeV

Is that a French billion or an American billion?

Re:Translation into sensible units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273046)

It's the wimp (American) billion.

Re:Translation into sensible units (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273176)

I took it as American, as the article speaks of having just pushed something from (large number) billion to (small number) trillion. Not of an enormous leap between (large number) billion to (small number) trillion.

Re:Translation into sensible units (2, Informative)

Sgt. CoDFish (943288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273464)

With anything scientific, people generally talk about giga (G) being 1x10^9. That's an American billion.

A French/British billion (1x10^12) is tera (T) in SI prefixes.

So, since we take 1 eV to be 1.60x10^-19 J (to 3 sig. figs.), 1TeV (units are case sensitive) is:

1.6x10^-19 x 1x10^12 =

1.60x10^-7 J, or, with SI prefixes, 160 nJ (nanojoules, 10^-9)

(Strictly speaking, the Joule isn't the SI standard. In base units, the Joule is:

m^2.kg.s^-2.

because W (energy) = F (force, in newtons, which is also not an SI base unit) * d (distance, in metres, which is a base unit)
F (force, N) = m (mass, in kilogrammes, a base unit) * acceleration (in ms^-2, which is expressed in base units)
So W = mad or, in units, kg * ms^-2 * m. Which simplifies to give the unit above.

But everyone just uses J.)

You may or may not have known all that, but other people may benefit. Disclaimer: I don't claim to be perfectly right, but this is my understanding of the SI units, and it's served me well so far.

Re:Translation into sensible units (3, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273018)

1 billion electron volts = 1.6*10^-10 Joules/particle
1 trillion electron volts = 1.6*10^-7 Joules/particle.
The energy of each individual particle is tiny by comparison with things that most people encounter but there are trillions of them whizzing around the LHC its self and that adds up quickly.

Re:Translation into sensible units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273120)

Something fun to think on:
the Earth is routinely hit by cosmic rays with energies on the order of EeV, that is, 10^19 eV.

1 EeV = 10 million TeV. The LHC is going to accelerate particles to 7 TeV.

Our universe is amazing.

(given, these magnitude EeV particles are very, very, very rare, and the LHC is accelerating LOTS of particles. Still, darn cool factoids)

Re:Translation into sensible units (3, Funny)

Macrat (638047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273156)

How much is that in gigawatts?

Re:Translation into sensible units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273278)

The 1 TeV is per particle, so beam power depends on particles per second as well.
 

Re:Translation into sensible units (1)

EEGeek (183888) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273200)

Umm is that the American definition of 1 trillion and 1 billion (1x10^12, 1x10^9 respectively) or the British definition of 1 trillion and 1 billion (1x10^18, 1x10^12 respectively)?

This could be the difference between ground breaking research and a black hole that swallows us up. Remember the infamous Mars probe that crashed because NASA couldn't convert betweem the Imperial and SI systems.

Re:Translation into sensible units (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273308)

Umm is that the American definition of 1 trillion and 1 billion (1x10^12, 1x10^9 respectively) or the British definition of 1 trillion and 1 billion (1x10^18, 1x10^12 respectively)?

This could be the difference between ground breaking research and a black hole that swallows us up. Remember the infamous Mars probe that crashed because NASA couldn't convert betweem the Imperial and SI systems.

According to wikipedia, Britain also now uses the Short Scale system, which is what you're calling the American one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_and_short_scales

Re:Translation into sensible units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273450)

This was the first time I was made aware of the confusion of these terms. Thank you. But judging from what I can read, the the English words "billion" and "trillion" always refers to the American short scale usage. Even in Britain.

Re:Translation into sensible units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273388)

From TFA this is more useful

One proton at 1 TeV is about the energy of the motion of a flying mosquito.

When a beam is fully packed with 300,000 billion protons with 7 TeV energy — the goal of the LHC — it is like an aircraft carrier traveling at 20 knots.

If only.... (4, Funny)

Metatron (21064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272768)

now we could feed THAT into a flux capacitor.....

Re:If only.... (0)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272898)

...and a DeLorean, which is so the obvious choice.

Re:If only.... (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273130)

now we could feed THAT into a flux capacitor.....

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those!

Re:If only.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273592)

We could go back in time and stop the LHC before the disaster!

Question about particle accelerators (3, Interesting)

reginaldo (1412879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272786)

So I understand that more energy means faster moving protons and anti-protons. How does this equivocate to finding, say, the Higgs-Boson more easily?

I understand that particles moving at 99.91% c are going to be observable for a longer period of time due to the Lorentz factor, but is that the sole benefit of this massive energy upgrade? Anyone have recommended reading for me?

Re:Question about particle accelerators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272876)

Think of a particle accelerator as a massive microscope. The magnification of this "microscope" increases at roughly the square root of the energy.

Re:Question about particle accelerators (2, Interesting)

reginaldo (1412879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272982)

Thanks for the response! Not to sound like a 3 year old, but why? Wouldn't length contraction cancel out the effects of time dilation.

Re:Question about particle accelerators (2, Funny)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273246)

>Thanks for the response! Not to sound like a 3 year old, but why? Wouldn't length contraction cancel out the effects of time dilation?

Don't know about you, but I'll be pretty happy and surprised if my nephew is going to ask similar questions when he turns 3.

Re:Question about particle accelerators (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272928)

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2009/11/lhc-sets-new-energy-record-full-power-still-year-away.ars [arstechnica.com]

The lowest energy supersymmetric particles are expect to reside in the 1TeV range, which is just barely in the detectable range of the Tevatron and the current LHC operating energy. But, to observe these particles, the LHC would have to stay at that energy for some time—of the order of many months—to generate a statistically significant sample of collisions.

Instead, the plan is to continue to increase the energy until ~3.5TeV is reached. At this energy, it will take considerably less time to generate a statistically significant sample. So, by not taking data now, the LHC staff are really saving themselves some time, as well as widening the net for higher-energy particles.

Re:Question about particle accelerators (4, Informative)

necro81 (917438) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272932)

The value is less in the time dilation you get at such high speeds, but rather the equivalent mass. The particles of interest to these scientists have a characteristic mass, which by E=mc^2, means they also have a certain characteristic energy.

(at relativistic speeds I seem to recall it isn't as simple as E=mc^2, but that's the gist of it).

If a particle is really heavy, a low-energy particle accelerator is highly unlikely (basically never) going to find it. This is, in part, why many of the heaviest fundamental particles weren't discovered until recently - sufficiently energetic particle accelerators didn't exist.

In the case of the Higgs Boson, particle physicists don't exactly know how heavy it is. Based on a variety of previous experiments, they have placed lower (and upper?) bounds on its weight. Because we haven't yet found it in our most powerful accelerators, it stands to reason that it is at least more heavy (i.e., more energetic) than 1-2 TeV. Most, but not all, physicists believe the LHC, at 7 TeV, should be energetic enough to find the Higgs boson - if what we think we know about it and particle physics is all correct.

Re:Question about particle accelerators (2, Informative)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273462)

In the case of the Higgs Boson, particle physicists don't exactly know how heavy it is. Based on a variety of previous experiments, they have placed lower (and upper?) bounds on its weight.

According to wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , if the standard model is correct, there i 95% confidentiality that the lower bound is 170GeV and the upper is 186GeV

Re:Question about particle accelerators (3, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272944)

My understanding is that the faster you can move particles around, the harder you can smash them together. The harder you can smash them together, the easier it is to see the fundamental building blocks of those pieces. Imagine a car wreck with both cars doing 50mph. Now imagine the same wreck with each car doing 100mph. Which will break the cars into smaller pieces.

Re:Question about particle accelerators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272962)

The higher energy is needed to form hevier particels, since the energy of the collision transforms into the mass and energy of new particels.

Re:Question about particle accelerators (5, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272976)

To create a particle like the Higgs boson, the collision energy needs to at least equal the mass of the particle you're trying to create. The higher energy collisions in the LHC increase the odds of finding the Higgs because of this. THe mass of the Higgs isn't known. However, the more collisions we do at higher energies, the thinner the range of masses the Higgs can be.

Mass, not time (5, Funny)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273100)

Let me honor /. tradition and use a car analogy here:

If you smash 2 GM Metros together, you CANNOT put together 2 Grand Marquis from the debris - there just isn't enough metal.

However, if you smash 2 Peterbuilts together, you can, at least in theory, put together 2 Grand Marquis from that debris - there's enough metal.

-----

When you smash particles together, there has to be enough mass-energy (enough metal) to form the particles you are looking for, or they won't appear. Mass is energy, energy is mass, speed is kinetic energy, and thus mass.

The Higgs is somewhere north of 1TeV - how much north of that varies from theory to theory. If the Higgs is a Grand Marquis, right now, the Tevatron and the LHC are smashing together Tauruses. Soon, the LHC will be up to stretch limos. At full power, the LHC will be at the Hummer3 level.

And cosmic rays are at the freight train level, but since that's not happening in the lab, it does no good: what fun is a collision if nobody caught it on video?

Re:Mass, not time (2, Funny)

owlstead (636356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273358)

So what you're saying is that we could create 2 Grand Marquis if we accelerated 2 mini-Coopers to high enough speeds?

Re:Mass, not time (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273494)

So based on this, if I smash two sheets of paper together fast enough, I'll have enough mass-energy to build a car from the resulting debris? Or will the Lorentz factor mean that I could do it, but the resulting vehicle would only exist for a short period of time?

There's something very important (2, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272796)

I forgot to tell you. Don't cross the streams... It would be bad...

Re:There's something very important (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273016)

I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?

Try to imagine (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273188)

all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

unless facing gozer the gozerian ;-)

Re:There's something very important (1)

l3ert (231568) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273190)

Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

Re:There's something very important (1)

zx75 (304335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273082)

Also, do not look into laser with remaining eye.

Re:There's something very important (1)

Andreaskem (999089) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273328)

This guy would agree. [sonicbomb.com]

Wow... I wonder about the electricity bill. (1)

viraltus (1102365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272910)

I really wish I could pay that bill... sigh.

Re:Wow... I wonder about the electricity bill. (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30272966)

I highly recommend bankruptcy. That is one big freakin bill.

Bl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30272988)

Can you feel something pulling on you today? It's a rather strange sensation.

LHC For Dummies? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273012)

Is there an "LHC for dummies" out there somewhere?

Obviuosly this beast is muy importante to science so I'd like to have a better grasp of exactly what in the heck it's doing and how but I don't have the time to get a graduate degree in particle physics this week.

In case anyone is curious if . . . (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273038)

The earth has been destroyed yet by the LHC you can check at

http://hasthelhcdestroyedtheearth.com/

No Science? (3, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273080)

They say that no science has been done yet, but now we know that 1.18 TeV is below the energy level at which higgs bosons travel back in time to disrupt supercollider experiments.

(Yes, I'm kidding.)

This looks serious (2, Funny)

ILoveBunnies (1672754) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273318)

Fermilab better send over another bird...

Superconductivity (1)

afortaleza (791264) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273320)

Is superconductivity dependent on the amout of eletrons a wire can take ? I though it was only a matter of material am temperarure.

Well... (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273348)

Where is the LHC power plug to put my one trillion flux capacitor and get my new rig to work?

LHC-gate in the making. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273364)

How does anyone even KNOW if this stuff is safe? Is this going to be yet another climategate, where the public doesn't get informed of the TRUTH until it is almost too late? I certainly hope some clever hacker manages to find some incriminating evidence against the LHC so we can shut it down before the risks [lhcdefense.org] become too great.

Conversion Please... (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30273434)

How much is that in 1.21 Jigawatt increments?

Obvious Fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30273594)

Over a trillion election votes is more than there are people on the planet! Until people start going to jail for this kind of thing, it's going to continue.

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