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Europe's LHC To Run At Half-Energy Through 2011

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the part-time-collision dept.

Science 194

quaith writes "ScienceInsider reports that Europe's Large Hadron Collider will run at half its maximum energy through 2011 and likely not at all in 2012. The previous plan was to ramp it up to 70% of maximum energy this year. Under the new plan, the LHC will run at 7 trillion electron-volts through 2011. The LHC would then shut down for a year so workers could replace all of its 10,000 interconnects with redesigned ones allowing the LHC to run at its full 14 TeV capacity in 2013. The change raises hopes at the LHC's lower-energy rival, the Tevatron Collider at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, of being extended through 2012 instead of being shut down next year. Fermilab researchers are hoping that their machine might collect enough data to beat the LHC to the discovery of the Higgs boson, a particle key to how physicists explain the origin of mass."

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194 comments

Half-measures (4, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018170)

Does this news mean we now only have to be half afraid that they're going to create a black hole that will destroy the Earth?

Re:Half-measures (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018216)

Fortunately the scale is logarithmic.

Unfortunately, it's not positively correlated.

Re:Half-measures (5, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018226)

I'm scared for all the half-lives at risk.

the Source of all the risk (4, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018288)

I'm scared for all the half-lives at risk.

But what about all the counter-strikes and the portals?

Re:Half-measures (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018246)

/\
/\/\

Triforce!!

Re:Half-measures (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018296)

I Love You! Two souls with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one. You are the reason women fall in love. I know quickly whether a guy is boyfriend material. If I can have a good time doing absolutely nothing with him, then that's boyfriend material for me. Like if we're able to have fun at a gas station. I've had some really good times at gas stations. My boyfriend and I live together, which means we don't have sex - ever. Now that the milk is free, we've both become lactose intolerant. I mean, who hasn't thought about killing their ex-boyfriend? I have. Not now, but when I was younger. Being intensely loved by that special person provides one strength, while loving someone special deeply provides courage. Love is the only thing that can make you smile when you are all tired and haggard. My marriage is on the rocks again; yeah, my wife just broke up with her boyfriend. You are a beautiful part of my life... I Love You! Two souls with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one. You are the reason women fall in love. I know quickly whether a guy is boyfriend material. If I can have a good time doing absolutely nothing with him, then that's boyfriend material for me. Like if we're able to have fun at a gas station. I've had some really good times at gas stations. My boyfriend and I live together, which means we don't have sex - ever. Now that the milk is free, we've both become lactose intolerant. I mean, who hasn't thought about killing their ex-boyfriend? I have. Not now, but when I was younger. Being intensely loved by that special person provides one strength, while loving someone special deeply provides courage. Love is the only thing that can make you smile when you are all tired and haggard. My marriage is on the rocks again; yeah, my wife just broke up with her boyfriend. You are a beautiful part of my life... I Love You! Two souls with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one. You are the reason women fall in love. I know quickly whether a guy is boyfriend material. If I can have a good time doing absolutely nothing with him, then that's boyfriend material for me. Like if we're able to have fun at a gas station. I've had some really good times at gas stations. My boyfriend and I live together, which means we don't have sex - ever. Now that the milk is free, we've both become lactose intolerant. I mean, who hasn't thought about killing their ex-boyfriend? I have. Not now, but when I was younger. Being intensely loved by that special person provides one strength, while loving someone special deeply provides courage. Love is the only thing that can make you smile when you are all tired and haggard. My marriage is on the rocks again; yeah, my wife just broke up with her boyfriend. You are a beautiful part of my life... I Love You! Two souls with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one. You are the reason women fall in love. I know quickly whether a guy is boyfriend material. If I can have a good time doing absolutely nothing with him, then that's boyfriend material for me. Like if we're able to have fun at a gas station. I've had some really good times at gas stations. My boyfriend and I live together, which means we don't have sex - ever. Now that the milk is free, we've both become lactose intolerant. I mean, who hasn't thought about killing their ex-boyfriend? I have. Not now, but when I was younger. Being intensely loved by that special person provides one strength, while loving someone special deeply provides courage. Love is the only thing that can make you smile when you are all tired and haggard. My marriage is on the rocks again; yeah, my wife just broke up with her boyfriend. You are a beautiful part of my life... I Love You! Two souls with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one. You are the reason women fall in love. I know quickly whether a guy is boyfriend material. If I can have a good time doing absolutely nothing with him, then that's boyfriend material for me. Like if we're able to have fun at a gas station. I've had some really good times at gas stations. My boyfriend and I live together, which means we don't have sex - ever. Now that the milk is free, we've both become lactose intolerant. I mean, who hasn't thought about killing their ex-boyfriend? I have. Not now, but when I was younger. Being intensely loved by that special person provides one strength, while loving someone special deeply provides courage. Love is the only thing that can make you smile when you are all tired and haggard. My marriage is on the rocks again; yeah, my wife just broke up with her boyfriend. You are a beautiful part of my life... I Love You! Two souls with but a single thought, two hearts that beat as one. You are the reason women fall in love. I know quickly whether a guy is boyfriend material. If I can have a good time doing absolutely nothing with him, then that's boyfriend material for me. Like if we're able to have fun at a gas station. I've had some really good times at gas stations. My boyfriend and I live together, which means we don't have sex - ever. Now that the milk is free, we've both become lactose intolerant. I mean, who hasn't thought about killing their ex-boyfriend? I have. Not now, but when I was younger. Being intensely loved by that special person provides one strength, while loving someone special deeply provides courage. Love is the only thing that can make you smile when you are all tired and haggard. My marriage is on the rocks again; yeah, my wife just broke up with her boyfriend.

Re:Half-measures (-1, Troll)

seededfury (699094) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018712)

./\
/\/\ triforce you fag!!

Re:Half-measures (0, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018746)

On an unrelated note, I have been reading about this guy called Candlejack. Apparently he is




....sorry about that. Some faggot dressed like a scarecrow just tried to break into my house. Shot the motherfucker and then sodomized him, gotta burn the body before the cops come.

Re:Half-measures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018770)

new fag is a new fa



..

Re:Half-measures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018882)

wtf?

Re:Half-measures (5, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018250)

Does this news mean we now only have to be half afraid that they're going to create a black hole that will destroy the Earth?

Nope, we need to be fully afraid that it will destroy half the world. Hopefully the other half.

Re:Half-measures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31019102)

Oh, thank God its in Europe!

Re:Half-measures (4, Insightful)

mikael (484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018402)

Maybe you get a Schrodinger's black hole - it may or may not be there until you open the lid.

Re:Half-measures (1)

vintagepc (1388833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018418)

Oh, we've opened the lid allright... just haven't looked :) Terribly appropriate physics joke... +1 for you, good sir. now, if only I actually had mod points.

Re:Half-measures (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018508)

We saw this coming in 2028, and needed to have them shut this down so that they'd lose a year. This alters the timeline sufficiently. If all goes well, no other adjustments will need to be backdated until 2013. Where's Shroedinger's cat, by the way?

Re:Half-measures (1)

NetNed (955141) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019236)

Cool. Then we get to go through the black hole, fall in love with a slave girl, save her society from the god Ra and live out our days in peace on a far away planet? So what are we waiting for? Lets fire this puppy up full throttle!

Re:Half-measures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018432)

> Does this news mean we now only have to be half afraid that they're going to create a black hole that will destroy the Earth?

No, it means you can be totally at ease and 0% afraid.

It also means they've seen the movie and don't want to go off script.

Re:Half-measures (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018476)

no, it just means they'll be right on schedule for the end of the world in 2012 when they crank it up to full power.

Re:Half-measures (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018586)

No, the black hole will only be half as big :)

Re:Half-measures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018944)

There's no such thing as half a hole.

Re:Half-measures (2, Funny)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019606)

Where is Gordon Freeman when you need him?!?

Slash Tank (British viewers: think Dragon's Den) (0)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018184)

You want $5.5 Billion? And the stated goal is to learn about particles that don't apply to anything Newtonian? Excuse me... how do you expect to make this money back? No way I'm investing in this. Consider me "out".

Announcer: "The first Slashdotter is out. Femilab needs to raise $5.5 billion from the other Slashdotters or they leave with nothing."

Re:Slash Tank (British viewers: think Dragon's Den (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018430)

Well, since you ask, potential future applications include tractor beams and antigravity. Theoretically.

Re:Slash Tank (British viewers: think Dragon's Den (3, Interesting)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018522)

And hyperdrive [slashdot.org] .

Re:Slash Tank (British viewers: think Dragon's Den (2, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018518)

Maybe they can claim that it has to do something with global warming and the giant sound of sucking machines, and micro-black holes will start getting the money for them.

They'll crank it up 12/21/2012 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018192)

Full power baby! Just to make sure the tinfoil hats get sucked off if the world doesnt shift/end/gain-higher-consciousness

Re:They'll crank it up 12/21/2012 (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018290)

Full power baby! Just to make sure the tinfoil hats get sucked off if the world doesnt shift/end/gain-higher-consciousness

This would actually be a good idea. Kind of like how Jobs and Wozniak made the original Apple computer cost $666. Fuck the fundie psychos!

Baguette (1)

garethw (584688) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018232)

Whatever happened to that bird who dropped a baguette into the reactor and caused a zillion dollars of damage?

Re:Baguette (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018258)

He's been upgraded to a full sub.

Re:Baguette (1)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018276)

Fucking birds...

Flying into plane engines, dropping baguettes into the LHC, making family guy memes...we should exterminate them ;)

Re:Baguette (2, Informative)

bdwlangm (1436151) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018830)

IIRC, the bird dropped its bread on something a little more innocuous [web.cern.ch] sounding than a reactor. The bird escaped unharmed but lost its bread.

Re:Baguette (1)

lostmongoose (1094523) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019568)

he learned where not to toast his epic bread.

Where is the Outrage... (4, Interesting)

DougF (1117261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018268)

at (apparently) no one being fired for designing interconnects that only allow the LHC to run at 1/2 power? I may not be a scientist, but shouldn't a design cover the requirements? Then, to lose a year's work on top of that, and no one is getting their wrist slapped or even sued?

Re:Where is the Outrage... (4, Interesting)

eclectro (227083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018314)

It's no one's fault really. It's just the Higgs Boson once again [newscientist.com] making sure that cern never uncovers its Cthulhu like existence.

Re:Where is the Outrage... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018364)

I may not be a scientist, but shouldn't a design cover the requirements?

It is an unprecedented scientific experiment, not the some sort of business logic application coded in Java that you undoubtedly do for a living.

Yeeesh, cover the requirements indeed.

Re:Where is the Outrage... (3, Insightful)

PhreakOfTime (588141) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018378)

I think you misunderstand how larger government woks projects are run, and why. Physics is only an ancillary benefit.

Re:Where is the Outrage... (2, Funny)

Alcohol Fueled (603402) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018892)

I think you misunderstand how larger government woks projects are run, and why.

Not if he's Chinese.

Re:Where is the Outrage... (3, Funny)

PhreakOfTime (588141) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019176)

alright... looks like its time to replace the batteries in my wireless keyboard.

At least its still spelled correctly, even if it is a grammatical abomination.

Re:Where is the Outrage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018450)

It's probably time traveler sabotage, anyway.

Or more accurately, they designed the thing as well as they could in the past, and now we're in the present and they're being conservative about the future.

You know, to avoid blowing the damn thing up catastrophically. It doesn't take much for a quadrillion-dollar investment like that to blow itself up spectacularly.

Re:Where is the Outrage... (4, Insightful)

joe_frisch (1366229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018452)

The interconnects are rather complex superconducting devices, not simple electronic connections. It certainly would have been possible to design them with a higher safety factor, but that would have increased the cost. If that approach had been taken with all of the critical components for the machine, the overall cost would have been significantly higher. Unfortunately for a large cutting edge project on a tight budget, you need to take some technical risks. Over the next 10 years we will see if they put a reasonable safety factor on the overall design.

Pay Now or Pay Later (3, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018624)

It certainly would have been possible to design them with a higher safety factor, but that would have increased the cost...Unfortunately for a large cutting edge project on a tight budget, you need to take some technical risks.

I seem to have heard this argument before.

The Apollo fire. The loss of the Challenger. Repairs to the Hubble.

Re:Pay Now or Pay Later (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018742)

Governments work on a steady flow of funding. There is no way to deliver one thing in year one with ten years budget without making the guy who authorized it lose his job. Better to cut costs and use future budgets to fix the problem.

Re:Pay Now or Pay Later (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018806)

Better to cut costs and use future budgets to fix the problem.

Reaganomics in a nutshell.

Re:Pay Now or Pay Later (1)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018916)

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Or in this case the central banks who print money for the government all the time so that they can spend more than their budget would allow. And borrowing. Let's not forget that.

Sure, for a certain project you might not be able to overspend, but as a whole let's not pretend government budgets are fiscally responsible in any way.

Re:Pay Now or Pay Later (4, Informative)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018794)

I seem to have heard this argument before.
The Apollo fire. The loss of the Challenger. Repairs to the Hubble.

I seem to have heard this misconception before. The Apollo fire wasn't because of a cutting-edge project taking technical risks, or making a considered judgement to accept smaller safety margins in exchange for reduced costs.

Having a mixed-gas oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere in the Apollo capsule would have increased the internal capsule pressure in orbit, requiring a beefier structure and more weight. More dangerously, it would have required the development of suitable partial-pressure sensors for the precise measurement of oxygen levels within a mixed-gas environment. That would have constituted a technical risk. In contrast, the system used in the original Apollo design required only a simple pressure gauge to ensure sufficient oxygen for the crew.

Moreover, in orbit the Apollo capsule internal pressure would be only about 5 psi - about a third of an atmosphere. While that pressure of oxygen is sufficient to support combustion, it isn't dangerously high, and all of the materials used aboard Apollo were tested for fire safety under those conditions. The big problem was that on the launch pad, the capsule contained a full atmosphere of oxygen (the excess pressure would be bled off as the capsule ascended to orbit). Nobody thought to test under those conditions. Even then, there's at least some evidence to suggest that it was the astronauts' webbing the capsule with large amounts of Velcro that allowed the fire to spread so rapidly.

Finally, the earliest design for the Apollo capsule hatch opened outwards and was equipped with explosive bolts for rapid egress. It was at the insistence of astronaut Gus Grissom (who may have been the victim of premature triggering of such a system on his Mercury capsule) that the hatch be replaced with an inward-opening, 'plug' design that lacked explosive bolts.

Both previous manned U.S. space capsules (Mercury and Gemini) had used essentially identical pure oxygen atmospheres, without concern and without any problems. Did they get lucky? Absolutely, in retrospect. Should the Apollo engineers have recognized the dangers that their predecessors had overlooked? Probably. Was the fire the result of taking 'technical risks' on a 'cutting edge project'? Nope. They thought they were sticking with a simple system that had worked for years, and didn't want to asphyxiate an astronaut by fiddling with something reliable.

Re:Pay Now or Pay Later (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018910)

Yet, if you get it right in the first attempt but at a much higher cost, you get smacked around because obviously it was a waste of money. Just look at the Y2K bug.

Nothing bad happened, so obviously all the money spent to avoid all the bad things would have happened were badly spent.

Re:Pay Now or Pay Later (2, Interesting)

joe_frisch (1366229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019156)

Compromise is critical part of engineering - one of the reasons that "no compromise engineering" adverts are so silly. You can always make something better if you are willing to spend more money. You can improve one parameter if you are willing to give up on another. For example airliners are designed with something like a 1.5X safety factor on strength (above maximum loads). If the safety factor was 2X, probably a couple of in-flight break-ups would have been avoided, but the overall cost of air travel would increase dramatically.

If Apollo had a higher safety factor, 3 astronauts would not have died - and we might never have gone to the moon. One of NASA's difficulties these days is that people are demanding higher safety, and that makes space more difficult and expensive.

In hind sight it is easy to see where the safety factor should have been increased, but that isn't fair. You don't know in advance which part will fail, so you try to design critical systems to similar safety factors.

Sometimes you get it wrong - but even that is a trade-off in engineering costs. Additional engineering reviews take time and money - and may eliminate the project, or reduce its capabilities.

I am aware of another large accelerator project - the Next Linear Collider. Unless you are in the field you probably haven't heard of it. That's because the design was too expensive and it will never be built.

Re:Pay Now or Pay Later (1)

coppro (1143801) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019396)

I seem to have heard this argument before. The Apollo fire. The loss of the Challenger. Repairs to the Hubble.

The difference here is that they know what the current safe maximum is, so they'll operate it for a while, tear the thing down and replace them with interconnects with higher safe maximums, and start it up again. They are aware that the lower safety factor must also mean a lower-power experiement (not that putting 7 TeV of energy into a single proton is normally considered low power).

Re:Where is the Outrage... (1)

triorph (992939) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018456)

Could be that there was a response and that it happened in private? There's no reason why anything like this had to be public.

Re:Where is the Outrage... (5, Insightful)

raddan (519638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018632)

Frankly, I'm a little sick of the "outrage" every time something doesn't go as planned. Since when does the universe have to play nice all the time?

Science, by its very nature, deals with the unknown. We're at the point now where it looks like we're going to have to assemble thousands of experts, using billions of dollars to continue to make fundamental discoveries. If any of us had a road map, I assure you that we'd use it. This means that sometimes, we spend all that time and energy and hit a dead end.

But here's the cool part: dead ends are sometimes better than confirming what we already knew. There was an interview with a theoretical physicist on the radio the other day, and the interviewer asked him what his worst fear and greatest hope for the LHC was. He said, "They're the same thing. We find out that we were completely wrong about something." This is simultaneously frightening and exhilarating, and it's what makes fundamental research so exciting.

Re:Where is the Outrage... (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018966)

Only fundamental research into particle physics. There are plenty of equally fundamental research areas (genetics if you are practically-minded, math if you're not) which don't require billion dollar budgets.

Personally, I see the whole "physics is the ultimate science" as a con to graft in more grad students.

Re:Where is the Outrage... (2, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019008)

Personally, I see the whole "physics is the ultimate science" as a con to graft in more grad students.

The world is not a nasty, nasty, vile thing that's out to get you. Take a deep breath. Sometimes, really, people mean what they say. Sometimes they act in earnest. Sometimes there is no ulterior motive.

Is it so difficult to let go of your cynicism for five minutes?

Re:Where is the Outrage... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31019582)

Frankly, I'm a little sick of the "outrage" every time something doesn't go as planned. Since when does the universe have to play nice all the time?

Hello? Since Obama was elected. Duh.

Re:Where is the Outrage... (1)

bdwlangm (1436151) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018644)

I'll be outraged when this somehow costs me something. That said, even if I was helping pay for this, what they're doing hasn't been done before (at this scale anyway). It is a high risk investment by nature. If you never want to read about things going wrong, don't read about science.

Nothing to sneeze at (4, Insightful)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018282)

7 TeV is still more than 3 times Fermilab's total collision energy.

This more conservative ramp up is probably smart given the previous problems with equipment failure on the LHC. This will allow the systems to be tested thoroughly before going to max capacity.

Re: Seven mosquito's (1)

ThinkOfaNumber (836424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019430)

From New Scientist [newscientist.com] :

In everyday terms, this energy isn't so great – a flying mosquito has about 1 TeV of kinetic energy. What makes the LHC so special is that this energy is concentrated in a region a thousand billion times smaller than a speck of dust.

... I'll remember that next time I squat a mosquito!

European collective (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018292)

Can they do anything right?

Damn... (1)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018302)

7 TeV?

I'll tell that to my mom, who complains about the electricity bill for my computers :D

Re:Damn... (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018338)

That's about a microjoule.

Re:Damn... (1)

norletsk (1567121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018424)

per particle

Re:Damn... (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018504)

Yup. :) And the luminosity of the LHC is 0.8 fucktons (metric) of particles per second.

Re:Damn... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018464)

7 TeV is about 1 microjoule, which is the energy that a 400 Watt computer would use in 3 nanoseconds.

Re:Damn... (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018822)

That is per particle. At full power there's over 300 MJ total in the particle beam(s).

Re:Damn... (4, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018784)

The beam energy at 7TeV is 362 megajoules. This is about the energy that you could get by maxing out a household mains connection (230V 20A) for one day, or about the energy content of 11 liters of gasoline. Quite a bit, but not huge at energy scales.

Of course, the beauty of the LHC is that it accomplishes this energy in the form of a particle beam circling the collider at near the speed of light. This means that the power of the beam is about 4 terawatts if my math is right, so it could power about 3300 DeLorean time machines (not for very long, though). Keep in mind that this power is circling endlessly in the LHC, so it isn't being consumed - the actual electric power consumption to run the whole LHC is "only" about 120 megawatts.

Luminosity more important than energy (4, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018304)

The Big Deal about the LHC isn't just the energy. It's also that it allows for a much higher collision rate than the Tevatron. Even if you only run the thing at Tevatron energies, it's possible that it can collect as much data in a week as the Tevatron could in years.

When the LHC guys down the hall show up tomorrow I'll have to ask them about the planned luminosity in the first year of running.

Re:Luminosity more important than energy (4, Informative)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018548)

> much higher collision rate than the Tevatron

About 100 times. But remember that cross section goes down with E, so the effective collision rate at high energies is just about flat. See:

http://lhc.web.cern.ch/lhc/general/acphys.htm

TRIUMF still kicks in this regard.

Maury

Re:Luminosity more important than energy (2, Informative)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019138)

Cross sections for most interesting processes go up with a large power of E (~6) at a hadron collider. This is largely due to the gluon parton distribution functions: as you go to higher proton energies, you need smaller and smaller fractions of the proton energy for heavy particle production, and at small fractions of the proton energy, there are gillions of gluons. This has the additional interesting effect that heavy particles are primarily produced at rest, because the less of the proton's energy you use (and therefore less kinetic energy for the produced heavy particle), the more gluons are available to contribute to the cross section.

Full speed in 2013?? (4, Funny)

Khan (19367) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018306)

Uh, HEL-LO?!! Have you guys forgotten that the world is going to end in 2012?!! I think you might want to ramp it up all the way in 2011...just in case.

Re:Full speed in 2013?? (1)

qkslvr (594310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018400)

but that's just it - not 'likely' in 2012... in a sprint in late 2012, around say early december 2012 they'll ramp her back up and reach peak power just before xmas... proving the mayans were right....

don't worry, black holes don't hurt. time dilation on the event horizon of a black hole keeps us from actually experiencing it. Of course voyager would be our civilizations only remaining relic...

Re:Full speed in 2013?? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018404)

will you dumb cunts please just shut the fuck up? that shit played out fast. move on with your life.

Re:Full speed in 2013?? (1)

rockNme2349 (1414329) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018576)

No, their plans will go ahead of schedule, and they will be ramping it up to full power in December of 2012.

Re:Full speed in 2013?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31019246)

This could just be foreshadowing at it's finest. Who knows, maybe the Mayans we're off by a year.

My LHC... (0, Troll)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018324)

,,,has far more energy than any woman can imagine!

Re:My LHC... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018872)

It brings all the boys to your yard...

Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018358)

It will only create a gray hole then.

LHC = (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018384)

Lethargic Hoop Continental

2012 (0, Redundant)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018436)

So it'll run at half energy through 2011 and finally surpass Fermilab in 2012 when the world is scheduled to end in most mythologies?

in 2012 a mess up a Fermilab will let the cubs win (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018460)

in 2012 a mess up a Fermilab will let the cubs win!

LHC vs Fermilab (1)

Wolfraider (1065360) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018512)

Why does Black Mesa vs Aperture Science come to mind?

You forget a third force... (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018786)

ApostleCorp.

Breathless anticipation! (0, Troll)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018556)

So now we'll only know the mass of the Higgs to the 14th decimal place?

Oh no, how shall we survive?

Maury

Guilty of low aspirations (0)

S-100 (1295224) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018580)

Hard to get all worked up about this when the people running the program don't seem to be concerned about accomplishing anything significant. Sort of like spending untold billions on a supersonic aircraft, and after all the money is spent, flying it subsonic for a year or so, and then grounding it for another year to re-wire it. If the LHC was designed properly, run the friggin' thing. If not, fix the friggin' thing. Are they more concerned with lengthening their careers or in new science? Some people paid them a lot of money, and it wasn't for their job security and pensions.

Re:Guilty of low aspirations (4, Insightful)

raddan (519638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018662)

If the LHC was designed properly, run the friggin' thing. If not, fix the friggin' thing.

Did you RTFA? That's exactly what they're doing. It takes time to come up with a proper fix, but while you're coming up with something, why not use the thing? Even at a fraction of its energy, the LHC is the most advanced accelerator in the world. It would be a shame to just let it sit there.

Re:Guilty of low aspirations (2, Interesting)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018826)

If the LHC was designed properly, run the friggin' thing. If not, fix the friggin' thing.

Did you RTFA? That's exactly what they're doing. It takes time to come up with a proper fix, but while you're coming up with something, why not use the thing? Even at a fraction of its energy, the LHC is the most advanced accelerator in the world. It would be a shame to just let it sit there.

Without even counting that running it will stress some other hardware and uncover some other potential problems.

Re:Guilty of low aspirations (2, Insightful)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018894)

Hard to get all worked up about this when the people running the program don't seem to be concerned about accomplishing anything significant. Sort of like spending untold billions on a supersonic aircraft, and after all the money is spent, flying it subsonic for a year or so, and then grounding it for another year to re-wire it.

Well, no. It sounds like they're quite concerned about doing something useful after spending those billions of euros. They still have the most powerful particle accelerator on Earth by a good margin, even if it's not up to its full design power (yet). They can do some solid science, good experiments, collect a year's worth of data and test all of their detectors and other hardware.

After that, they'll have a year with the beam turned off, in which they can actually analyze the mountains of data that were generated during a year of experimental runs. In addition to replacing the magnet interconnects, experimenters will have a year to fix any problems that come to light with detectors and other experiment hardware and software. This period of operation means that there shouldn't be any unpleasasnt surprises when they do go to full power, because they'll have had a year of 7 TeV operation to shake out all the bugs.

Re:Guilty of low aspirations (1)

KibibyteBrain (1455987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019068)

As a professional electronics engineer, my assessment is that there is no PROPER way to build a 14 TeV particle accelerator. Point me to the application note for it if I happened to overlook it.

What I don't understand (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018608)

Pardon me for my ignorance. What I don't understand is: do none of these problems show up when a short segment of the ring is built and operated at somewhat above its target power? I get the impression that the failures are in magnetic focusing components rather than the beam. Is that not correct?

Re:What I don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018854)

You're forgiven, partly.

Car analogy: It's rather like testing to find out whether or not the engine you're building can achieve the designed horsepower reliably with the thing still only parts. You can't be certain until you've gotten the whole thing assembled and running so you can test it.

Re:What I don't understand (5, Insightful)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019224)

The failures, or rather misdesigns/misbuilds, are in "copper bus bars". These effectively act as shorts across the superconducting electromagnet coils. Since the coils are normally superconducting (when at cryogenic temperatures), the short does nothing. But if the coil gets ever so slightly above its critical temperature, it ceases to be superconducting. At that point, it still has very very low resistance, but the current through it is so enormous that it heats up rapidly. When it gets to a certain temperature, its resistance becomes comparable to the resistance of the copper bus bar shorting it, and the current starts to flow more and more through the copper, thus protecting the superconductor from getting too much hotter. At least, that's what is supposed to happen.

What is wrong is that some of the solder joints for the bus bars are not good, and have too high of a resistance. A higher resistance in the bus bar system means a higher superconductor temperature before the current starts to flow through the copper, and in the end, this means damage to magnets.

I'm not sure what level of testing was done, but building a short segment and testing it up to slightly above design spec is probably not really feasible. In order to get the particles to the eventual energies, you need the whole ring to be in working order, because it takes tons of complete circles around the ring to accelerate the particles. Injection from the SPS to the LHC occurs at 1/14th the design beam energy, and the LHC ring takes it up from there.

Even if you could inject 7 TeV protons into a short segment of the ring, you'd still not be able to get the design beam intensity that way, because you don't have all 2000+ bunches ready for injection at once.

You could run the magnet intensities up to what is needed to bend a beam in a tight enough circle at high enough energies even without any actual beam in there, and this was probably done. However, quenches (magnets getting above critical temp) happen principally because of the beam. The beam loses particles and energy at a fairly high rate due to a variety of effects, and all those particles and all that energy goes into heating something, usually the bending magnets. I suppose you could do a deliberate quench by playing with the cryo, though. Perhaps that was done, and we were unfortunate enough to have tested only good subsystems this way.

As you may have guessed, I am a particle physicist (on CDF), but not a beams engineer. So, some of the above is guesswork, but I hope I've been able to relieve some of your ignorance.

Re:What I don't understand (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019252)

As you may have guessed, I am a particle physicist (on CDF), but not a beams engineer. So, some of the above is guesswork, but I hope I've been able to relieve some of your ignorance.

You work out of FNAL by chance?

Go Fermi Lab! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31018750)

Being that I live less than a mile from the place, I'd like to see the discovery be made here.

Budget Cut anyone? (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018812)

Guess probably they figure out that they can no longer able to pay the electricity bills by running at max energy.

Another way to look at it (5, Funny)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018952)

In an equally optimistic point of view, if Higgs boson is later shown to not exist, the Tevatron Collider can claim that it was able to not find it before the LHC!

Another Sign of the Times (2, Insightful)

strangelovian (1559111) | more than 4 years ago | (#31018974)

Fellow Slashdotters, I hope is becoming abundantly clear by now that an age is ending; the great 20th century scientific projects are fading into history, and the 21st century will require us to dramatically lower our expectations for scientific civilization. What exactly is the payoff for the LHC anyway? In what way does it inspire society at large or contribute anything useful? It’s very strange to be living through the collapse of your own civilization, but with each passing day it becomes more and more clear to me that that’s what is happening. It looks to me like our resources are going to be funneled increasingly toward the military as we struggle to maintain what we already have, instead of pursuing inspirational projects that ordinary people can understand. A sad time to be alive for those of us who grew up with bigger dreams, but maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

Re:Another Sign of the Times (2, Insightful)

joe_frisch (1366229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019322)

In a way the LHC may be the last project of the grand old empire. It may be scaled down from the SSC, but it is still by many measures the largest and most complex machine ever created - designed to understand the most basic physics. 30 years ago you wouldn't have needed to ask what it was for, any more than you would have wondered why were were spending money to go to the moon, or to send spacecraft to Jupiter and Saturn.

With the end of the cold war we no longer feel the need to prove our superiority by building ever bigger and more impressive projects. This has left us without a clear goal.

------
Future generations will draw an arbitrary line and say "this is when the civilization fell".

European hi-tech projects - track record (1)

dolphin558 (533226) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019084)

Too bad the Superconducting Super Collider was cancelled here in the States. I highly doubt we would have had so many issues and delays. The "trains would have run on time" Whenever I hear of exciting projects like these that are European led or international collaboration (U.S./E.U.) I become deeply concerned of debilitating cost overruns or technical failures. Happens almost everytime. Mars Beagle, Cassini Huygens, LHC - to name a few examples.

Deliberate skip of 2012? (1)

Asadullah Ahmad (1608869) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019096)

Seems to me like the 2012 fuss played a bit of a role in this decision. Last I remember, they were meant to do this upgrade/maintenance during late 2010-2011, which meant it would have been functional in 2012.

But then again, they have more reasons to be over-cautious considering LHC's history. Only if the scientists operating it were a bit younger dare devils, ahem ahem.

Here's what I don't get (1)

JNSL (1472357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019112)

Fermilab researchers are hoping that their machine might collect enough data to beat the LHC to the discovery of the Higgs boson, a particle key to how physicists explain the origin of mass

Why don't they work together? Seems awfully inefficient not to share data, which this appears to imply.

So the bird was carrying a sliced bagel this time (3, Funny)

gemada (974357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31019142)

and only dropped half

how physicists explain the origin of mass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31019254)

your mom?

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