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First Collisions At the LHC

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the make-sure-the-world-is-still-here dept.

Science 256

An anonymous reader writes "At 1:06 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST) today, the first protons collided at 7 TeV in the Large Hadron Collider. These first collisions, recorded by the LHC experiments, mark the start of the LHC's research program."

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First events (5, Informative)

mu22le (766735) | about 4 years ago | (#31668990)

One of the first events seen in Atlas:
http://imgur.com/ugwnl.png [imgur.com]

and in CMS:
http://cmsdoc.cern.ch/events/snapshotA.png [cmsdoc.cern.ch]

Re:First events (4, Informative)

mu22le (766735) | about 4 years ago | (#31669406)

This may be the biggest experiment of all (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | about 4 years ago | (#31668992)

in the history of mankind. this may be the real deal. its possible that we may find the first 'entity' as described as the base of existence in Dewey B Larson's physics approach.

Re:This may be the biggest experiment of all (5, Funny)

symes (835608) | about 4 years ago | (#31669102)

I'm not sure this is possible. I once had a beer with an almost eminent particle physicist. We kind of agreed that if this is the "ultimate" God particle then funding for particle physics could be under serious threat. What is the point in funding LHC type experiments if there are no more particles to be found? After a few more beers we hypothesised that the God particle must be constructed from, not particles, but something else a little bit like lego. And that the only way to understand this lego-like property of ultimate particles was lots of particle physicists working full time for many years on LHC-II.

Re:This may be the biggest experiment of all (1)

yabos (719499) | about 4 years ago | (#31669158)

I always wondered how far does this go. We know atoms are made of quarks, we don't know what quarks are made of. If the God particle is made up of even smaller parts, what are those parts made of? This is a total brain fuck but fun to think about.

Re:This may be the biggest experiment of all (1)

Jawcracker Fuzz (1773468) | about 4 years ago | (#31669246)

Muons? That's it? 7 effing TEV and we get muons? Are they sure some of the scientificos aren't dangling their junk in front of the detectors?

Re:This may be the biggest experiment of all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669702)

Elementary particles are not thought to be composed of anything more. That's why they're 'elementary' particles. But calling them particles is only the quantization of the wave. Think of it like a wave or a whitecap on the ocean. It's not really 'made' of anything, it's more like a 'kink' or 'wrinkle' in the fabric of the ocean (or universe) with certain properties. The 'particle' is the quantization of this - how the wave (or kink or wrinkle or however you want to conceptualize it) exists at a specific point in time and space.

*** Note that this is a very simplified generalization. But I hope it demonstrates how it's possible that certain things we call particles are not necessarily made up of anything smaller, and doesn't have to be a brain fuck to think about.

Re:This may be the biggest experiment of all (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 4 years ago | (#31669240)

Not to worry. There will always be doubters, people (and/or other scientists) who think they faked it, and even those who want to recreate it. Physics funding will never die, it will just have a different focus and purpose.

On the other hand, if someone ever does discover the God particle, I hope they ask it what the true physics religion is.

Re:This may be the biggest experiment of all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669446)

Yes, I have noticed how the LHC looks suspiciously like a donut with a Transformers printout stapled to the top of it. Hmm...

Re:This may be the biggest experiment of all (3, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | about 4 years ago | (#31669348)

IIRC, there are still something like six particles, which the math says MUST exist, but have never been observed. At this point those particles are as theoretical as the "god particle". Simply put, even if I don't correctly recall the number of still theoretical particles, there is still lots and lots of theoretical research yet to be done. Likely, at least many life times worth.

Re:This may be the biggest experiment of all (4, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 4 years ago | (#31669610)

I wonder if they will go the Dark Matter/Energy way, and simply call the universe wrong. ^^

Zima Blue and Other Stories (1)

Brit_in_the_USA (936704) | about 4 years ago | (#31669564)

Always makes me think of "Understanding Space and Time" by Alastair Reynolds, which can be found in one of his books of short SciFi stories "Zima Blue and Other Stories". Not to spoil the plot but it is one mans struggle with an near eternity of discovering fundamental laws beneath fundamental laws until his "brain" is so big it has to be "scaffolded" to prevent gravitational collapse.

A great read- highly recommended.

Re:This may be the biggest experiment of all (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 4 years ago | (#31669428)

Then you need to find the Anti-God Particle. Which you can use them to create explosions that will destroy time, I will stop 9/11 by destroying time between 2000 and 2008

Re:This may be the biggest experiment of all (1)

mikael_j (106439) | about 4 years ago | (#31669750)

Hey! I had some good times between 2000 and 2008 so could you please only destroy time in New York during that period?

Re:This may be the biggest experiment of all (1)

eugene2k (1213062) | about 4 years ago | (#31669506)

Or we could create a black hole that would kill us all. Personally, I think the black hole sounds cooler.

1st post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31668996)

im being sucked by a black hole .. does that mean the experiment is a success?

Re:1st post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669012)

I do not believe black hookers count.

Re:1st post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669020)

No, it means you've confirmed (M)ann Coulter's homosexuality.

Surprised (5, Funny)

impaledsunset (1337701) | about 4 years ago | (#31669002)

I'm quite suprised that I can reach Slashdot's server now that Earth is destroyed and gone.

Re:Surprised (4, Funny)

Fzz (153115) | about 4 years ago | (#31669080)

All the other versions of you in all the other branches of spacetime are toast. The only branch of spacetime where you can still reach Slashdot's server is this one where you got really lucky.

Re:Surprised (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 4 years ago | (#31669618)

The only branch of spacetime where you can still reach Slashdot's server is this one where you got really lucky.

Sorry. I find it funny that you're describing a Slashdot reader as getting really lucky.

I know. I know. I'm on the same boat so I shouldn't jest. ;)

Re:Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669252)

slashdot server and earth and you have gone to the same place..

Re:Surprised (1)

dingen (958134) | about 4 years ago | (#31669264)

But if the entire Earth would be swallowed by a black hole at once, would we even notice it? I'm sure there would be quite a difference when viewed from outside of the black hole, but when you're inside, wouldn't everything be exactly the same, relatively speaking?

Re:Surprised (1)

daveime (1253762) | about 4 years ago | (#31669372)

Except for the fact we'd all be scrunched down to the size of a golf ball, nothing at all would be different.

Re:Surprised (1)

dingen (958134) | about 4 years ago | (#31669522)

Yeah, but everything around us will be equally scrunched down in to the size of something that is relative to our shrinkage, right?

Re:Surprised (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#31669672)

But if the entire Earth would be swallowed by a black hole at once, would we even notice it?

Yes. Tidal forces [wikipedia.org] would stretch everything like spaghetti and tear it apart.

Re:Surprised (2, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | about 4 years ago | (#31669268)

I'm quite suprised that I can reach Slashdot's server now that Earth is destroyed and gone.

Welcome to Cachedot.org, impaledsunset. Your new user ID is '6'. May all your sunsets be impaled.

Re:Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669332)

I'm living nearby in France and I can testify nothing has been destroeth0: carrier lost

Re:Surprised (0)

vikingpower (768921) | about 4 years ago | (#31669384)

Surprised, eh ? CowboyNeal and CmdrTaco backed everything up with us here on CoroT 9b. Welcome your new overlords, earthling !!

Re:Surprised (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 4 years ago | (#31669486)

Well, now, to be fair, the LHC is only up to half power at this point.

Of course, the idea that we'll be swallowed up by a black hole is still utterly absurd. But our current and ongoing existence is, unfortunately, not sufficient evidenced to completely disprove the cranks.

obligatory (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669018)

this is all sfw. and you've probably seen them already. (but I wouldn't blame you for not trusting an AC seeing as how we are in a pathetically paranoid game theory induced society... anyways, i digress)

http://www.nulleando.com.ar/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/freeman.jpg [nulleando.com.ar]

http://www.rodrigoflausino.com.br/wp-content/imagens/games/half_life/half_life_lhc_02.jpg [rodrigoflausino.com.br]

Resources (5, Informative)

tist (1086039) | about 4 years ago | (#31669034)

You can see the beam status here: http://op-webtools.web.cern.ch/op-webtools/vistar/vistars.php?usr=LHC1 [web.cern.ch] and follow the webcast here http://webcast.cern.ch/lhcfirstphysics/ [webcast.cern.ch]. The webcast screen also has links to each of the experiments.

Re:Resources (5, Funny)

RDW (41497) | about 4 years ago | (#31669210)

The live webcams are also worth checking out:

'Camera 7: looking at the Underground Experimental Cavern from the Saleve side.'
'Camera 8: looking out of the window of the 1st Floor of the SCX building that houses the CMS Control room.'

http://www.cyriak.co.uk/lhc/lhc-webcams.html [cyriak.co.uk]

Re:Resources (2, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 4 years ago | (#31669468)

Cyriak.co.uk was filtered where I work for cartoon violence (school). Don't know what they're doing with LHC feeds, if indeed they are there.

Re:Resources (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669572)

What idiot modded those bloody links informative? Funny, at best... or perhaps -1, Waste of time....

Re:Resources (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669624)

Warning: Do not point beam at camera in order to get a better picture.

Re:Resources (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669326)

You can also see the current status here
http://hasthelargehadroncolliderdestroyedtheworldyet.com/

Antichrist!! (-1, Flamebait)

vvaduva (859950) | about 4 years ago | (#31669040)

If we only manage to get Jesus to come back and stop this...now that the Antichrist is clearly manifested and alive!

Re:Antichrist!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669548)

If you would have been more offensive to religion you would have gotten modded up. The hivemind doesn't much care for references to religion when they are not offensive.

Re:Antichrist!! (1)

daveime (1253762) | about 4 years ago | (#31669552)

This is what makes me laugh about the whole religion thing.

If God [or-substitute-deity-of-your-choice] really is an omnipotent being, how could he let this happen ? He must have known by giving us free will, we were going to use it ?

Even the earliest cavemen probably took apart animals and other cavemen to see how they worked. You'd think he might of had a bit of foresight and brought a rain of frogs or an earth shattering meteor down upon us before we got to the LHC elementary particle level of curiosity.

"I turn my back for one bloody minute, and those damn apes discover the raw particles that make up the universe".

Being omnipotent means you can see everything, even if your back is turned. No excuses, no cop-outs.

Perhaps it's time we drop the whole religion thing as completely unnecessary (apart from an excuse for old people to have a get-together and a game of bingo), and accept that science is all we need now.

Higgs (1)

Subm (79417) | about 4 years ago | (#31669046)

Well, did they find the Higgs yet?

Re:Higgs (2, Funny)

Scutter (18425) | about 4 years ago | (#31669172)

How about now?

I had this image in my head of them finding it in the first collision and then shutting down this hugely expensive experiment as redundant now that the HB was found.

Re:Higgs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669278)

They found Higgs, but unfortunately he has a headcrab attached to his head. Get the crowbar!

Re:Higgs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669438)

Nope, but they did find Waldo so this wasn't a complete waste of space and time

Excellent news! (4, Insightful)

rumith (983060) | about 4 years ago | (#31669070)

After all the years of delays and cost overruns, I'm extremely glad to see LHC entering normal operation mode. Congratulations to everybody who contributed and thank you very much for your commitment and hard work!
P.S. The labs down the hall that participate in the collaboration will be partying tonight :)

Re:Excellent news! (4, Funny)

quenda (644621) | about 4 years ago | (#31669314)

P.S. The labs down the hall that participate in the collaboration will be partying tonight :)

You can tell because they have undone an extra button on their lab coats, and are drinking full-sugar coke.

Re:Excellent news! (1)

Tim C (15259) | about 4 years ago | (#31669760)

Reminds me of a joke I heard a few years ago:

Q. How do you tell if a programmer is an extrovert?

A. He spends all night staring at your shoes.

Re:Excellent news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669692)

LHC = Let's Have Chardonnay

Not yet! (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | about 4 years ago | (#31669734)

At 7 TeV it is still running at only half power, the original design is for 14 TeV (two 7 TeV beams colliding). From today on it will run a while, and go down for extended maintenance, at which point they will modify the LHC so it can be cranked up to full spec power.

Still bloody amazing though, AFAIK the tevatron over in the states, now the second most powerfull collider, tops at around 1 TeV

Armageddon? (-1, Redundant)

junq316 (935454) | about 4 years ago | (#31669082)

Where are the (microscopic) Black Holes and why hasn't our Planet imploded yet? I'm disappointed.

Re:Armageddon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669168)

It takes a while for the tiny black holes to a) fall to the center of the earth and b) gorge themselves on the earth.

Geeeeez dood- How can you be so stoooopid.

The latest webcam can be found here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669092)

http://www.cyriak.co.uk/lhc/lhc-webcams.html

Why not "strangelets"? (1)

wisebabo (638845) | about 4 years ago | (#31669120)

Any particle physicists care to illuminate us on the reason why the LHC might make mini-blackholes but not "strangelets"? Is it because of the kind of particles used in the collisions? Or are strange flavoured particles currently not in favor these days?

Not that it makes much practical difference; if we were to be scrunched into a black hole (I know, I know it's not going to happen) or converted into strange matter we're just as dead. (In fact won't the conversion to strange matter happen at the speed of light whereas it'll take a while for a black hole to grow large enough to shred us?). Kinda sounds like the weapon used in "Ender's game" the "little doctor" (but it left over iron not strange matter).

Re:Why not "strangelets"? (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | about 4 years ago | (#31669236)

Now, I am not a physicist, but wasn't it theorized that black holes "fill up" after a little while, and one couldn't really "grow large enough to shred us?"

Re:Why not "strangelets"? (1)

bucky0 (229117) | about 4 years ago | (#31669444)

They would evaporate according to the theory.

Re:Why not "strangelets"? (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 4 years ago | (#31669570)

Just to provide a bit more substance, the idea is that, at the event horizon of the black hole, pairs of virtual particles pop into existence, and sometimes, one of them will fall into the black hole while the other will be radiated away, carrying energy away from the black hole, causing it to lose mass. And the smaller the black hole, the faster this happens, so your average microscopic black hole has an exceedingly short lifetime.

Couple that short lifetime with the fact that, at the scale of these black holes, matter is primarily space, and composed of particles far larger than the black hole itself, and the chance of one of these black holes gaining mass through interactions with normal matter is essentially nil.

Re:Why not "strangelets"? (2, Informative)

impaledsunset (1337701) | about 4 years ago | (#31669276)

Strangelets are hypothetical, nobody has ever seen, so they might not exist at all. LHC is less likely to produce strangelets than RHIC, but I can't read the paper to see why, but it has something to do with the different nature of the collisions. The energies are too low for production of micro black holes, though.

Watched Live (1)

KClaisse (1038258) | about 4 years ago | (#31669152)

Watched this happen live and was really stunned with how relatively smooth it went (when you consider the LHC's track record in the past). Yes a couple problems, but the third ramp was the good one. I cannot wait until they start getting enough data to extrapolate any useful data. The potential for new discoveries is almost guaranteed at this point. Higgs boson, or maybe something that completely changes everything we know. Might not get anything though, who knows. They say they will be ramping up to 14TeV in 2012 (7 TeV per beam) with the LHC. So there is still chance for DOOOOOOMMMM!!! (jk ofc :p)

Coincidence (4, Funny)

hallucinogen (1263152) | about 4 years ago | (#31669156)

While watching the webcast, just seconds away from the first collisions, the stream went down. I was like w000t! You have no idea how disappointed I was as I realized that it was just my shitty wifi..

That explains my morning! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669164)

I woke up and found out that we had a black President and National Health Care.

Yesterday, my President was this old guy with a dingy MILF for a VP.

If they run the experiment again, is Hillary going to be President?!

Re:That explains my morning! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669296)

You're kidding, right? She was already POTUS for eight years. Get with the times, man!

Re:That explains my morning! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669458)

Yesterday, my President was this old guy with a dingy MILF for a VP.

If they run the experiment again, is Hillary going to be President?!

No, but what was it like living in a timestream where Biden picked her as his running mate? :)

Hooray ! (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 4 years ago | (#31669202)

This is certainly a milestone. Now let us hope that prof. Higgs still has the champagne in the 'fridge in case we find the "God particle". Hooray !

We hit 7 TeV, but how much more to go? (2, Interesting)

nickfd (1001272) | about 4 years ago | (#31669214)

http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/breaking/2010/03/30/lhc-research-program-launched-with-7-tev-collisions/ [symmetrymagazine.org] So according to that article, we did the colliding at 7 TeV and their next goal is 14 TeV in 2013, but it's not clear whether that level of 14 is equivilant to the "big bang". Does anyone know what we need to hit in energy levels to reach that?

Re:We hit 7 TeV, but how much more to go? (4, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | about 4 years ago | (#31669288)

Nothing is equivalent to the "big bang". The "big bang" is a singularity. 14TeV isn't even equivalent to some of the natural collisions that happen in the upper atmosphere.

Re:We hit 7 TeV, but how much more to go? (5, Informative)

JohnFluxx (413620) | about 4 years ago | (#31669500)

There isn't really a limit. You just get closer and closer to t=0.
The big bang timeline goes roughly (listing the time when the mentioned period _ends_):

10^-43 seconds - Planck epoch - this is where we need string theory etc. The universe is expanding really really really fast. Frigging fast. This is called 'inflation'
10^-36 seconds - Grand unification epoch - this is where gravity starts to become seperate from the other forces
10^-12 seconds - The really-really-really-frigging-fast inflation is now over. We've now just got the normal expansion.
    --- WE ARE HERE WITH THE LHC ---
10^-6 seconds - Higgs particles are now able to give particles mass. But too hot for quarks to combine into protons etc.
1 second - Quarks have now formed into protons etc
10 seconds - anti-matter is now annihalted somehow. All the protons etc have been created.
20 minutes - Hydrogen etc is formed. We now have real atoms! (Nucleosynthesis)

Black hole ... of money (-1, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 4 years ago | (#31669328)

So given that the west is slowly dying under a load of debt and bad demographics, this was a useful endeavor because ... ?

Re:Black hole ... of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669374)

fuck off, seriously

Re:Black hole ... of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669772)

I know some (mostly leftist) physicists who think LHC is a useless toy which is not capable of leading to anything conclusive and is too costly for theoretical curiosities.

Re:Black hole ... of money (1)

vlm (69642) | about 4 years ago | (#31669404)

So given that the west is slowly dying under a load of debt and bad demographics, this was a useful endeavor because ... ?

... its a more useful way to spend our remaining time and money, than the alternatives?

Re:Black hole ... of money (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | about 4 years ago | (#31669482)

OH, but offcourse! We should have spent all that money on concentration camps instead.

(yes im being pretty polemic about but everytime someone complains about "bad demographics" as a problem it just sends chills through my spine)

Re:Black hole ... of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669550)

we're to the point that each euro burned is an euro saved from corruption and fraud

the lights are coming up all over now (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669382)

no mistakes, no coincidences.

it not at all about the 'end' or not. it's about the changes taking place, & our ability to adapt.

it says in the manual(s) that the fake 'weather' program ends due to causing more problems than it's worth, then we get warmer. noting the record seismic activity etc..., we'll likely be 'getting' other stuff too, including colder, at times.

never a better time to consult with/trust in your creators, as there can be little/no help/hope offered by man'kind', even though most of us will benefit from the creators' newclear powered (talk about big bang(s)) planet/population rescue initiative/mandate without helping, or even knowing what happened. see you there?

the next problem.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669654)

would be hoarding (water, etc...). 0, that's most of the problem now? history repeats?

More than 1h of stable beam... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31669394)

...and no blackhole yet !

http://mediaarchive.cern.ch/MediaArchive/Photo/Public/2010/1003062/1003062_07/1003062_07-A4-at-144-dpi.jpg :)

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