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LHC Gets Android App

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the not-responsible-for-black-holes-in-your-smartphone dept.

Android 53

An anonymous reader writes "It appears scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have made an app to visualize proton collisions at the largest of the four experiments, ATLAS. 'For the first time you can now grab live collision events from the underground detectors in Geneva, and beam them direct to your own device. As well as a variety of educational resources, the application allows you to interact with the collision events in full 3D graphics. You can also find out how the different parts of the detector work, learn how to identify different types of collision, and even put your new skills to the test by playing the "Hunt the Higgs" game.' It's free to download from the Android Market."

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53 comments

I'm confused.... (2)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37640596)

Is this primarily an attempt to educate, a crowd-sourcing initiative or just eye candy? I'm interested, but I can't fully comprehend the ultimate purpose. (Admittedly, I may be over-simplifying, it may be all of these and more).

Re:I'm confused.... (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#37640658)

Does it even matter? It's LHC collisions on your Android. I don't even need to know whether it is just a rendering, not realtime, and whether no one will ever care that I found the Higgs boson on it. It's an immediate download. Full disclosure: this is from the guy who has the Tricorder app front and center on the Home screen.

Re:I'm confused.... (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37640688)

I didn't say I don't like it, I'm just curious as to 'why'?

Re:I'm confused.... (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641000)

I'm guessing marketing. It may also have other value and be really cool but marketing is the likely reason. Lots of countries are hurting and big expensive projects like the LHC that don't have quick turnaround for usable technology are quick to be axed.

Re:I'm confused.... (1)

wdsci (1204512) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642712)

I met one of the people involved in the project a few months ago, and from what he said (IIRC) it sounds like it is mostly about marketing and education. They're trying to increase public awareness of and interest in what the LHC does and why it's important, and they figure that giving people a way to easily interact with the experiment (even if it is kind of a one-way interaction) will help pique their interest. In other words, it's a PR tool.

Then again, I'm not directly involved, so I could be wrong...

Re:I'm confused.... (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641380)

Is this primarily an attempt to educate, a crowd-sourcing initiative or just eye candy? I'm interested, but I can't fully comprehend the ultimate purpose. (Admittedly, I may be over-simplifying, it may be all of these and more).

What - you bought an Android phone that doesn't have a Higgs detector built in?

Re:I'm confused.... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642324)

It's an answer to my dreams.

Real science in real-time.

Excuse me, I have to go take care of this.

Re:I'm confused.... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37642634)

Dear Dexter,
      If you're interested in the motivation, you might like to have a peek at the Oxford science blog: http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/science_blog/111007.html

        We're physicists rather than app developers, so we admit that the game is not quite Angry Birds. But we hope that non-experts might learn something useful from it. Let us know which bits you like - and do give us any suggestions you have for improvement and we'll see if we can add them in a future version.

Alan Barr
University of Oxford

Re:I'm confused.... (1)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643576)

It's educational outreach. I played around with everything, didn't see any any real crowdsourcing - there is a game you can play to identify the particles, but they've already been identified so you're just seeing if you can get the right answer.

The disappointing bit is not being able to automatically stream new events. You have to hit 'get new event'. Obviously a big firehose of data would be bad, but once every 5 seconds or so could be soothing.

Re:I'm confused.... (1)

KingBenny (1301797) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648384)

now if you were to speak about an app that makes use of smartphones downtime to help process gathered data i'd be like woaw, k00! but i guess its about battery life and you could only have it active while the phones recharging ? this sounds like pr more

Faster Than Light (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37640656)

Yes, but will data travel from the collider to my cell-phone at speeds faster than light?

Re:Faster Than Light (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37640982)

No, you need the true Reality Distortion Field for that and for because of some licensing issues that version only exists on a competing product.

Re:Faster Than Light (1)

teslafreak (684543) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642606)

Furthermore, the license is convoluted enough that this is always the case, no matter which product you are using.

Re:Faster Than Light (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37640984)

Only in reference frames travelling faster than the speed of light, with respect to our reference frame.

Re:Faster Than Light (1)

AJH16 (940784) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641638)

I thought the whole idea of reference frames was that even if the reference frame was somehow traveling faster than the speed of light, it wouldn't see the signal get there faster than the speed of light?

Re:Faster Than Light (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37664052)

No, the idea behind reference frames is that they define a context in which the problem is viewed. No more, no less. Typically they are inertial (not accelerating), but that doesn't have to be the case.

Re:Faster Than Light (1)

AJH16 (940784) | more than 2 years ago | (#37679606)

Perhaps I didn't state my problem very well. I am not a quantum physics expert, but I thought the idea was nothing within any reference frame could move faster than the speed of light. If that is the case, then from our reference frame, the data would still appear to get here at the speed of light, due to dilation.

Re:Faster Than Light (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37693068)

Relativity isn't quantum physics, and quantum physics isn't relativity. But relativity is not limited to quantum physics. It affects macroscopic things as well.

A reference frame is like the stage in a theater, not the props on the stage, THE STAGE. It just gives a point of reference, it clues you where/how to look, no more. (Unless the play is one of the oddball ones where the actors actually go amongst the audience some times).

Two popular reference frames (which can be treated as inertial, in the right context):
"Stationary with respect to the surface of the earth" (for using this one, the problem will have to be large enough in scale / short enough in time, such that geological activity provides negligible effect. Also be careful only approximately inertial, depends on problem scope/scale).
"Floating in space, without acceleration" (this is an imaginary, spot in empty space)

Some non inertial reference frames:
"From the perspective of an object falling into a [some gravity source], with no rotational velocity around [some gravity source]"
"From the perspective of a point on the edge of a 1M radius wheel spinning at 50hz."

In any of these reference frames, you can have an object traveling any any arbitrary velocity or pattern of motion. That is does or does not make physical sense is irrelevant. In fact, it is VERY important that these can take inputs that don't make physical sense - because you can then tell from irrational results, that the input is not possible. For example: if something is traveling faster than light (whether or not to the point of going arriving before leaving) from the point of view of your reference frame, the length of the object will be an imaginary number.

Re:Faster Than Light (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37641078)

Only if you can get Italy to fund the tunnel you've built already.

Now you've done it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37640764)

"LHCb sees where the anti-matter's gone
Alice looks at collisions of lead ions
CMS and Atlas are two of a kind
They're looking for whatever new particles they can find..."

You can't post LHC articles without starting that in my head... so just stop, OK?

There's a "build tiny black hole" option (1)

vagabond_gr (762469) | more than 2 years ago | (#37640844)

Should I try it?

Re:There's a "build tiny black hole" option (3, Funny)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37640936)

If you want. Personally, I think it sucks.

Re:There's a "build tiny black hole" option (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#37643050)

YMMV, I guess. Personally, I think it's cool. You can watch live data from the LHC when events are actually occurring, you get little videos explaining how the LHC works, and you get to tag data by stating which event you think occurred. Of course, unless you are a particle physicist who can read LHC data like others can read raw http traffic, it's of little use. Granted, it's ugly as sin, but it's still pretty cool.

Re:There's a "build tiny black hole" option (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37663988)

How's it feel to be headless? Because I see you were just decapitated by the low flying *wooooosh!*

Re:There's a "build tiny black hole" option (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642494)

Eh, I already did that and it stuck me in this crazy alternate universe without flying cars or moon condos. I'm afraid to do it again.

App name=LHSee (1)

Maow (620678) | more than 2 years ago | (#37640988)

I cannot find it when I go to the App Market.

I'm using a low-end phone, Huawei 8100.

It's rooted, runs Fresh Zodiak Fruit (cool, thanks to author!) so I thought it should be available.

Also, Slashdot, the link on the main page to this story doesn't seem to work: click: nothing. Click: nothing. Reload /., click: *nothing*. Using Firefox 6. Without JS.

What gives?

Re:App name=LHSee (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641136)

Same for me. Although I'm in Australia and some of our providers (including mine) block large sections of the Android market. A-holes.

Re:App name=LHSee (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641180)

By 'same for me', I mean the app appears unavailable here. Sorry, you made a few statements there and I thought I'd should qualify which one. :)

Re:App name=LHSee (1)

Maow (620678) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641330)

By 'same for me', I mean the app appears unavailable here. Sorry, you made a few statements there and I thought I'd should qualify which one. :)

No worries, eh?

Do you have a similar phone, or a more-capable one?

I believe it's a feature of the market to hide apps that just won't work on some models, such as barcode readers on models without cameras (or without auto-focus).

However some after-market ROMs are supposed to defeat that "feature".

Re:App name=LHSee (1)

msevior (145103) | more than 2 years ago | (#37645138)

I live oz and just downloaded it to my HTC legend running android 2.2

I'm on a vodafone plan but my internet connection is through optus cable.

BTW this is one really fun app! The 3D controls are great :-)

Re:App name=LHSee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37646422)

I'm in Aus, shows up fine on mine, over Telstra HSPA and TPG ADSL.

Re:App name=LHSee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37644010)

Hi Maow,

The only restriction is that your phone should be running Android 2.2 or above, which is necessary for the muti-touch gestures (such as pinch-to-zoom). No restrictions were made on geography or vendor.

Can you see it from
https://market.android.com/details?id=com.lhsee

Best,
Chris Boddy

Live Camera Feed? (1)

Quince alPillan (677281) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641086)

Does it have a link to the live camera feed [cyriak.co.uk]?

Re:Live Camera Feed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37641806)

i would like to see something like that but i am afraid a human won't even be able to realize what is going on if it happens

Not really sure what it's for (1)

mroberg (2478572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641102)

So, I got and installed it. No problems here (Acer Iconia). And not for nothing, I understand that they aren't app makers but... Here's a quote from a subsection of the app called What is ATLAS? "After passing through the tracking detectors the particles will then pass then continue to the next part of the detector." Not trying to be a spelling/grammer nazi but did you guys just convert a hastily made power point into an app and publish it on the market?

I'm not ashamed to admit... (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#37641332)

that I'm an Apple Fanboi and was wondering if this was available or going to be available for iOS.

If not, is it true that someone came up with something that'll let you run Android apps on iOS? Will this it work with this App?

Finally, what do people think that the "4S" in the iPhone 4S stands for "For (4) Steve"? Probably not but I guess it is a nice tribute.

Screw That! (0)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 2 years ago | (#37642906)

I just took a test drive in a Nissan Leaf and it has an iPhone app that lets you control and monitor functions in the car. This LHC app is nothing more than a website portal with videos that could be done via YouTube. Shit, that's no application it's a facade. Now, if I could turn that LHC bitch on and off
and do things like smash crap together, then it would be a cool application.

Re:Screw That! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37646050)

I just took a test drive in a Nissan Leaf and it has an iPhone app that lets you control and monitor functions in the car. This LHC app is nothing ... Shit, that's no application it's a facade. Now, if I could turn that LHC bitch on and off
and do things like smash crap together, then it would be a cool application.

How dare you mention iPhone in a positive way compared to the Android crap apps on Slash Dot!

That is not permitted here.

LHC and Blendtec, what could possibly go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37643350)

This seems cool, but I'm waiting for someone to combine the LHC and Blendtec blender technologies in one test device that I can control via my android phone. What could possibly go wrong, my phone's rooted?

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