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CERN Announces Collider Startup Delay

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the takes-a-little-time-to-crack-the-universe dept.

Science 98

perturbed1 writes "The 142nd session of the CERN Council saw Organizational Director General Robert Aymar announcing a delay in the activation of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The installation will start up in May 2008, taking 'the first steps towards studying physics at a new high-energy frontier.' Such a delay was foreseen due to the quadrupole accident, which we've previously discussed. This gives extra time for Fermilab physicists to try to understand the latest interesting hints of the Higgs boson, as well as give much needed extra-time for the detectors at CERN to get ready for data taking. Given that it will be fall before the LHC detectors take any useful data from collisions at 14TeV, could Fermilab collect enough data for a 5-sigma discovery by then?"

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98 comments

In all orders that became (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19630861)

All interestingly inane [www.goat.cx] in the matter however procured

First. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19630869)

Frist

Yes! (0, Offtopic)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 7 years ago | (#19630877)

Or maybe no. Does every write up have to end with a question? And comments too?

Re:Yes! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19630937)

What, you want an *objective* write up?

Geez I suppose next you'll actually want to form your own opinions, too. Get with the program, citizen!

MODERATORS!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19633997)

Mod me down, too. I happen to agree with the parents.

Time is running out for Fermilab (3, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 7 years ago | (#19630887)

Let's not forget that the Tevatron (Fermilab's big accelerator) is scheduled to be shut down in 2009.

I'd love for the scientists at Fermilab to make this sort of breakthrough before the LHC goes live, as it'd be a huge morale booster for American physicists. Such a high-profile discovery would also attract the attention necessary to help solve the NSF's funding woes.

Re:Time is running out for Fermilab (3, Interesting)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19630981)

Actually, there were recent news bites that Fermilab had actually seen the Higgs. I don't have the citations, but supposedly they have possibly seen it now at least a few times and are re-examining the data to make sure.

It was just reported within the last month if I recall correctly. I apologize, but I just don't find the citation. I Know I read the article though.

Maybe it was in Scientific American?

Re:Time is running out for Fermilab (5, Informative)

s4m7 (519684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631301)

What you are referring to is the 4th related article: "Search for Higgs 'God Particle' gets interesting." It had been rumored that Fermilab had seen something that they were keeping under wraps for the summer publication cycle. Speculation was that it was the Higgs Boson but turns out it was the Cascade B. [slashdot.org]

Re:Time is running out for Fermilab (3, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631389)

Which is still very important and very significant. Personally, I'd like Fermilab to discover a few more intermediate particles but for CERN to get the Higgs. That way, both groups get lots of kudos and maybe even the cash they need. As it stands, neither are getting the support they should.

Re:Time is running out for Fermilab (4, Informative)

Gromius (677157) | more than 7 years ago | (#19633301)

As a physicist who works at a Fermilab experiment, may I just say those reports were utter crap. A lot of excitement over nothing. It was completely unconvincing. Basically it was one guy with a blog making claims he really shouldnt have.

Something interesting to note, as an experiment winds down, it tends to "discover" something, recently this tends to be the Higgs. Compare this to 2000 when LEP at CERN was shutting down, passing the torch to the Tevatron at Fermilab, and there was all the commotion about the "Higgs discovery" there by ALEPH.

Anyway at the moment we have lots of bumps in our mass spectra which is how we find particles. However its a statistical process so bumps can naturally form just by chance alone. Factor in that we are looking in hundreds of places and all of a sudden a few bumps that have a probability of one in a few hundred of occurring dont seem so exciting yet. Not saying theres nothing there but we've seen this so many times before and it turns out to be nothing, people just tend to get to excited when they see them.

However Fermilab has a good chance of getting the Higgs (if its the Standard Model Higgs) because it has to be relatively light to make other measurements consistent which means its in the easiest spot for the Tevatron to see it but the hardest spot for the LHC to see it. It'll be well past 2009 before the LHC has a hope of seeing the Higgs at a low mass but it could see a high mass Higgs pretty quickly after turning on.

Re:Time is running out for Fermilab (4, Funny)

weg (196564) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631021)

I'd love for the scientists at Fermilab to make this sort of breakthrough before the LHC goes live, ...

Well, Fermilab has already made the first step towards this goal.
According to /. [slashdot.org] , the parts of the LHC that caused the delay were designed by Fermilab ;-)

Re:Time is running out for Fermilab (2, Interesting)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631193)

Yea, as an American I'd be happy if they could just contribute to an international science project without breaking something in a more than spectacular way. All in all I think fermilab was the first of it's kind and deserve a whole lot of credit for that. Besides, if they find the Boson in the big accelerator wouldn't it also be pretty cool to find it in the little accelerator?

Re:Time is running out for Fermilab (1, Funny)

Barryke (772876) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631271)

the parts of the LHC that caused the delay were designed by Fermilab ;-)
Most beleive that comming out of the trees was the first mistake.

Delay due to fault?
I beleive that in the year 3243 mankind embarks on the journey to go back to the past to prevent the 21st century misfire of this quantum shredder. Mankind found out about the action to undertake in a 11 page book found at a underground pyramid beneath a maya territory, and gave no clue as how or who put it there, and how they knew the change has to be made. Noone knows how the paradox history-pedia writers knew about it all, even where the timetravel technology came from is unanwered.

Luckely in 2804 an covert organization finds another history-pedia explaining how to stop the (then in the future) 3243-pedia actions from succeeding. The 3243-pedia turns out to be a bigmistake and damages the climate beyond repair. Three covert agents beleive it wasn't a mistake at all, but a act of evil. They assumed it was nothing more than a coincidence that they shared a big portion of their DNA, upto matching fingerprint features. :(

Noone knew what happened to bring it this far.. Who put the 3243-pedia there? How did they know it would be discovered at the right time, place, and organization? Was the big mistake actually a previous attemt to fix history, or did someone gain from it?
Yet will never know as ultimatly it didn't happen, anymore.

Or it could just be a stroke of bad luck for fermilab.

Re:Time is running out for Fermilab (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632049)

Luckely in 2804 an covert organization finds another history-pedia explaining how to stop the (then in the future) 3243-pedia actions from succeeding.
But before they got to the final instructions, one of the technicians in care of the mystery -pedia typo'd the passcode to the safe three times, leading to an automated incineration of its contents...

Re:Time is running out for Fermilab (1)

kon23uk (683814) | more than 7 years ago | (#19633397)

...confirming the rumour that the new FermiLab uniform involves long moustaches, a top hat and cloak, and the motto "Curses, foiled again"?

Re:Time is running out for Fermilab (5, Insightful)

Macblaster (94623) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631723)

American physicists dont care if a discovery comes from Fermilab or from CERN, because many of them work at both, or at least have colleagues who work overseas from wherever they are. As a US student who used to work at CERN (namely on ATLAS [atlas.ch] ) my research advisors were splitting their time between Fermilab and CERN. NSF and DOE funding are going to both labs, and scientists will be happy just to get some real data to work with.

Re:Time is running out for Fermilab (4, Insightful)

perturbed1 (1086477) | more than 7 years ago | (#19633433)

As a physicist at CERN, I'd love to see Fermilab publish some 5-sigma signal on something just as the LHC starts up. I think this would be a huge morale booster for **physicists in general** -- not just for Fermilab or, even a smaller sub-set of that, American physicists. And note, I am saying here a 5-sigma signal! Not necessarily the Higgs. Any other high-energy discovery which then the LHC would confirm and continue on, would be awesome. (Cascade B is simply not high-energy enough!)

Such a high-profile discovery would boost the morale here at CERN significantly. I think almost everyone has this fear, which often people are scared to put into words, that we might turn the detectors on and really, see nothing. There are lots of talks from theorists lately which hide the Higgs, and then hide other physics away by using different mechanisms, suggesting that we might, indeed, see nothing... That is absolutely the worst scenario!

aside I see that a lot of /.ers here think the Fermilab/CERN race as some sort of an American/European race. This is completely bull! There are ~800 Americans working at CERN and vice versa. Half of my research group at CERN is or has worked at Fermilab... I think if Fermilab discovers something, I think most of CERN would be delighted! Afterall, chances are Fermilab might be able to discover something but will not be able to measure the properties of said-particle, such as spin. Presumably, the LHC should be able to do this better... Seeing something at the LHC that is new, even if "just-discovered" by Fermilab, is better than the prospects of "seeing nothing."

Re:Time is running out for Fermilab (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19635151)

aside I see that a lot of /.ers here think the Fermilab/CERN race as some sort of an American/European race. This is completely bull! There are ~800 Americans working at CERN and vice versa. Half of my research group at CERN is or has worked at Fermilab... I think if Fermilab discovers something, I think most of CERN would be delighted!


Your mistake is thinking that your opinion in this regard is relevant. It is a race; the US and EU are competitors and this goes a long way toward prestige and posturing. You have to stop thinking like a scientist and start thinking like a politician or Joe Sixpack. And remember, in the end they have more to say as to what funding you get than you do.

Re:Time is running out for Fermilab (1)

moosesocks (264553) | about 7 years ago | (#19646193)

I wouldn't say that there's any sort of race, although a bit of "friendly competition" certainly wouldn't hurt either. If the operation of the Tevatron and LHC overlapped by even just a few years, I think it'd be very worthwhile even if it may be somewhat redundant.

What the "race" comes down to is funding. Europe's got LHC and ITER. The US only has the Tevatron for another year, plus the SSC's aborted fetus buried in Texas. Our current administration is afraid to fund anything evenly remotely sciency (but has no problem flushing cash down the toilet everywhere else in the budget)

And yes. I'm a undergraduate physics student worried about finding work when I graduate.

Re:Time is running out for Fermilab (1)

perturbed1 (1086477) | about 7 years ago | (#19647257)

Well, the US has got several valuable neutrino projects, which often gets overlooked. Don't forget LIGO... Also, the US has a lot of potential for doing science (particularly particle physics) in space, which is a boat that it is missing by stopping the shuttle program and concentrating on Mars... which is sad... Big science is hard to fund, when the administration is this ignorant. But still, there are lots of small, cute particle physics experiments cropping up everywhere, from dark matter detection to measurement of "G" and those dont require as high budgets, so there is still hope!! I am worried about the ILC, however...

If you are physics undergrad at a US university, I highly recommend the CERN summer student program [web.cern.ch] . You can probably get NSF or DOE to fund you. It is totally worth applying to, although the chances of getting in are slim. To be at CERN when the LHC starts up next summer, is an experience worth fighting for! And really, I would not worry about finding work if I were you... If you already know what ITER is, you are in good shape.

Re:Time is running out for Fermilab (1)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636563)

> I'd love for the scientists at Fermilab to make this sort of breakthrough
[snip]
> attract the attention necessary to help solve the NSF's funding woes.

Let me be perfectly sure I'm understanding what you're saying here: you're saying we should discover an utterly useless bit of information so we can get more money?

Sqeeeel! - sound of pork

Maury

Re:Time is running out for Fermilab (1)

moosesocks (264553) | about 7 years ago | (#19646261)

It works for NASA all the time :-)

The manned space missions get all the attention, whilst the scientifically valuable missions (of which I am proud to say, NASA does many), receive little to no popular coverage.

This past landing of the shuttle was front-page news for about three days. Compare that to the fact that very few members of the public really seemed to know or care that NASA was going to let the Hubble crash out of orbit due to neglect.

If NASA abandoned its manned space program, it would still be able to complete its most important scientific missions, but would likely have a tough time attracting the funding to do so.

Higgs boson (4, Informative)

the_kanzure (1100087) | more than 7 years ago | (#19630899)

The Higgs boson subatomic particle [web.cern.ch] is theorized to be the material unit from which mass originates.

Shortly after the birth of the Universe in the Big Bang, as the universe expanded the temperature fell below a critical value where a new type of field developed everywhere in the Universe (field, cmp. magnetic field around a magnet. Every point in space has a property: a measurable magnetic force and direction). We call this particular field the Higgs field. Some particles coupled to this field and the property they acquired is what we measure as mass. That is, particles are not solid in themselves but can be seen as a wave on a water surface. Although a wave moves no water from one side of a lake to another, it carries a lot of information: energy, momentum, amplitude, wavelength, etc. For particles mass is just another property acquired by interacting with the ever pervading Higgs field and that property we perceive as mass.

Re:Higgs boson (3, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631009)

Yup, which suggests that discovering it, and understanding it, may give us some control over mass and inertia.. or, to put that in layman's terms: anti-gravity. A nice infinite source of free energy might be in there too. Who knows.

Re:Higgs boson (1, Redundant)

glittalogik (837604) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631073)

That's silly, everyone knows 'gravity' is actually Intelligent Falling [wikipedia.org] . Maybe we can create anti-gravity by getting enough stupid people in one place; we might have to strap buttered toast to their backs for it to work, though.

Re:Higgs boson (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631211)

What about hookers and beer?

Re:Higgs boson (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631363)

QED

Re:Higgs boson (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632239)

Yup, which suggests that discovering it, and understanding it, may give us some control over mass and inertia.. or, to put that in layman's terms: anti-gravity
If you have control over mass, you have control the m component of the special theory of relativity, and thus control over how much energy a particle represents. If you can come up with negative mass (necessary for gravitic repulsion), you can come up with negative energy.

Negative energy. Wormholes [ucr.edu] and warp drives [ucr.edu] . I think anti-gravity could quite possibly be the least interesting aspect of control over mass...

Re:Higgs boson (1)

tinkertim (918832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632281)

For someone who does not have a PHD, Please answer the following simple question with "Yes", "No" or "Maybe" :

I'm concerned that placing this project deep in the ground instills a false sense of safety in people who might not fully understand what they are doing. Am I correct to be concerned? Notice I didn't ask if I was _right_ to be concerned.

I don't like it and I can't quite articulate why not. If I'm correct, then I need to be able to articulate it :)

Re:Higgs boson (0)

Gromius (677157) | more than 7 years ago | (#19633237)

No

There are 3 reasons why they are deep underground, the main reason is to protect IT not us. There may be some others somebody else can point out but these are the three that spring to mind

1) to minimize environmental impact
CERN is next to the alps in a very beautiful area. They didnt want a huge particle accelerator making it look ugly

2) shielding
Cosmic rays from space hit us all the time. Having our delicate accelerator (and seriously this thing is a pain to keep running) on the surface would mean we would get hit more often by them and it could cause a problem, if only due to increasing the background in the detectors. Also we want to shield it from outside vibrations and heat (its superconducting) to keep it running. Note that this didnt entirely work at LEP (the accelerator before the LHC and for which the tunnel was built), you could work out the local bus time table and the phases of the moon using the collected data but that was more a testament to how precise the LEP guys did their analyses.

3) radiation
its mildly radioactive when the beam is running so having a good bit of solid rock between it and the rest of us can only be a good thing. However once the beam is off its fine (after a few days).

However its not because particle accelerators can go bang, if you drive a truck too fast near the fermilab Tevatron, it breaks, this things are not self sustaining and actually require a hell of a lot of effort to keep running. Its not like a nuclear reactor. There is nothing that can go wrong that putting it in a tunnel can effect.

Re:Higgs boson (1)

perturbed1 (1086477) | more than 7 years ago | (#19633465)

Yes. But (1) deserves more mention. It is also to minimize the impact of the environment on the machine. The LHC is right outside of Geneva, in what is essentially a residential area. To build tunnels/bridges for roads everytime it has to go across the LHC ring, would be awful and probably end up costing more in the long run. Moreover, by building something under the ground, the vibrations that effect the beam are minimized as well as the day/night, summer/winter temperature variations.

Re:Higgs boson (3, Insightful)

weber (36246) | more than 7 years ago | (#19633503)

Answer: No

You are concerned because you don't understand enough of what's happening, which is a natural (and practical) response to the unknown. Placing it deep underground is not for *your* safety but for the *experiment's*: the "noise" of the world (the sun/stars/etc.) must be reduced as much as possible in order to detect anything in the sensitive detectors.

Re:Higgs boson (1)

tinkertim (918832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19633693)

Answer: No

You are concerned because you don't understand enough of what's happening, which is a natural (and practical) response to the unknown. Placing it deep underground is not for *your* safety but for the *experiment's*: the "noise" of the world (the sun/stars/etc.) must be reduced as much as possible in order to detect anything in the sensitive detectors.


Thank you for your reply. That makes the sense that I hoped it would. This is such an amazing project because everyone, regardless of their knowledge can take something from it once the results are explained. I'm quite happy to let go of any .. trepidation surrounding it.

Thanks again for delivering the obvious, gently ;)

Re:Higgs boson (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631331)

"Every point in space has a property: a measurable magnetic force and direction). We call this particular field the Higgs field."

That sounds like Aether to me.

Fields are not aether (2, Informative)

the_kanzure (1100087) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631419)

That sounds like Aether to me.
Nah, fields are mathematical formulations. Quantum field theory [universe-review.ca] provides the virtual particles [ucr.edu] that more physically explain force interactions via probability amplitudes and so on. In fact, this is exactly what gave Feynman [zyvex.com] his quantum electrodynamics [gsu.edu] and subsequent Nobel prize (that he disliked).

Re:Higgs boson (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632155)

That sounds like Aether to me.

Aether models require a preferred direction (which is how the Michelson-Morley experiment ruled them out). The Higgs has a magnitude only and no direction so the two are different, although they do, naively, look alike.

Bad Example (2, Informative)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632087)

Actually a magnetic field is a bad example for a Higgs field precisely because it has both a magnitude and direction. The Higgs field has only a magnitude. A better example would be the temperature map you see in a weather forecast. Everywhere has a temperature value: it has no direction. This is what makes it different from the "aether" (aether had a preferred direction which is why the Michelson-Morley experiment disproved it).

The other weird thing about the Higgs field is that it has its lowest energy density at a non-zero value of the field i.e. it requires energy to lower the Higgs field! Electric and magnetic fields have their lowest energy density when the field strength is zero i.e. it takes energy to make them non-zero.

Re:Bad Example (1)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 7 years ago | (#19633269)

Gravity is also a field that has both a magnitude and direction since it creates action.

Gravity is not a field (2, Insightful)

the_kanzure (1100087) | more than 7 years ago | (#19634373)

Gravity is also a field that has both a magnitude and direction since it creates action.
Gravity is most certainly not some field. The standard model of physics allows for virtual particles that mediate the forces, which provides suitable explanation for how the force works rather than some simple field-based interpretation-- in the case of gravity there might be gravitons(*), and in the case of electromagnetic interactions there might be virtual photons. There is no all-knowing permeating field that is distributed throughout the universe. Due to the likes of scifi, my personal understanding of 'fields' has been hindered by thinking of "force fields" that block laser weapons (hah) which is definitely not what these fields are like.

Allow me to clarify: fields do not physically exist. However they are our own mathematical constructions. They may explain nothing of the nature of the force and interactions, but they are actually quite useful to determine magnitudes, directions, etc. Ironically, in another post I mentioned to somebody that "fields are not aether," when Maxwell actually came up with his theory of electromagnetism based off of aether-tubes as the field lines. He later decided to drop the aether-tubes interpretation and to accept purely the mathematics. Harsh of him? Anyway, gravity is not a field, but so far the results of its interactions can be predicted via field theory.

* Warning: gravity is only a theory [bringyou.to] ,
* Open questions in quantum gravity [openquestions.com] ,
* Resources [quantumfieldtheory.org] ,
* Open questions in physics [atomki.hu] ,
* What's wrong with loop quantum gravity? [cornell.edu]

(*) 'Might be' is rather strong in this scenario. Virtual photons have not been observed, though acting as if they exist has proven tremendous success in quantum electrodynamics. Yet, we do not know how to make gravitons work as the mediator of gravity in our calculations, so 'might be' is not too far from any truth.

Gravity IS a field (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 7 years ago | (#19651351)

Gravity is most certainly not some field.....Allow me to clarify: fields do not physically exist.

Errr....yes they do. The electric field, by definition, is the force felt per unit charge. If I put a charge in an electric field then can physically observe the force and hence infer that there is a field. Virtual particles are the mechanism that creates the field but the field IS is physical entity. Another simple test that a field is something real is that it has an energy density. If the field does not physically exist then where does all this energy disappear to?

By the same extension gravity is a field too - albeit a rather strange one since as it is a tensor field. In fact as long as you put a cut off in the energy scale you can use quantum field theory to describe gravity just like any other field.

Re:Gravity IS a field (1)

the_kanzure (1100087) | about 7 years ago | (#19653595)

Roger, I went definition hunting to double check my own understanding (q='define:electric field' @ Google). The problem arises here:

The electric field, by definition, is the force felt per unit charge. If I put a charge in an electric field then can physically observe the force and hence infer that there is a field. Virtual particles are the mechanism that creates the field but the field IS is physical entity.
Virtual particles are virtual and not physical; so if they are what causes the field, then how can you say that the field physically exists? The field is virtual. These 'fields' are merely regions of space in which the force or interaction occurs. (Left to the reader as an exercise: must all existent systems and processes exhibit particle-like nature?)

The standard model is described mathematically in terms of what is called a "gauge field theory". After all, quantum theory says particles can't be localized to a single point in space, so it is natural to deal with them as something that is "smeared out" rather than a discrete object.
This post [cornell.edu] seems to describe what I am getting at. And now for some other links:
* Teller on QFT review [umich.edu] by the good 'ol /~crshalizi/ guy appears in my search results way too often.
-- plus some other notes I was collecting in response, though think they are not as useful as they once were:
More hunting turned up this page re: what force really is [k12.in.us] and it seems to support my understanding:

So, what is the quantum view of the nature of force? In the Standard Model, quantum physicists view forces as exchanges of virtual particles. Huh? Well, there are certain types of particles, called bosons, that "mediate" forces. Each force has its own boson. For instance, the boson that mediates the electromagnetic force is the photon. In order for two electrons to exert electromagnetic forces on each other, they exchange virtual photons. How does this work? An analogy - though not a very accurate one - is this: imagine standing with a friend on smooth, frictionless ice holding basketballs. As you and your friend throw the basketballs back and forth the basketball exerts an impulse on you each time you throw it and each time you catch it. This causes you and your friend to accelerate away from each other. There is no force that causes you to be repelled by your friend - the acceleration is caused by the exchange of particles (basketballs).

Wait a minute! How can the gravitational force be "an exchange of virtual particles" when Einstein explained it geometrically - as a curvature of spacetime? How do these two ideas fit together? Well, there's the rub, you see - they don't. The two modern views of force are contradictory and mutually exclusive. At least one of them must be wrong, although there is considerable experimental evidence that they both are correct!

The search for the ultimate nature of force is an extremely active area of research - both theoretical and experimental. What's a force? Nobody really knows.
Re: gravity [cornell.edu] :

Why is Newtonian gravity real? It explains the gravitational interactions between objects in frames where the objects aren't moving quickly with respect to c and in which the gravitational fields are small. But, surely, it too is just mathematics and the concept of something instantaneosly affecting the motion of another object some distance away is used by the mathematics but not explained by it.
This page on the quantum view of forces [morningside.edu] is also helpful.

Re:Gravity IS a field (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 7 years ago | (#19691849)

Virtual particles are virtual and not physical; so if they are what causes the field, then how can you say that the field physically exists? The field is virtual.

In the classical case the field clearly is physical: it requires energy to create one and then, once created, there is a region of space where charged particles feel a force. A virtual particle is just one that we cannot directly detect. However we can infer its existance from the effects it causes e..g e+e-->mu+mu- forward backward asymmetry well below the Z mass. The best example I can think of this in a classical sense is the evanescent wave. You cannot detect these as waves but you know that they are real because if you put the right medium into the evanescent wave it will excite new waves in it. For example tunnelling microwaves between two right-angled plastic or paraffin prisms (this also make a great lecture demo for introductory quantum physics lectures!). However virtual particles are just the quantum explanation for the field.

These 'fields' are merely regions of space in which the force or interaction occurs.

That is pretty much the definition of a field. Clearly there is something different in that region of space compared to a region where a charged particle feels no force so there is a physical manifestation.

The articles you point to seem to be just rehashing the debate that went on in the early 20th century between Schroedinger and Heisenberg i.e. wave vs. matrix mechanics. In the end it was shown that the two models were mathematically identical. You then enter into the realms of philosphy and not physics: if there are two identical models which are impossible to distinguish (mathematically they are the same) then which one is the "true" picture of reality? In either case I would argue that it does not matter: any model must produce predictions where a region of space will cause a force on a charged particle. GR and QFT are good example of this. In QFT you explain a gravitational field by the graviton and in GR by a deformation of space-time (a deformation field if you like).

Regarding your emphasis on "infer" when considering classical fields. This is always the case in physics. We infer everything from the available data.

Re:Higgs boson (1)

lazy genes (741633) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632541)

If there is a particle that creates mass there should also be a anti-Higgs. In order to fill a void you must first have a void to fill. But, there are no voids in this universe. It may look like aether but,its just waves moving in a universe without voids. I have a feeling that all these particles will break into exactly three parts. With three parts it will have infinite movment. Also, it takes three seperate movments to create a helix or wave.I hope it wont end up like the pentaquark debocle.

Data Collection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19630921)

Does this imply that they were not prepared to collect and store all of the necessary data for the original launch date?

Re:Data Collection (1)

perturbed1 (1086477) | more than 7 years ago | (#19633531)

Both really! Both of the two huge detector collaborations have had some trouble getting the detectors together and functioning. They are called ATLAS and CMS [cms.cern.ch] . ATLAS detectors are slightly better integrated than CMS right now -- especially the fact that CMS is missing part of their endcap-calorimeters is unfortunate. (This is due to the difficulties in manufacturing the crystals in their calorimeters.) Such a deficiency effects their missing-E_T measurement, which is crucial in finding a dark matter candidate. I am hoping that CMS can complete this detector before startup. ATLAS, on the other hand, has all detectors installed now, but is having some trouble getting the cooling in the inner detector region stably running. So if the LHC was starting up in November, both detectors would be running in less-than-ideal conditions. Presumably, this delay now gives both a chance to complete missing parts or to be able to operate them under stable conditions.

Storing all the data is also a problem. Both of the detectors' data models are larger now than previously thought. This increases the requirements on storage and also the computing power necessary. Not only that, but the computing centers have not ramped up as fast as we thought they would... May sounds like a reasonable time scale to solve both of these problems.

Well, I for one welcome... (1, Redundant)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 7 years ago | (#19630943)

....our new artifical blackhole Overlords.

Re:Well, I for one welcome... (0, Redundant)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631011)

I see a Goatse link in your future...

capitalists (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19630971)

White man always oppressing black man.

US vs Euro pissing match, part 2 (-1, Flamebait)

theolein (316044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19630995)

Am I imaging it or is the submitter one of the cerebrally challenged individuals who come in their jeans every time their respective country or trading bloc does something BIG, or FAST (or utterly fucking stupid, for which they blame the other country or trading bloc)? Very much like the wonderfully bright ones who think that fanboi-ing for Boeing or Airbus is somehow going to improve their sex-lives and self worth?

This is about a very large international project, just like any large industrial project is these days, be it Boeing, Airbus or the LHC.

Nobody really cares about your little nationalistic wet dreams, be they in some exotic language or in broken English.

Re:US vs Euro pissing match, part 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632519)

Which card holding GNAA member modded this flamebait? Pfft, you suck.

MOD PARENT UP +5 INSIGHTFUL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632763)

Very well said!
Real physicists don't care were the knowledge comes fromm only pathetic /.-losers do.

Re:MOD PARENT UP +5 INSIGHTFUL (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635981)

Only pathetic slashdotter loserboy nerds wring their hands and gnash their teeth for a non-existant "competition" in the field of Physics while REAL, muscular physicists laugh at them, beat them up and shit on their faces.

I for one... (2, Interesting)

Bonker (243350) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631007)

am actually hoping AGAINST either Fermilab or Cern managing to isolate a Higgs particle.

No, I don't wish any harm to the scientists or their reputations. However, I think it would be fun if Gravity didn't fit so nicely in the Standard Model like everyone is hoping it will.

Having something else, such as a massive Baryon, appear at the energies where the Higgs boson is 'supposed' to be means that scientists all over the world in many disciplines are going to have to go back to the drawing board and reevaluate their theories.

Re:I for one... (5, Informative)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631117)

No, I don't wish any harm to the scientists or their reputations. However, I think it would be fun if Gravity didn't fit so nicely in the Standard Model like everyone is hoping it will.

Your point is well taken in that in some ways it would be more interesting if the Higgs were not found, but in fact the Higgs does nothing to bring gravity into the Standard Model. Instead it would explain the symmetry breaking in the Electroweak interaction. (I.e. why the W and Z are massive while the photon in massless.) Without a Higgs, a new mechanism would be necessary to explain this.

Re:I for one... (5, Informative)

Thiago Tomei (1104697) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631239)

I'd like to point that the Higgs boson has NOTHING to do with gravity. The Standard Model, Higgs boson included, is a theory of the strong and electroweak interactions. The mass that fundamental particles have for virtue of their Higgs couplings is akin to an inertial mass only.

But I agree with you. I'd also hope for the non-existence of the Higgs boson. however, all odds are against us. There are some fundamental processes that can only be made sense of in the presence of a particle which looks very much like the Higgs. If I recall correctly, it was Chris Quigg that said that "if the Higgs boson does not exist, we'll need something much like it". But of course, with the Higgs come a lot of other issues (the hierarchy problem for instance), which open up a whole new area for physics.

Bad odds! (2, Insightful)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631843)

I'd also hope for the non-existence of the Higgs boson. however, all odds are against us.

Really? You have some evidence that the theorists are right? If so please share it with us. Just because nobody has thought of a better model it is by no means proof that one does not exist. The Higgs model really is a beautiful one and I think that we will find it...but in 1904 how many physicists would have bet on the universe having a maximum speed limit as the solution to the non-invariance of Maxwell's equations under Galilean transforms? All it takes is one smart guy to come up with a better model and we'd abandon the Higgs model and say that the new one is the way to go.

Re:Bad odds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19633409)

Wooah, the Higgs model is not beautiful, Higgs model is an ugly hack on the beautiful Standard Model. Every fermion having an adhoc coupling strength to give it its mass, no thanks. Its a clever trick to generate masses in an otherwise massless theory but really its a cludge. I really think that the Higgs doesnt exist and will be disappointed if it does.

Re:Bad odds! (2, Insightful)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19639823)

Wooah, the Higgs model is not beautiful, Higgs model is an ugly hack on the beautiful Standard Model. Every fermion having an adhoc coupling strength to give it its mass, no thanks.

The Standard Model already had the particle masses stuck in there as free parameters so the Higgs does not increase the number of free parameters in the model (except for its own mass). What is beautiful about the Higgs is that it solves the mass problem in an elegant fashion.

For example if you do the tree level calculation of e+e--->W+W- without the Higgs you end up with a cross-section which diverges as the centre-of-mass increases simply because the electron has a non-zero mass. If you add the Higgs the extra diagram precisely cancels the divergence and everything works well. Hence the mechanism which causes the electron to have mass also cancels out the divergences caused by that mass....which is why it looks beautiful to me.

If you don't like free parameters then I don't know why you say the SM is beautiful: it has 126 free parameters IIRC, far more than just the masses. Plus it includes non-perturbative QCD where you can't even calculate what is really going on. However I suppose that is why they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

Re:Bad odds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19639185)

Really? You have some evidence that the theorists are right? If so please share it with us.

Unitarity. In all cases, the interaction probabilities must sum up to 1. (What does it mean to have a probability less than zero, or greater than one?)

Without the Higgs mechanism, the W sector becomes strongly interacting as a result of the unitarity constraint. What this means is that the W bosons will form a tightly bound state (called a "technirho" in the literature) that will break the Electroweak symmetry. (This is dynamical symmetry breaking instead of spontaneous symmetry breaking.)

The technirho, if it exists, will look very much like a Higgs boson, and play a similar role. It will necessarily have an energy less than 1 TeV, which would put it within reach of the LHC. This is what Quigg meant when he said that the Higgs will be discovered whether it exists or not.

Re:Bad odds! (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19639625)

Unitarity. In all cases, the interaction probabilities must sum up to 1.

Actually they must sum up to give less than one (since you might not interact!). However this is NOT an argument that the Higgs must be found. We have to find something, true, before 1 TeV but who is to say it must be the Higgs?

Re:I for one... (1)

qrash (63400) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631369)

A Higgs Boson or a Higgs-like mechanism (e.g. a scalar field due to interactions between particles) is essential to maintain unitarity (i.e. sensible time-evolution). Something will be found at the LHC, whatever that might be.

Re:I for one... (1)

celticryan (887773) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632257)

As was pointed out previously (but not clearly), the Higgs is not associated with gravity. The standard model has as parameters (inputs by hand) the masses of all particles. Basically, the Higgs mechanism is the way that the massless fields (particles are simply excitations of these fields and you can loosely use the two in place of each other) gain their MASS.

Now lets remember that gravity only acts (classically) between particles with mass. So, if we don't find the Higgs boson (this is the particle that the particles of the standard model couple to to acquire mass) people will simply access higher energies in search of the Higgs. If we conclude that the Higgs is not the way particles acquire mass, a revolution in the standard model will occur and an alternate formulation must be introduced.

Re:I for one... (1)

Bonker (243350) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632601)

IANAPP.

Therefore please allow me to ask in all seriousness of those who have stated that Higgs is not associated with gravity, what is the difference between granting mass to a particle and granting it a gravitational field?

My understanding is that the symmetry of bosons indicate that all of them exchange a force between two other particles, even other bosons. (Since gluons have color-charge they can interact with each other via the Strong Nuclear force as well as quarks.)

Isn't the Higgs boson, or even a virtual Higgs, required to exchange Gravitational force between two other particles, massless or massive?

Like I said, I'm not trying to argue here, but genuinely asking for clarification.

Re:I for one... (1)

celticryan (887773) | more than 7 years ago | (#19637019)

Ok.
The acquisition of mass in the Standard Model (which only deals with the strong and electroweak forces) is through the interaction of the fields we know (ie. protons, electrons, etc.)with the Higgs field.
Now if something has mass, according to classical gravity it has a gravitational field. But in a Quantum Field Theoretic interpretation of the Gravity (as you said, all forces are mediated by an exchanged boson) the force of gravity (that is the attractive interaction between 2 massive particles) is mediated by the exchange of a Graviton (forced to be a spin 2 particle).

The Higgs is Spin 0 boson, and is therefore much different than the Graviton.

My point was that many people assume that the Higgs is used in gravitational theories in some way. This is not true. (akaik- classical gravitational does not describe the acquisition of mass- I have no idea about such pseudoscience as string theory, etc. that cannot make any testable predictions in 20 years). This may seem slightly nit-picky to a casual observer- since anything with mass must interact gravitationally. The big distinction is that when people are working on describing some particle physics experiment the force of gravity is never taken into account. Now lots of people will exclaim at this, but the gravitational attraction between two electrons, for instance, is vanishingly smaller than the electromagnetic repulsion and introduces completely negligible error into the calculations.

Alternative to the Higgs Boson (1)

mburns (246458) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632629)

The Einstein-Davis and Kaluza-Klein theories really make the canonical alternative here - something which should not go unexamined if one wants understanding. Here, spacetime distortions are what classical things are made of. Things have rest mass in this scheme by being red-shifted to an effective halt at or below an event horizon, a black hole. Field sources in this scheme are momentum in a fifth or higher dimension, and sensitivity to a field comes with velocity in that same dimension. There is nothing ad hoc here, the results follow as theorems from the premises (within their proper range of expression).

Quantum mechanics of a new variety, probably loop quantum gravity, is needed to stabilize, or at least describe, this sort of black hole. A quantum creation of the things in question is probably needed to account for the very high momentum to mass ratio.

(It is remarkable that the standard model does not refer to either string theory or gravitation. And, string theory has an imperfect accommodation of gravity, and therefore predicts things contrary to general relativity such as magnetic monopoles, exotic matter, and hot event horizons. To top it all, the master of loop quantum gravity has prohibited consideration of higher dimensions. Without this prohibition, it seems that loop quantum gravity would rule.)

But, the iPhone.... (3, Funny)

rueger (210566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631091)

Judging by the fourteen glowing reviews [slashdot.org] posted since the beginning of this month I'm sure that the launch of the innovative iPhone technology will surely solve all of CERN's problems.

Or at least let them watch YouTube while waiting for repairs.

CERN Announces Collider Startup Delay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19631093)

CERN announced that the collider startup delay will be 16 femtoseconds.

Uncertainty (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19631149)

Naturally. You know either where the LHC is located, or when it will start, but not both.

Re:Uncertainty (1)

perturbed1 (1086477) | more than 7 years ago | (#19633481)

Brilliant! That explains why I could not find my way to work this morning!!

Re:Uncertainty (1)

enjerth (892959) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636715)

And why I was late!

Lucky you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19638465)

I was on time, but was at the wrong office building.

What did you expect? (4, Funny)

Bombula (670389) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631299)

CERN Announces Collider Startup Delay

Well, time does slow down when you're moving close to the speed of light ...

Re:What did you expect? (1)

gone_bush (578354) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631879)

Sorry, but your wrong - this does not need any so exotic as Relativity. Have you not seen the effect on a freeway when there is a collision?

workin hard, boss (1)

dotmax (642602) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631341)

i'm cranking out higgses as fast as i can, boss.

no, really. i'm the tevatron operator today. :-)

Not to worry for Fermilab; we have a nice neutrino program to keep us going for a while. In general everyone here is seriously cranked (in a good way) about CERN coming up. They are going to kick some ass when they crank up the ring. The engineering stats are ... mind boggling.

I am but a lowly glamour-drenched peon and not not a decision maker, but i would be less than surprised if someone came up with a good non-higgsian excuse to keep the tev running after the current run, whether or not we actually find any of the higgeses i made between porkchops today.

.max

disclaimer: i speak for dot.me, not my employer!

Re:workin hard, boss (1)

stox (131684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631569)

Please, DOE, keep Fermilab going. The thought of Max walking the streets scares the hell out of me. ;->

Re:workin hard, boss (1)

Ironclad2 (697456) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632729)

speaking of neutrinos... Hi from the MiniBooNE control room! Keep sending those protons our way! Just started the Owl Shift, here.

But along the same lines of what you said, not all physics in the next decade will come from having the biggest, sexiest ring collider. Examples: beam neutrino experiments (MiniBooNE, Minos, NOvA), reactor neutrino experiments (Double-CHOOZ, Daya Bay), dark matter experiments, etc. If there is beyond-standard model physics to be found, it's probably not going to appear on the same plot as the Higgs' bump.

and if the SSC had been built, we'd already know...

Re:workin hard, boss (1)

perturbed1 (1086477) | more than 7 years ago | (#19633563)

It is so hard not to be jealous sitting at CERN. But, it is a good sort of jealousy really. I just hope I get data one day... You guys over there in Fermilab are doing an awesome job! Keep up the good work! :)

I wish we were all at the SSC right now, but oh well...

Re:workin hard, boss (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19634391)

But but but...we have Restaurant 1 and Restaurant 2! Take that, Fermilab!

Might not be a good thing (1)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631377)

As I recall from the last season of Lexx - discovery of the Higgs Boson actually accounts for one of the many ways that a society annihilates itself before they can realize that they are not alone in the universe....

my only question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19631679)

why are fags allowed to travel among others like they're normal members of our society? these diseased animals need to be fenced off somewhere and studied like cows with mad cow disease. fags aren't real humans, they're the defective end of the gene pool.

Re:my only question (0, Troll)

filekutter (617285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631801)

I presume you're now going to return to your posting over and over with a Peter Lore'ian cackle to assay the fruits of your tiny little piece of bait... and wish to make only one statement. I defend your right to exhibit your well-chosen; erudite, concise, and most (obviously) heartfelt, views in this most hallowed website. In fact, I have to admit I'd go to the wall to defend your right to do so. In fact, because of the care you put into your words, the obvious time you put into searching for just the perfect premises needed to back your conclusion have left me in awe. I am ... speechless... unable to even presume to open my mouth and speak since to do so would just be cheap, shallow, and well... to be honest... so far below your golden words. You... my most wonderful Anonymous Coward, are my pinnacle... my Everest... my god. On reflection I only hope you remember my grovelling at your feet as I paw at you endlessly... waiting for your next gem to drop from your marble lips. My god... you make me want to... *drops her head in supplication* ... but alas I can't. For you've chosen to hide your face behind the cloak of anonymity... and I raise my fists screaming into the void! DON"T CHEAT ME!!! Don't let our enemies see you as a faceless trolling coward... but instead... as the miracle of genius which you are ! And thank you for allowing me to present these words for you to read... the knowledge that your eyes will peruse this small tome and hopefully realize that you are NOT alone, but in fact have a friend, and maybe... a lover? in this world? I do presume and apologize. But... and I am so happy to say this, I am a student of Letter Forensics. A small yet significant field which has enabled me to see beyond your mere linguistics and ... dare I say... into your lovely heart. I see pain, yet I also see lonliness. But, I also see your arms open wide, waiting for this moment when one such as myself will smash the barriers you've raised to protect yourself from the doubters , the shameful, and the simple-minded. And yes, I see you laying between your sheets... the only breathing your own...the only shadow on the wall your own, and ... I cry. Your words were not only a manifesto,but... a cry in the wilderness that is the anarchic human condition. I hug you, and kiss your cheek... I love you.

Re:my only question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632109)

whatever you say fucktard. thanks for wasting your time.

5-sigma probably not possible (5, Interesting)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19631915)

Given that it will be fall before the LHC detectors take any useful data from collisions at 14TeV, could Fermilab collect enough data for a 5-sigma discovery by then?

It is unlikely that we will have enough data for a 5-sigma Standard Model Higgs discovery before the LHC turns on. If I remember the plot for the expected Higgs significance correctly the best we can hope for is "3-sigma evidence" unless the Higgs really is right above the current limits (where ALEPH once suggested it was).

However this assumes a Standard Model Higgs. If something called Supersymmetry (SUSY) exists then there are 5 Higgs bosons (two with a charge) and in some areas of SUSY parameter space we can see some of these a lot more easily than the Standard Model Higgs This would also be a LOT more exciting than a Standard Model Higgs!

Link to plot (3, Informative)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632005)

Sorry I should have included this in the original comment. Here [fnal.gov] is a link to the original expected Tevatron sensitivity and the updated one. The y axis is the volume of data collected by both experiments i.e. sum of DØ and CDF datasets and the x axis is the mass of the Standard Model Higgs. This is currently limited to be above 114 GeV/c2. The three lines are 5-sigma discovery, 3-sigma evidence and 95% confidence limit if we don't see any Higgs event in that amount of data.

The dip round 160 GeV/c2 mass is because a heavy enough Higgs can decay differently than a lighter one and the different decay is a lot easier to detect above all the other "background" events happening in the detector. We should get 10-20 fb-1 between both experiments by 2009 so, as you can see, unless we do something clever (which had not been thought of at the time the plots were made) or the Higgs is really light we won't get 5-sigma, but 3-sigma is a real possibility.

amazing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19631947)

wow! two science articles in a row? is cmdrdildo on vacation or something?

Thank god. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19631997)

Every time I read these articles about quantum physic, astrophysics, black holes, strings, tensors I feel good. I read these articles just because it makes me feel good. And I murmur, thank god I am not into all this. Life is much simpler as a Java programmer and all you have to worry about is bread and milk for your family. :)

Am I The First To Say... (4, Funny)

CWRUisTakingMyMoney (939585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632053)

Physicists get hadrons!

Re:Am I The First To Say... (1)

chris_sawtell (10326) | more than 7 years ago | (#19634379)

How have you managed to persuade CWRU to take your money if you suffer from dyslexia. Do please tell us the secret.

Quadripole accident? (0)

MarsDefenseMinister (738128) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632105)

I know it, they had ALMOSt perfected the FOUR ASSED MONKEY. And it blew up. So sad.

Schrodinger's Cat ? (1)

Easy2RememberNick (179395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632317)

I think they're just being coy, if they start to use the LHC the experiments won't work since all this quantum particle mumbo jumbo freaks out when you look at it, the only way to get it to work is to ignore it or pretend not to notice it. It was their plan all along.

Re: Schrodinger's Cat ? (2, Funny)

dintech (998802) | more than 7 years ago | (#19633535)

You're about to observe a quantum state. Cancel and allow?

ahhh... (1)

aiaiaiaiaiaiaiaiaiai (1076309) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632443)


The beauty of nationalism applied to science...

The End of the World is Delayed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19632555)

This just means it's a few months more that we can live and love on this world before we are sucked into a giant black hole.

Fermilab physicists? (1)

james_moriarty (114305) | more than 7 years ago | (#19632591)

This gives extra time for Fermilab physicists to try to understand the latest interesting hints of the Higgs boson

Um, shouldn't the Fermilab physicists be busy fixing the broken magnet at CERN? Apparently it was their part that failed..

/trolling
//I'm sure there are more than two people at Fermilab

Angels and Deamons crew at CERN (1)

perturbed1 (1086477) | more than 7 years ago | (#19634125)

Ok, so this is off topic, but might be interesting to those curious about what's happening at CERN.

Allan Cameron and Ron Howard was at CERN last week. Here is a photo [cdsweb.cern.ch] .

Tom Hanks will be here in two weeks to visit the LHC and in the fall, Angels and Deamons will be filmed at CERN... Why the hurry? It has only been two months since the cast has been selected?! Presumably, they want to shoot before the LHC closure sometime in March... ?

Re:Angels and Deamons crew at CERN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19634409)

The beamline will close earlier than that for engineering runs. The experiments themselves (CMS and ATLAS), probably in December at the latest.

Give her the gas, Clem! (1)

nastro (32421) | more than 7 years ago | (#19634327)

They just flooded the engine. Wait about a 1/2 hour before giving the old pull-start a go.

Wrong question (0, Flamebait)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19635187)

> Given that it will be fall before the LHC detectors take any
> useful data from collisions at 14TeV, could Fermilab collect
> enough data for a 5-sigma discovery by then?"

Who cares? I'm serious. This entire experiment is designed to demonstrate something everyone already agrees we know. This is the same sort of useless activity that monks used to do when debating how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.

What happens if the experiment does work? Absolutely nothing. Well not nothing, everyone will congratulate themselves, throw a Nobel or two, and get their names in the paper. But that's it. We're not _learning_ anything if it comes in as expected.

It only generates useful information if it fails. However, if it does fail, nothing will come of it because the next energy level we'd have to look at is way high. So sorry, we can't build that machine anyway.

Unless someone comes up with a totally new approach that predicts new unseen results that can be found at existing energy levels, this experiment is a massive waste of money. Of course it's not like they have anything else to do, particle physicists aren't exactly in high demand outside the research world.

Maury
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