Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Pictorial Tour of World's Longest Linear Accelerator

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the always-with-the-measuring-contest dept.

Technology 79

Wired has a great pictorial tour of their recent visit to Stanford University's linear accelerator, the longest in the world. The accelerator has been the vehicle upon which three Nobel Prizes were earned and a the next big project will boast an electron laser roughly 10 billion times more powerful than existing x-ray sources.

cancel ×

79 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I wonder (2, Interesting)

croddy (659025) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467224)

I wonder if Man or Astro-man will come out of cryostasis to compose an ode to the new electron laser. Their song for the two-mile linear particle accelerator [archive.org] pretty much nailed it.

A spectrum of infinite scale (2, Funny)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467230)

I'm tagging this songofthetwomilelinearparticleacceleratorstanforduniversity.

OK, we've got -part- of it (3, Funny)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467252)

Now, when are we going to get the moon-sized space station to put it on?

Re:OK, we've got -part- of it (2, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467264)

Are you referring to the Death Star from Star Wars or from the Alan Parson's Project?

Re:OK, we've got -part- of it (2, Funny)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467624)

...I believe the Alan Parson's project was some kind of hovercraft...

Re:OK, we've got -part- of it (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22467970)

... but was it full of eels?

Re:OK, we've got -part- of it (1)

fubatsaturn (1127665) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467932)

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress actually.

Re:OK, we've got -part- of it (1)

BSAtHome (455370) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467294)

Ehm, right after they have finished the accelerator and the fusion reactor in my backyard. It is a big project, but we'll get there eventually.

Re:OK, we've got -part- of it (0, Offtopic)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467584)

As soon as we have the sharks with the frickin' laser beams on their frickin' heads

SLAC is great, but... (4, Interesting)

CompMD (522020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467272)

Its really a shame that SLAC just had to lay off something like 15% of their staff due to DOE budget cuts in the past couple of weeks.

Re:SLAC is great, but... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22467374)

Well thats what happens when you mostly do "B" physics.

Re:SLAC is great, but... (3, Informative)

niklask (1073774) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467750)

Well thats what happens when you mostly do "B" physics.
High-energy physics, like the BaBar experiment, is only a fraction of what SLAC does these days. SLAC is heavily involved in photon science and particle astrophysics.

Re:SLAC is great, but... (5, Informative)

bcdm (1031268) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467430)

125 staff members at SLAC have been let go this year (so far), and 200 projected layoffs at Fermilab by the end of the summer. Wired has the fuller scoop. [wired.com]

Re:SLAC is great, but... (1)

Hawkeye05 (1056362) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467894)

But if they fired all those people then who will put the corks in the black holes?

Re:SLAC is great, but... (1)

eecue (605228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467574)

Yeah what's really a bummer is that BaBar got cut short right in the middle of their experimental run. Hopefully they'll solve the matter / anti-matter ratio riddle despite their 6 month project cut.

Re:SLAC is great, but... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22467826)

Yeah but from my understanding, Belle just had them beat (mainly due to that long safety related shutdown which pretty much killed BaBar's competitiveness). Coupled with CDF/D0 and soon LHCb (I'm aware the these are hadron collider experiments and are therefore more complimentary than direct competitors but still...), there just wasnt much of a physics program left that wasnt being done better elsewhere or hadnt already been measured by BaBar and Belle to great precision.

I would be interested in hearing from some of my SLAC colleagues if I'm very much mistaken which I may be to some degree.

Re:SLAC is great, but... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22471486)

The safety shutdown didn't help get experimental results faster, but I think you're overstating the effect. Belle/KEK-B was designed from the beginning to deliver more luminosity than BaBar/PEP-II -- particularly as the IP for Belle was designed for the bunches to rotate ("crab crossing") to improve the beam-beam parameter. BaBar/PEP-II was actually ahead in integrated lumi. for quite a while, but that was because Belle/KEK-B's program was more ambitious (and IIRC more expensive), and so it took longer to work the kinks out.

I'm out of touch now, but IIRC the two experiments' total lumi. is still within a factor of two, so the two experiments are actually still fairly competitive -- especially when a physicist at one or the other finds some new resonance or thinks of a particularly good technique to reduce systematics. Either site could be upgraded to a Super-B factory, but around 2003 (or so) the HEP community decided to push for the ILC instead. Of course, now there is no funding in the US for either. I hear rumors that physicists in Japan still hope for a Super-B factory, but I don't know how realistic that is.

Coupled with CDF/D0 and soon LHCb (I'm aware the these are hadron collider experiments and are therefore more complimentary than direct competitors but still...), there just wasnt much of a physics program left that wasnt being done better elsewhere or hadnt already been measured by BaBar and Belle to great precision.
Yeah, and of course any experiment that collects data at a constant rate will tend to see diminishing returns simply because of sqrt(N). I really don't think CDF/D0 are direct competitors to BaBar/Belle. B physics there has turned out to be pretty difficult. BTev was expected to handle B physics at the Tevatron anyway. In terms of comparing one class of results, I believe the B factories have produced much tighter constraints than CDF/D0. Of course B_s results are impossible with the B factories' Y(4S) data, so there is certainly a place for B physics at the Tevatron!

Anyway, I do think it is quite reasonable to wind down BaBar/PEP-II, and since around 2004-2005, it was already expected to stop taking data sometime during 2008-2009. (IIRC, the original proposal was to 2010, though in principle it could have been extended.) What's disappointing to me is not that BaBar stops, but that there is no Super-B nor ILC work to replace it, nor even any prospect thereof, thanks to the US Congress.

I've been out of the business for a while, so I welcome any factual corrections to the above...

Re:SLAC is great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22468082)

Must have been SLACkers...

Re:SLAC is great, but... (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471630)

Its really a shame that SLAC just had to lay off something like 15% of their staff due to DOE budget cuts in the past couple of weeks.

Well, it is when you consider that the money is being wasted on useless wars.

On the other hand, given a limited overall science budget, it is doubtful to me that physics mega-projects should continue being supported in the way they have been. Biology, chemistry, math, and computer science yield a lot more useful results per dollar.

Re:SLAC is great, but... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22471916)

Well, it is when you consider that the money is being wasted on useless wars.

On the other hand, given a limited overall science budget, it is doubtful to me that physics mega-projects should continue being supported in the way they have been. Biology, chemistry, math, and computer science yield a lot more useful results per dollar.
Well, okay, maybe Congress found it necessary to cut $88 million out of the high energy physics budget to pay for Bush's useless wars. Sure, I could probably that.

But if that's so, then how the hell did the same Congress find it possible to lard $19 BILLION of new earmarks (a.k.a. pork) into the budget?!?

If they could cut back the Bridge to Nowhere and other pork by just 5%, then there would be more than enough money for SLAC, Fermilab, etc. But instead of cutting wasteful pork by only 5%, they choose to cut high energy physics much deeper and sell out the future of science in the US.

Re:SLAC is great, but... (1)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22477534)

Well, okay, maybe Congress found it necessary to cut $88 million out of the high energy physics budget to pay for Bush's useless wars. Sure, I could probably that.

And the rest of the money comes from where? The tooth fairy? Bush's war probably costs a trillion dollars when all is said and done.

But if that's so, then how the hell did the same Congress find it possible to lard $19 BILLION of new earmarks (a.k.a. pork) into the budget?!?

Most of the money you call "pork" is infrastructure spending. There may be more efficient ways of funding that stuff, but by and large, if it doesn't come out of federal taxes, it comes out of state taxes.

If they could cut back the Bridge to Nowhere and other pork by just 5%, then there would be more than enough money for SLAC, Fermilab, etc.

Or, they can simply cut SLAC and give the money to other disciplines.

Re:SLAC is great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22478950)

> Biology, chemistry, math, and computer science yield a lot more useful results per dollar.

A great deal of biology wouldn't be possible without the high-energy research that went into creating things like electron tunneling microscopes.

Granted, the returns are a bit lower now (doctors aren't going to treat our hadrons -- no viagra jokes, okay?), but more efficient lasers are damn sure useful things. Hell, my dentist lasers my teeth now instead of drilling them.

I for one.. (1)

Tmack (593755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467318)

welcome our electron laser generating SLAC overlord! (wonder if they have a sharktank + proper mount for the hot end?)

Bob [subgenius.com] would be proud.

tm

Re:I for one.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22467856)

The shark tank is just down the road -- take 280 south to 87 north, exit Santa Clara and take a left. They only have to extend the accelerator a few miles to make it work.

Superconducting Supercollider (3, Interesting)

Snakefoot (1241778) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467396)

Too bad the Superconducting Supercollider project http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superconducting_Super_Collider [wikipedia.org] went bust. 'Twould have been glorious.

Re:Superconducting Supercollider (1)

Axalon (919693) | more than 6 years ago | (#22470564)

They should have worked on a button [wikiquote.org] instead.

MUCH better than the CERN tour... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22467402)

...which merely leaves you going in circles.

Though I suspect the taxi driver was padding the fare.

Man, those budget cuts are rough. (4, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467520)

I mean, that whole pictorial is just screen captures from Halflife.

Re:Man, those budget cuts are rough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22469258)

You know, every time I see pictures of the LHC at CERN, I can't help but think how cool it would be to see it recreated as part of Half-Life 2: Episode 3. Of course, with Episode 2 already out (haven't played it yet), I'd imagine Episode 3 is already well under way and the plot largely nailed down.

Hmm...*ponders time committment of a 3rd party mod*

Enjoyed the tour... (1)

eecue (605228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467532)

Thanks for the link! I really enjoyed the tour and can't wait to go back to shoot the SCLS... now that is going to be bad ass!

One question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22467546)

Did FERMI lab design the coils?

Not a dupe per se... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22467592)

But do check out this prior Slashdot thread:

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/09/168256 [slashdot.org]

Re:Not a dupe per se... (2, Informative)

eecue (605228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467646)

Yeah that was also an interesting article, my photo editor pointed it out to me after we had wrapped up the captioning process. I think we saw a somewhat different side of SLAC (although we got the klystron gallery shot of course)

Cool now I can see how accurate my story is (0, Flamebait)

An dochasac (591582) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467602)

I interviewed for a job once at SLAC, but barely remember enough of it to know if the beginnings of my my short story [storymash.com] featuring SLAC are vaguely accurate. It seems that they were using Amiga computers when I was there and searching for the W particle.

I don't know, I suppose it is the 0 dimensional particle thought to exist at the core of Bush's brain?

Take that, Berkeley! (2, Funny)

gillbates (106458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467632)

Our accelerator is longer.

Re:Take that, Berkeley! (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22468886)

But the ALS is more useful.

AND the dont have a fucking tree as a mascot.

Re:Take that, Berkeley! (1)

Btarlinian (922732) | more than 6 years ago | (#22469224)

But the ALS is more useful.
I'm not a Stanford person, so I agree with the tree comment. But synchrotron radiation was first put to use at SLAC. The ALS would not exist were it not for the initial work done at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lab. (which still exists and is used in scientific work, just like the ALS) Besides if you read the summary you would know that the LCLS is essentially a outrageously fast (femtosecond pulses) x-ray laster that's billions of times brighter than the ALS.

Re:Take that, Berkeley! (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22472478)

Well, i am a physicist, and i have used the several synchrotrons for research.

While FELs are able to create light pulses billion times more brilliant, they are not brighter.
In fact, for most experiments, this creates more problems than solutions:
- XPS is near impossible because of the high charge density of the ionisation cloud (acceleration after emission warps the whole spectra)
- tomography suffers from the destructive pulse behaviour (few application outside molecular tomography have simple enough systems that can be used with a single pulse)
- energy range is very limited: X-ray FELs barely scatch was usually defined as "soft" x-rays. On synchrotrons, you can easitly get into the high keV range (even at a small one, like the als).
- for many application you need brightness, not brilliance (XES/RIXS comes to mind): While FELS have a higher peak flux (during those short pulses), the total photons/s is not higher (or even lower) than on a undulator beamline.
- Also, because of nonlinear effects depending on the flux density, the SASE principle used in all modern X-ray FELS is less than perfect: There is no way to determin the pulse strenghts of the micropulses in the the macrobunch: you either get a muddy integration, or you need electronics the discern those ns seperated pulses.
-Also, an FEL is basically a single user application, while the ALS has a douzend insertion devices plus the dipol beamlines in parallel use.

While i _like_ the FEL principle (its simple and elegant), the way stuff like "billion times brighter" is thrown around is more than just missleading.

Re:Take that, Berkeley! (1)

doxology (636469) | more than 6 years ago | (#22469926)

Hey, at least we don't have people living in trees...

though pointless (3, Funny)

Programmer_In_Traini (566499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467648)

although it is pointless, i cant resist the urge to mention this would make a perfect death ray machine in a james bond movie.

I'm also pretty sure it would make a cooler death ray than a linear accelerator, which, when you look at it, serves no purpose in world domination.

lastly but not least, the controls looks like the computers salvaged from the "2001 - a space odyssey" mission.

Re:though pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22470722)

SLAC _IS_ a linear accelerator. 'S'tanford 'L'inear 'A'ccelerator 'C'enter.

Don't worry. (1)

Thirdsin (1046626) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467682)

Sarah Connor is on her way to deal with this "machine." The future is safe. The End.

Bong? (4, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467688)

Ladies and gentalmen, I give you the worlds most advanced bong... [wired.com]

Re:Bong? (2, Funny)

Prefader (1072814) | more than 6 years ago | (#22468020)

Score:4, Interesting?! The mods must be hi . . . oh.

mine is longer... (1)

jmil (782329) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467696)

... and SLACware is back!

Microwave ovens do *NOT* have a klystron inside. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22467706)

Picture 8 has a description that starts with: "Your microwave oven has a klystron inside" which is wrong. All modern microwave ovens have a cavity magnetron inside not a klystron.

Re:Microwave ovens do *NOT* have a klystron inside (4, Interesting)

arminw (717974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22468572)

......a cavity magnetron inside not a klystron......

Indeed correct, but each these klystrons has a large magnet associated with it. Also, there are only about 400 of them, not 4000 as in the article. SLAC never did much with protons, as was stated, but accelerates and collides anti-electrons, commonly called positrons with electrons. In the beginning, the electrons however were all directed against fixed targets.

The accelerator is perfectly STRAIGHT but not level. The injector end is about 50 feet higher than the target end. So, the Klystron Gallery does have a slope also.

I was there in the group at the ground breaking. Starting down on the Stanford University campus, I participated in the design and construction of power and control systems for magnets in the beam switch yard. We all had big celebration in 1967, upon getting an electron beam all the way through that 3/4 inch 2 mile long hole in that copper pipe. Sigh.... those were the days.....

Thank you for a new excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22468606)

You : "I would like to return the microwave I bought"

Salesman : "Why?"

You : "Apparently the model I got had a cavity magnetron instead of a klystron"

Salesman : 'lack of fitting retort', head explodes.

Crazy tag (2, Insightful)

Yoweigh116 (185130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467742)

What is up with this crazy tag attached to the story?

songofthetwomilelinearparticleacceleratorstanforduniversity
Doesn't it defeat the purpose of a tagging system entirely if every article has unique tags?

Re:Crazy tag (2, Funny)

treeves (963993) | more than 6 years ago | (#22468206)

Not unique - there's always the dupes!

Re:Crazy tag (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22479006)

You mean you still have tags on? Have you ever actually searched on a tag, or otherwise found them remotely useful on slashdot?

They missed the most important part... (1)

Ultimate Heretic (1058480) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467802)

Alas, Wired failed to photograph the most massive movement at the lab, namely the large number of laid off scientists being ejected in the next two months. You can thank our wonderful congressional members for cutting the budget at SLAC, so enjoy the view while it is still there.

Re:They missed the most important part... (1)

eecue (605228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22468144)

As it turns out, that is a hard one to photograph! I'll try harder next time.

Working at SLAC (5, Interesting)

c0d3r (156687) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467834)

I worked at slac for some 6 months and i remember them telling me they solved the big bang during the interview and they could see sub atomic particles visually. It was a pretty cool place, with posters from the 60's all over the place that had been there since the 60's. I actually worked with the guy who made the first cgi-script web page and he was telling me about mosaic how you had to cut and paste the link into the location adress instead of clicking on it. There was also a very weird office with all kinds of interesting old posters and I remember a book titled "quantum mechanics" by messiah. They also had a room labeled "Retire" that had a bed in it for taking naps, of which I did utilize. Seems as if they fill up an oracle grid cluster full of data from the detectors and mine the data to figure out how it all works. They were the slowest most laid back people I've ever seen. Just getting a white board installed was a long process that went through the carpentry department. I found it interesting how the buildings are laided out as the computing center is between the cooling tower and cryogenics. When they were upgrading the hvac systems the computing center looked like one big computer with huge manual fans at each entrance and we weren't allowed to move fans without the permission of the HVAC people. Also we'd always seem to know when power outages were going to happen ahead of time. I think SLAC uses more of California's power than anywhere else (some 1/16 or more) and they have the fastest interntet connection in the world, but at the desktop its a slow 10MB.
M

Re:Working at SLAC (2, Interesting)

arminw (717974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22468790)

.......Also we'd always seem to know when power outages were going to happen ahead of time........

That's because the computer building is fed from the same beam switchyard power substation. Often when the large power supplies that ran the big magnets needed maintenance or reconfiguring for new experiments, they had to kill the feed to that substation.

On hot summer days, the accelerator was often shut down, so the silicon valley air conditioners could still run. I believe the wind tunnels at NASA/Ames in Mt. View could suck up more peak power, but SLAC was definitely champion in the number of megawatt hours consumed because it ran many more hours.

I still remember the day TWO big semi-trucks came and we all watched them haul the IBM 90 mainframe to the recycling center. They then had 370s to take their place. Now, an iPhone has more computing capability.

Re:Working at SLAC (1)

AaronW (33736) | more than 6 years ago | (#22469856)

According to a friend of mine who worked at Nasa he said the wind tunnels drew many megawatts of power and they had their own direct supply from the utilities.

Poor Johnny! (2, Insightful)

DoctorSVD (884269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22467958)

Am I the only one who feels that the authors treated Johnny on a callous and cruel manner?

Re:Poor Johnny! (1)

eecue (605228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22468194)

Sorry, I have a bad habit I'm not proud of. I'm a robot taunter.

Re:Poor Johnny! (1)

jftitan (736933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22468304)

No... Poor Jonny was all happy and waiting, and then no tape.

  I think the tape robot should have rebelled. SkyNet FTW. oh wait... nm...

Richard Feynman Was There (5, Interesting)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 6 years ago | (#22468030)

Feynman used to visit his sister in neighboring Palo Alto. He dropped by SLAC one day, "just to snoop around" and by chance, was shown a graph that no one quite knew what to make of. It was somewhat bell-shaped but the parameters that had gone into its construction were obscure - the only one who had a good handle on it was Bjorken and few were smart enough to understand what he was saying. Besides, he was just a grad student speaking in terms of current algebra, a language few understood at the time. The experimenters were hoping Feynman could explain the graph's significance.

Feynman looked at the curve, went back to his motel for the night and came back the next day thoroughly excited because he'd deciphered the curve. The curve was showing the momentum transfer that occurred when the electrons coming out of the accelerator slammed into the quarks at the atom's core. He described the point-like quarks as looking like slow moving pancakes due to the electron's relativistic speed.

That accidental encounter broke a mental logjam at SLAC and enabled them to get a handle on what their new machine was producing - evidence that the quark was real. Up until that point, most of them had been in Murray Gellman's thrall. Gellman had insisted that quarks were mathematical scaffolding that didn't have any physical counterparts. Feynman's insight at SLAC proved otherwise and gave the experimenters mental hooks that enabled them to figure out what was going on with their machine.

Feynman later said the Bjorken and he were saying the same thing - he had just chosen different words to express the idea.

Re:Richard Feynman Was There (2, Informative)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471442)

For the benefit of those who think "Dolly" when they hear "Parton", the parent artice is presumably talking about the parton model [wikipedia.org] , devised by Feynman to explain some high-energy collision results; as the article says, eventually the partons Feynman talked about were identified with the quarks [wikipedia.org] that Gell-Mann [wikipedia.org] and Zweig [hhttp] proposed, and the gluons [wikipedia.org] that bind them together in hardons^Whadrons [wikipedia.org] . (Oh, and "Bjorken" is James Bjorken [wikipedia.org] .)

Scientists and cable management? (1)

FreakerSFX (256894) | more than 6 years ago | (#22468124)

It often looks like some of the parts of these things are just cobbled together....wires and tubes left dragging everywhere....most people who work in data centers would get fired or at least tuned-up for being that sloppy with cables that are arguably a lot less important.

For the billions they spend on this stuff, I'd figure they could afford a little bit for tidying it up. Still - impressive pictures...

Re:Scientists and cable management? (2, Insightful)

arminw (717974) | more than 6 years ago | (#22468862)

.....wires and tubes left dragging everywhere.........

Keep in mind that these are short term experiments, not long term, installations. The more permanent parts of the accelerator itself are much more orderly, just as in a good data center.

Re:Scientists and cable management? (1)

darenw (74015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22479260)

In cutting-edge physics labs, it is important not to wiggle cables around. When i worked at SLAC back in the 80s, i knew people who calibrated cables for beam position monitors and other instruments. Every cable and its measured parameters had to be entered into a database. Yegads, i have no idea what kind of databases anyone used back then ((shudders)). Anyway, bending a cable around to be "neat" would have fricked up its capacitance etc. slightly. Anyone who has ever worked in an audio recording studio knows about "microphonic" cables - same thing there, except with far finickier standards. So just leave that rat's nest as-is.

Weird Tags (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22468230)

[+] science, technology, lookicanmakemytaglongerthananyotheraslongasitypeuptothelimit, itssodanotpop, songofthetwomilelinearparticleacceleratorstanforduniversity (tagging beta)

Do I have to submit a few stories as "I Don't Believe in Ridiculous Tags" to make a point, or will this behavior self-correct before then?

A few corrections... (2, Insightful)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22468480)

Scientists at the Stanford Linear Accelerator...are currently amassing the first scientific evidence that there is more matter than antimatter in the universe

That is just plain wrong. They are studying CP violation which is the difference between matter and anti-matter this might help to explain the huge excess of matter over antimatter that astronomers already observe in the Universe but it is known the the effects we understand today with B and K mesons (which is what they are studying) cannot explain it by itself.

Secondly they are NOT the first to observe CP violation by a long shot. It was first discovered in Kaons by Christenson, Cronin, Fitch and Turlay at Brookhaven in 1964 a discovery for which they won the Nobel prize.

Re:A few corrections... (1)

eecue (605228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22469542)

Thanks the intro will be updated when my editor comes to work tomorrow.

Re:A few corrections... (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 6 years ago | (#22471564)

They are studying CP violation which is the difference between matter and anti-matter

Well, perhaps more precisely, it's the difference between matter and anti-matter as a whole - the difference between a particular bit of matter and the particular corresponding bit of anti-matter is that their quantum numbers, such as charge, are inverted (so that, for example, a particle with charge N has an anti-particle with charge -N). It was originally thought that if you had some physical interaction between particles, and you replaced all particles with their anti-particles, you'd get the same interaction (modulo flipping all the charges) - and that if you had some interaction between particles, and you reversed all three dimensions in a mirror, you'd again get the same interaction (modulo flipping all the dimensions). However, that doesn't happen for weak interactions; you have to flip all the charges and mirror-reflect all the dimensions to get the same behavior.

And then they found that even doing that wasn't good enough - flipping the charges and mirror-reflecting all three dimensions doesn't do the job, either, which is what CP violation [wikipedia.org] refers to. You also have to run the interactions backwards in time to get them to work the same way. (If that doesn't work, cats and dogs start living together [wikipedia.org] . :-))

Wow (1)

fishthegeek (943099) | more than 6 years ago | (#22468512)

If that title doesn't screan Geek Porn I don't know what does!

Need input... (1)

Superpants (930409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22468904)

Johnny 5 IS alive!

SLAC to become SNLAC one day (1)

FrenchSilk (847696) | more than 6 years ago | (#22469822)

Every time I drive by SLAC on 280, I am reminded that the facility sits almost on top of one of the world's most violent and active fault systems. SLAC is only 3000 feet away from the San Andreas fault at its closest point and about 7000 feet at its farthest. If you go to this site [geology.com] , you can zoom in where Sand Hill Road intersects 280 and plainly see both SLAC and the fault line.

To see what happened to another linear structure as a result of an earthquake on the San Andreas, go here [exploratorium.edu] .

So, when SLAC becomes SNLAC, will there be collateral damage beyond losing a gazillion dollar investment and shutting down indefinitely numerous research projects and in-progress dissertations? Will there also be an environmental impact as the coolant lines break and containers of who-knows-what exotic materials spill their contents?

I wonder whose bright idea was it to build a huge linear accelerator almost on top of a known fault system in the first place?

Re:SLAC to become SNLAC one day (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 6 years ago | (#22470586)

I wonder whose bright idea was it to build a huge linear accelerator almost on top of a known fault system in the first place?

Valve Software's?

Re:SLAC to become SNLAC one day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22479200)

Does it cross the fault? No? Then what makes you think it's going to bend halfway? It will get shaken to hell and will have to shut down for a time while they check every inch of it, then it'll keep going.

Getting it built in the place where the scientists are has proved far more useful.

Re:SLAC to become SNLAC one day (1)

FrenchSilk (847696) | more than 6 years ago | (#22480556)

Fault lines are not linear and one-dimensional, as shown in the image. The line in the image runs down the center of, but does not define the width of the San Andreas fault zone. An earthquake with an epicenter anywhere near the SLAC could easily cause a break smack in the middle of the accelerator. And even if it doesn't break the accelerator the way the fence in Pt. Reyes broke, have no doubt that earth waves 1 meter in amplitude would completely destroy the unit, not to mention what waves 5 meters in amplitude, such as occurred in the earthquake that caused the great tsunami of 2004, would do.

Not sure about research specifics.... (1)

EridanMan (929065) | more than 6 years ago | (#22475314)

But I do know that SLAC serves as one hell of a distinctive VFR reporting point for the local General Aviation Community.

what about Cern? (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22476264)

It says this is the longest in the world but I'm pretty sure Cern in Switzerland is longer.

Re:what about Cern? (1)

eecue (605228) | more than 6 years ago | (#22476630)

CERN [web.cern.ch] is not a linear accelerator, it is ring shaped.

My first thought - fake! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22477536)

... this is not an advanced scientific instrument - the cabling is too neat.

But then, image 7 - tinfoil , hmmm .... image 9 - tinfoil jackpot .... and finally there it is, the proof I was wrong - image 10 - heaps of cable dumped under a bench. They've being tidying up for the cameraman haven't they!
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>