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LHC Fully Documented Online 239

Posted by kdawson
from the twenty-seven-kilometers-of-documentation dept.
Physicser writes "Want to read every single technical detail of the design and construction of the Large Hadron Collider and its six detectors? The whole shebang — seven reports totaling 1600 pages, 115 MB, with contributions from 8000 scientists and engineers — has been published electronically by the Journal of Instrumentation, free to read without a subscription."
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LHC Fully Documented Online

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  • Re:I would but.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Matt Edd (884107) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @12:31AM (#24747379)
    People should keep this kinda stuff in mind when bashing scientists (like intelligent design supporters, anti-vaccination people, and other alternative medicine supporters.) The experts in a field really are experts. The argument from authority fallacy only applies to people talking outside of their field.
  • Wait! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jd (1658) <imipak@noSPam.yahoo.com> on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @12:36AM (#24747405) Homepage Journal
    The LEGO Mindstorm version will be released any day now!
  • by jgeeky (974074) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @12:44AM (#24747473) Homepage
    Beautiful pun, if that was your intention. So far, I don't think the other posters have gotten it. It was glorious!
  • Re:I would but.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by polar red (215081) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @12:51AM (#24747519)

    or climate scientists ?

  • Re:I would but.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @02:01AM (#24747941) Homepage

    This is interesting, because this is exactly the sort of thing that Tim Berners Lee sought to avoid when he envisioned the semantic web.

    These papers and abstracts should be properly hyperlinked to other papers (or even a google search) to properly define what many of these terms mean. A lot of the jargon seems specific to either accelerator science, or even just the LHC.

    I am a physicist who has worked on accelerator applications, and could only barely understand that abstract. It's very poorly written, and makes a far too extensive use of very specific jargon/acronyms to be comprehensible to even a physicist that happens to not be affiliated with the LHC.

    Even an undergraduate should know better than to write an abstract like that. The general incomprehensibility, the use of extremely specific and unnecessary information ("±147 m and ±220 m from IP5") would be perfectly sufficient justification for a failing grade.

    I'm truly ashamed of my colleagues for writing this.

  • by bit01 (644603) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @02:13AM (#24748001)

    Are they mad? The work of thousands of scientists published on line for all to see. A reasonable generic copyright license. All downloadable.

    What about the poor deserving lawyers? Where is the DRM? The commercial propaganda about "IP"? The hundred page license? The attempts by assorted hangers on to profit at other people's expense?

    I think the lawyers should form a class action lawsuit for loss of income. It's just not right that somebody should be able to do something without numerous lawyers attached.

  • Re:I would but.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aztektum (170569) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @02:41AM (#24748107)

    They're nerds. What do you expect? We like to seem smart and lack social skills :)

  • by rasmack (808487) <<moc.gnarpekcam> <ta> <sumsar>> on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @03:06AM (#24748243)

    I am not in TOTEM (other side of the ring) but I understand the abstract just fine and consider it an immensely valuable contribution to the physics programme of the LHC.

    These weren't written to be read end to end by the layman. They were meant as reference publications for professionals. I don't know how I would have gotten through my ph.d. without publications like these. Where else do I get the exact layout of the ATLAS semi-conductor tracker? Where else do I look for the muon momentum resolution of CMS vs. ATLAS? I am sorry if you think that renders them incomprehensible but this is what we need.

  • Re:I would but.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Singularitarian2048 (1068276) on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @03:23AM (#24748327)

    What do you mean, the argument from authority fallacy only applies to people talking outside their field? I thought a main part of the spirit of science was a complete rejection of argument from authority in any form. If Richard Feynman himself showed up and told me something crazy about theoretical physics, I'd be like, "you fool, that's crazy."

    Perhaps I misunderstood you.

  • Re:I would but.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2@ g d a r g a u d . net> on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @04:58AM (#24748789) Homepage
    So basically this is not the complete LHC user's manual, but just some technical notes about TOTEM wich is part of CMS which is one of the 3 main detectors (with ALICE and ATLAS) and not even _part_ of the accelerator ring itself. 1600 pages is nothing for a project like that. The full documentation is available on an EDMS system that several orders of magnitude more.
  • Re:I would but.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday August 26, 2008 @11:00AM (#24751459) Homepage Journal

    If Richard Feynman himself showed up and told me something crazy about theoretical physics, I'd be like, "you fool, that's crazy."

    From what I've studied, everything in theoretical physics is crazy.

    Perhaps I misunderstood you.

    I think you're conflating issues. When you're in a field, it's your job to question everything the other experts in the field claim, especially when the claims are dramatic or unexpected. When you're not in a field and want to know something about it, then it's perfectly OK to use experts analysis as a baseline for further study.

    It's not OK to dismiss all the experts in that field as crackpots just because you don't understand what they're saying. For instance, if Feynman showed up and told me that there are charm quarks, then I'd be unjustified in dismissing him. That's what ID and anti-vaccine folks do all the time: reject all authority they disagree with. Call it "appeal to anti-authority".

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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