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Proton Beams Sent Around the LHC

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  • well... at least no killer blackholes were sent across the circumference, that's a good thing right?

    • Re:PROTON CANNON! (Score:4, Informative)

      by ae1294 (1547521) on Friday November 20, 2009 @06:27PM (#30178636) Journal

      well... at least no killer blackholes were sent across the circumference, that's a good thing right?

      No... but there was a resonance cascade failure.

    • And they were sure to kill any ghosts that were haunting the doomsday device.

      Let's just hope they never try to cross the beams...
    • Just curious, but why do they only smash protons and not neutrons? Is it because the proton has a charge and thus can be flung around by the magnets? I mean if they are looking for elusive particles like the Higgs, I would think it would more likely be held inside a neutron rather than a proton.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Alwinner (1576143)
        Charged particles can be accelarated in an electromagnetic field, but uncharged particles (like neutrons) cannot.
      • Everybody hates Protons. Neutrons are the cool bits.

      • by Idiomatick (976696) on Friday November 20, 2009 @07:41PM (#30179640)
        For a guy with planck in his name you really need to read up on particle physics A neutron is udd, a proton is uud. Nothing special there, one is magnetic though.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particle_physics [wikipedia.org]
        • Thanks ok so if the only difference is one is udd and the other is uud, then the "mass" in each is the same I suppose. And each would contain roughly the same exotic particles as the other. Maybe I'm just caught up in the god particle frenzy. I should stick to trying to understand string theory instead.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by bucky0 (229117)

            Because we can control protons (and other charged particles) with electric/magnetic fields. We don't have a way to steer (and accelerate) neutrons (well, there are neat little tricks, but none of them are as powerful).

          • by KingOfTheDustBunnies (125196) on Friday November 20, 2009 @09:56PM (#30180978)

            so if the only difference is one is udd and the other is uud, then the "mass" in each is the same I suppose.

            Very nearly. The mass of the proton is 938 MeV; the neutron is 939 MeV. And the physics at a proton-neutron or neutron-neutron collider would be very similar to that at a proton-proton collider. But neutrons are neutral, as you and others have pointed out, and therefore much more difficult to accelerate.

            Now you could imagine a collider with a stationary neutron target and a high-energy proton beam. But remember that what you get out depends on the energy as measured in the center-of-mass frame of the colliding particles. To reach the LHC design energy of 14 TeV, you can collide two protons, each with an energy of 7 TeV in the lab frame, or you can collide a neutron at rest and a proton with an energy of ... excuse me while I dig out my TI-85 ... 104 PeV. Holy cow. I don't think anyone here has any idea how to get a 100-PeV beam in a working collider experiment, and I'm sure we don't have the money. So protons it is.

            And each would contain roughly the same exotic particles as the other.

            I think there's a misconception here. Protons (and neutrons) don't "contain" Higgs bosons, or W and Z bosons, or top quarks, or high-pT jets, or any of the other interesting things that we see at the Tevatron and will see at the LHC. These things are created from the kinetic energy of the two colliding protons. But otherwise yes, if you could find a way to build a neutron collider, you'd see pretty much the same stuff as at a proton collider of the same energy.

            Oh, and I must rant:

            Please don't call it the "God particle". This unfortunate nickname was coined as a marketing ploy and is not apt. Physicists do not call it the God particle. Reporters call it the God particle. And the main result is that people become confused, frightened, or angry.

            I'm tempted to point out that if you're interested in a theory describing the universe we happen to live in, the Higgs boson is far more likely to be relevant than string theory. But maybe I should leave that discussion for another thread.

            • Oh, and I must rant:

              Please don't call it the "God particle". This unfortunate nickname was coined as a marketing ploy and is not apt. Physicists do not call it the God particle. Reporters call it the God particle. And the main result is that people become confused, frightened, or angry.

              (sighs) Only in America...

        • by mako1138 (837520)

          You mean one is charged, right? They both have a magnetic moment.

        • >For a guy with planck in his name you really need to read up on particle physics

          ironically, that's the exact opposite of the advice given to Planck [wikipedia.org]:

          The Munich physics professor Philipp von Jolly advised Planck against going into physics.

      • by 0xygen (595606)

        Presumably you can still hit static neutrons with the proton beam?

      • by stevelinton (4044)

        There are plans to accelerate (and collide) lead and possibly uranium nuclei. These would include neutrons as well as protons.

    • This proton cannon has no power. You must construct a pylon near it.

  • Oh, wait, wrong show (or was that a LHC around the disc of the Enterprise??!?)

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by chibiace (898665)

      we could generate a quantum polyatomic matter field to polarize the flux capacitance of the deflector dish so that the proton beam becomes stabilized enough to generate the neutron osmosis type VI black hole

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by click2005 (921437) *

      quark smashing across the LHC
      on the LEP collider looking for the higgs
      quark smashing across the LHC
      only smashing protons cos we cant find bosons

      theres ATLAS and the CMS, ALICE and LHCb
      looking for dark matter and super symmetry

      quark smashing across the LHC
      on the LEP collider looking for the higgs
      quark smashing across the LHC
      only smashing protons cos we cant find bosons

      theres gluons on the starboard bow but no signs of dark energy
      fundamental forces and its link to weak gravity

      quark smashing across the LHC
      on t

  • by mmell (832646) <mike.mell@gmail.com> on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:44PM (#30177904)
    They still have many engineering challenges to complete before the LHC can start looking for the Higgs Boson.

    Assuming it exists. After all, this is an experiment designed to determine the accurace of a theory, not to confirm it.

    Of course, I believe they'll find it. My wife goes to 'mass' every weekend; I'm assuming that's where Higgs particles come from? I wouldn't know, as I haven't gone. You could describe me as 'massless'. :)

    • by jonbryce (703250) on Friday November 20, 2009 @06:17PM (#30178474) Homepage

      I prefer the hypothesis that some greater being is actively trying to sabotage the collider for our own protection. I know it is completely unscientific, and probably complete rubbish.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kjella (173770)

        Personally I hope the LHC gets up to full power and running at the latest by the end of 2011, so I can sigh and say "Whatever, wasn't the world supposed to end last year too when the LHC went online? This is getting ridiculous..." If they are delayed into 2012, the conspiracy nuts will align and we'll never hear the end of it (until 2013 anyway).

      • by bar-agent (698856)

        I prefer the hypothesis that some greater being is actively trying to sabotage the collider for our own protection. I know it is completely unscientific, and probably complete rubbish.

        The "greater being" part, yes. That that collider is sabotaged for our protection is more-or-less plausible. It's more like, we happen to be in a universe that is consistently winning games of Russian Roulette. In other universes, they didn't have any issues starting the LHC, it accidentally the entire universe, and they got w

        • by TempeTerra (83076)

          In other universes, they didn't have any issues starting the LHC, it accidentally the entire universe, and they got wiped from creation.

          I think a micro black hole ate your verb ;)

          I'm reminded of a side story in a Charles Stross novel - Singularity Sky I think. Humans discovered that causality violation was actually possible and not that hard, cue intervention from mysterious advanced beings and the message "Don't fuck around with causality in our reverse light cone. OR ELSE." Further attempts at causality v

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        I prefer the hypothesis that some greater being is actively trying to sabotage the collider for our own protection. I know it is completely unscientific, and probably complete rubbish.

        I thought it was scientists from the future travelling back in time to stop the machine that obliterated the entire universe, including those future scientists...oh, wait.

    • Umm well kind of, its an experiment to confirm the existence of the higgs if it does exist and to probe the physics of electroweak symmetry breaking (i.e find whatever else is causing the higgs mechanism) if it doesn't. I mean determining that the existence of a higgs particle is an accurate theory is the same as determining its existence give or take some philisophical arguments about existance.
    • They still have many engineering challenges to complete before the LHC can start looking for the Higgs Boson.

      Well, that's a big relief! Wait... Boson? Oh. Never mind.

      • I found him!

        Scientists around the world cheered triumphantly learning their efforts weren't in vain as they found the elusive 'G-d' particle. Or so they thought. Early this morning a lab technician noticed a flaw in the work, having double and triple checked it seems the ticker tape parades need be canceled. The particle they found was in fact a HiggsBison particle which is of no redeeming value. We have M. Bison here now.

        April O'Neil: How does it feel disappointing so many people around there world? And

    • Yes that is where it comes from, that's why they call it the god particle.
  • by Kenja (541830) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:46PM (#30177934)
    Come on, you know someone did it...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:46PM (#30177944)

    I was planning on getting really drunk on December 20th 2012, but maybe I'll get drunk tonight because obviously the earth will disappear tomorrow at 0600GMT

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:50PM (#30178016)

    Engineers do not yet have a stable circulating beam but they hope to byNO UNIVERSE

  • Real-time Updates (Score:5, Informative)

    by SMQ (241278) on Friday November 20, 2009 @05:51PM (#30178048)
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Also more real-time technical details
      http://op-webtools.web.cern.ch/op-webtools/vistar/vistars.php?usr=LHC1

  • Wow (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I heard that LHC is being sabotaged from the future by parallel universes. Cool, neat. Let's all marvel at this idea and give 5, Interesting to this comment for no good fucking reason

  • Is there anybody else out there, or am I alone in my own micro black hole?
  • It's just an ordinary particle beam. But watch out, because that's no ordinary particle beam!
  • I *was* going to go see a movie on Monday, but since we're all going to be sucked into a black hole of oblivion, that plan is out the window.

    On a positive note, I don't have to worry about those credit card bills now.

    • by juhaz (110830)

      Oh, don't be ridiculous, everyone knows the blackhole is so small it's going to take at least a few weeks to devour the Earth. Might even be months, so better take care of those bills too.

      • by jamesh (87723)

        If the LHC doesn't kill us now, the Sun will eventually devour the earth anyway in a few million years. Paying those bills does seem pretty pointless.

  • by pitu (983343)
    proton beam!
  • It's the end of the world people!
  • by czarangelus (805501) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (sutepai)> on Friday November 20, 2009 @06:14PM (#30178434)
    Won't you all have egg on your faces when the LHC opens the Abyss from Revelations and the Beast and false prophet are able to materialize on the Earth for the first time in ages? The Nephilim from the Old Testament have been psychically manipulating the power elites of Earth in order to secure funding for this demonic Stargate. Source: Satan's Star Gate [youtube.com]

    I love all these romantic theories about alien or demonic invasion. Sadly, I think that neither that will happen nor will any new particles be discovered. RE: The Tao of Physics - we find what we're looking for in the act of looking for it. Or to paraphrase Eris - the more attention I pay to the number five the more places I see it!!
    • by Sannish (803665)

      Sadly, I think that neither that will happen nor will any new particles be discovered.

      Not finding anything new with the LHC will actually be quite an exciting result in and of itself. Mostly it will tell us that our current theories of particle physics are wrong.

  • by Nautical Insanity (1190003) on Friday November 20, 2009 @06:37PM (#30178786)

    this time around. I have a physics prof who's part of the project. Part of our lecture on superconductivity was dedicated to the catastrophic malfunction. There's nothing that conveys the epic nature of the failure like technical language.

    According to my professor, they were in too much of a rush to get the thing started they didn't fully test the whole thing. One of the superconducting junctions quenched (transitioned from superconductive to non-superconductive states due to the 7-8 Tesla magnetic field), necessitating the dispersal of IIRC 1500 A of current. This turned insulating copper into plasma which breached the chamber wall and caused the explosive vaporization of 2 tons of liquid helium into the accelerating chamber.

    Long story short, it's a very large, complicated, and expensive machine. They'd better sure everything works this time.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Uhh, it broke DURING a test. Your professor is wrong when he says that they didn't test it enough, since it was a test that actually caused the malfunction

      • If they skipped over other tests that should have been performed before this test in order to prevent potential breakage, then the professor was right - they didn't do enough testing.
    • First thing is that they did not need to test "everything" to get it started. When you have 450 GeV protons in the ring, you dont need 7-8 Tesla magnetic field... So they got it started because they could and decided that they can test the high magnetic field setting later.
      Second: The incident happened as they *were* testing it in a break from the low energy collisions schedule.
      Third: It was more like 6 tons of helium...

      But OK, you've got most of the story right.
  • by failedlogic (627314) on Friday November 20, 2009 @06:45PM (#30178902)

    Where can I buy a Delorean they are hard to find nowadays? I'm working on the flux gapacitor. I'm adding Nitro to the car so I can go 88 mph in no time and the source of the 1.21 gigawatts is easy for me to get. Its just that darn Delorean. I don't think my Honda Civic will work. Screw it, I'm going to steal a Ferrari.

    • when I was a kid, we used to call them flux condensers, and gosh darn it was quite the challenge to get a studebaker up to 88 cubits per centon.

  • Awesome! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RepelHistory (1082491) on Friday November 20, 2009 @07:07PM (#30179184)
    I can't wait to see what causes it to malfunction this time!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 20, 2009 @07:17PM (#30179318)

    Well, they were successful, here's a picture:

    http://fox.nncdn.com/nn/0/142/729/324435.jpg [nncdn.com]

    No problems whatsoever.

    • by Mike Van Pelt (32582) on Friday November 20, 2009 @08:07PM (#30179936)

      Ha ha, funny guy.

      They've set up some webcams so you can watch what's going on at the LHC for yourself.

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

      • LOL someone mod this guy up, that is awesome.

      • Yeah well... Sorry to spoil it, but that only works for non-physicists. Everybody with half a brain knows that it would grow exponentially, and not first pop to a size, and then slow down to steady growing, then suddenly jump to a bigger size just when the first camera dies, to then slow down to a faster, but still steady pace. ^^

        In reality, it would be more like: 2nd second: LHC, 3rd second: city. 4th second: planet.
        The problem of course being, that when it gets slower and slower, the closer you get to the

    • Splash events from the ATLAS experiment, from beam hitting an upstream collimator, can be seen here [web.cern.ch] (updated regularly). The plan is to have low energy collisions within a week to help test the detectors. Accelerating the beams, in preparation for high energy collisions, will happen next year (so no black holes until then!). More details are available from the LHC commissioning [web.cern.ch] and status pages [web.cern.ch]. There is even a CERN tweet [twitter.com] available for all you twits.
    • Due to the laws of quantum physics, we will continue to exist in a time line that doesn't see destruction. I am happy to be safe. Now the other branched realities, they are so screwed!

  • On the luck check needed to beat the universe. :P

"Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." -- "Ali Baba Bunny" [1957, Chuck Jones]

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