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LHC Reaches Over One Trillion Electron Volts 305

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The LHC has become the world's highest-energy particle accelerator, weighing in at over one trillion electron volts. "Until now the LHC had been operating at a relatively low energy of 450 billion electron volts. On Sunday, engineers increased the energy of this 'pilot beam,' reaching 1.18 trillion electron volts at 2344 GMT. The previous record of 0.98 trillion electron volts has been held by the Tevatron accelerator since 2001. The LHC is eventually expected to operate at some seven trillion electron volts."
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LHC Reaches Over One Trillion Electron Volts

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  • by furby076 (1461805) on Monday November 30, 2009 @02:57PM (#30272708) Homepage
    The article asks this question fairly often and this is important. While testing is key and we need to make sure the systems are working properly (and will hopefully not break) the team at LHC needs to step it up a notch. Waiting this long to get to this test, and waiting another year to get to the 7.5TEVL and none of these are to do science. It's very disappointing to the science community (who at least understand the reasoning) but extremely disappointing to the rest of the world who can't fathom why something so expensive, with such a long development time...still has not provided any research.
  • by reginaldo (1412879) on Monday November 30, 2009 @03:05PM (#30272786)
    So I understand that more energy means faster moving protons and anti-protons. How does this equivocate to finding, say, the Higgs-Boson more easily?

    I understand that particles moving at 99.91% c are going to be observable for a longer period of time due to the Lorentz factor, but is that the sole benefit of this massive energy upgrade? Anyone have recommended reading for me?
  • by furby076 (1461805) on Monday November 30, 2009 @03:13PM (#30272892) Homepage
    I agree, science is not about instant gratification but science has to start at some point. LHC project started before:2004 (this was a date i found where parts were shipped, had a hard time finding an actual start date). LHC project was finished the build, and went live: Sept 2008 (first live fire). The LHC project has not started a scientific study as of November 2009. So how much patience do we need to start experimentation, let alone completing it, publishing the raw findings, analyzing the raw findings, and the coming out with some results?

    To AC about my first post and reading it - the regime is 3 raw eggs daily, 2 hours of gym daily, 1 hour of sex daily, and reading the article hours before it was posted to /. and coincidentally going to /. just as the article posted :)
  • by Dystopian Rebel (714995) * on Monday November 30, 2009 @03:16PM (#30272950) Journal

    I've translated the orders of magnitude in the article into a more conventional form:

    1 trillion electron volts = 1 TeV
    1 billion electron volts = 1 GeV

    Is that a French billion or an American billion?

  • by reginaldo (1412879) on Monday November 30, 2009 @03:20PM (#30272982)
    Thanks for the response! Not to sound like a 3 year old, but why? Wouldn't length contraction cancel out the effects of time dilation.
  • LHC For Dummies? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 30, 2009 @03:22PM (#30273012)

    Is there an "LHC for dummies" out there somewhere?

    Obviuosly this beast is muy importante to science so I'd like to have a better grasp of exactly what in the heck it's doing and how but I don't have the time to get a graduate degree in particle physics this week.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 30, 2009 @03:24PM (#30273038)

    The earth has been destroyed yet by the LHC you can check at

  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Monday November 30, 2009 @03:29PM (#30273110) Homepage Journal

    When does the Science ever begin with a particle accelerator project? What do you define as science? They are now crashing particles faster than the Tevatron (as is the subject of the article) and have taken the title of "most powerful particle accelerator". Will this yield results different from what the Tevatron has seen for the past few years? We won't know until it happens. Will the LHC quickly ramp up to 7 TeV? We won't know until it happens. Will anything come of the data produced when it runs at 7 TeV? Again, we won't know until it happens. Considering how much time and money has been spent we should expect the odds are really good that some unique science will come of it some day, but to say that a decade long project is going too slowly because full power won't be reached for another year seems a little short sighted.

  • by physburn (1095481) on Monday November 30, 2009 @03:46PM (#30273340) Homepage Journal
    Its a slow ramp up of energies. The LHC has already been doing a few collisions at 450 GeV, here see here [], but since the injection energy to the ring 450 GeV, the LHC wasn't doing any acceleration at all there. The 1 TeV milestone show the LHC is in good working order, and the'll be increasing the energy in steps, the few 14 TeV might not be until 2011, it will run at 10 TeV instead for most of 2010 barring any more mishaps and do good physics. CERN have said the'll need to retrofit new quenching mechanisms (safety features for if the superconducting magnets get to hot and cease to superconduct), before they can run at the few 14 TeV. Although it might seem like a shame not to be running at full energy, the Higgs particles are expectable to be of mass 120-190 GeV, what CERN needs to find the Higgs is not high energy but high luminosity, large statistics on a lot of collisions. So the lower energy isn't going to stop the Higgs boson discovery. Supersymmetric particles could have any mass or not exist at all, but the losing the 10-14 TeV range, won't make much difference to begin with.


    LHC [] Feed @ Feed Distiller []

  • Re:but where (Score:4, Interesting)

    by geckipede (1261408) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:50PM (#30276374)
    I didn't say every religion did it, however if you do want an example of the catholic church going against scientific findings, try the arguments over efficacy of condoms.
  • Re:but where (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tolkienfan (892463) on Monday November 30, 2009 @08:12PM (#30277486) Journal
    Galileo, Copernicus, Darwin, Hypatia... I don't think any of them claimed to know why.
  • by zevans (101778) <> on Monday November 30, 2009 @09:44PM (#30278220)

    Recommended reading: The God Particle by Leon Lederman. He was head of CERN for a while and won his Nobel prize for discovering the bottom/beauty quark at Fermilab. This is THE best book I've read on the topic. Just bear in mind that when he wrote it the SSC was going to be the next big project and LHC is largely fulfilling that role instead, as it turns out.

    The period of observation isn't really a factor, because one of the things that makes this tricky is that the heavier particles such as the hypothetical Higgs decay into something else very very quickly anyway.

    You don't observe these kinds of particles directly; you see the cascades of particles that they decay into pass through your detector, and then you prove that the only way that combination of particles could have appeared travelling in those directions is if they are the product of the hypothesised particle.

    This article [] talks about how Fermilab recently went through this process for a top quark, which is a pretty similar deal. The top quark is a heavy particle you won't see in most interactions until you get to some pretty big energy densities, just like the Higgs; the difference is the energies are somewhat lower, so Fermilab has got there already.

    CMS and ATLAS are both designed to ensure you detect EVERYTHING known that comes out of the collisions so you can also work out what went straight through your detectors, by looking at what energy has not been accounted for in what you picked up.

    Or, there might be a whole other bunch of particles produced at 7 TeV, and no Higgs at all; plenty of papers have been written on what you might expect to see instead. Other explanations for inertial mass are available.

  • Re:Greenhouse Gases (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 01, 2009 @02:37AM (#30280020)

    (* 2 for both beams)

    Note: this in the rest frame of the lab instruments surrounding the collision.

    If you really wanna bend your noodle, work out the apparent kinetic energy of the other beam from the perspective of a particle in the one beam that is using coordinates such that it is at rest and experiencing negligible acceleration. (It's easier if you pretend they do not experience electromagnetism -- it's too bad we don't have practical(!) neutron accelerators that can reach TeV/c^2 particle energies).

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp