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Science

LHC Reaches Record Energy 347

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the spinning-and-spinning dept.
toruonu writes "Yesterday evening the Large Hadron Collider at CERN for the first time accelerated protons in both directions of the ring to 1.18 TeV. Even though the 1 TeV barrier per beam was first broken a week ago, this marks the first time that the beam was in the machine in both directions at the same time, allowing possibly for collisions at a center of mass energy of 2.36 TeV. Although the test lasted mere minutes, it was enough to have detectors record the very first events at 2.36 TeV. LHC passes Tevatron (the particle collider at Fermilab that operates at 1.96 TeV) and becomes the highest energy particle collider in the world (so far it was effectively just the highest energy storage ring...)"
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LHC Reaches Record Energy

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  • Higgs (Score:4, Informative)

    by toruonu (1696670) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:23AM (#30377220)
    The most optimistic scenario for Higgs discovery would take a few years of running. But there are plenty of other theories to test that can show their first signs already after a few months of running in physics configuration (7 TeV or 10 TeV energy that'll probably be around in January/February). Things like supersymmetry, lepton flavor violation etc.
  • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:41AM (#30377400) Homepage

    The amount of power they used in mere minutes during this experiment could have powered millions of homes and businesses for a significantly longer period of time.

    About a minute worth of googling shows that the site draws a peak load of about 180 MW when it's running, of which about 120 MW is for the LHC itself. And it doesn't run all the time.

    Typical homes are about 2 kW or so, give or take, so that's hardly enough to power "millions of homes and businesses".

    Population of Europe is abour 830 million, by the way, so LHC represents approximately zero percent of the energy consumption of Europe (to two significant figures).

  • by bucky0 (229117) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:41AM (#30377404)

    This is factually incorrect. At peak (experiment running, all detectors running, all computers processing), the LHC will consume 180 MW of energy. This includes all the energy used to heat offices, etc... The actual experiment uses ~22MW of power. It's not "sneeze-at" power consumption, but considering an average household uses ~1kW of power, and the fact the LHC is planned on being shutdown a significant fraction of the year, the assertion that you could power "millions of homes and businesses for a significantly longer period of time" is bogus.

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:42AM (#30377410) Homepage Journal

    they've put in an anti-Slashdot referer rule on those images - was there an original article so we don't have to copy & paste?

  • by toruonu (1696670) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:43AM (#30377430)
    The reason to collide particles coming in from opposite directions is from kinematics. If you shoot a 1 TeV beam at a fixed target you only get roughly 50 or GeV as the center of mass energy (if I remember right it's ca sqrt(2*m_proton*1000)). That square root is a bitch there. If you shoot them head on to each other at equal energy, then you have the full energy at your disposal. Any other configuration will only reduce the effective energy. If I remember right the LHC dipole magnets are created in such a way that they automatically accelerate particles in parallel beamlines in opposite directions if the particles are of the same charge so it's a nice feat allowing for best efficiency. However you have to understand that the particles are effectively for your local observation traveling at the speed of light. They make ca 11500 circuits every second and you have to keep them in orbit. At the same time the bunch is made up of same charge particles that all want to get away from each other. So the technical difficulty is controlling the magnets in sync with the beams to keep them going and if you have two beams going in opposite directions it just become tougher. Hence the slow testing in baby steps (though they are in general huge steps I'd say). In general I hope some accelerator engineer can chime in and explain the precise background.
  • by alephnull42 (202254) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:58AM (#30377590) Homepage Journal
    in standard media units
    - Two female mosquitos colliding at 1.652 km/h? http://lhc-machine-outreach.web.cern.ch/lhc-machine-outreach/lhc_glossary.htm [web.cern.ch]
    - An unladen African swallow falling off a grain of sand?
    - The calorific value of 1 cornflake unleashed over the space of a fortnight?
  • by bucky0 (229117) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @12:01PM (#30377632)

    To accelerate particles in opposite directions using the same magnetic field, you'd need to accelerate both positive and negative charged particles (positives go one way, negatives go the other), The Tevatron does this (protons one way, antiprotons the other). You only have to build one ring to contain the particles, but it's a tradeoff because you have to generate the anti-particles, which is an expensive process (basically, take regular particles, slam them into a fixed target and you get some % out the other side as antiparticles.).

  • by Vohar (1344259) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @12:04PM (#30377658)

    I did some digging but couldn't find an article on any "real" news sites. From Google it's showing on conspiracy sites, blogs, and social sites. Didn't find anything searching major news outlets.

    I'm guessing hoax at this point. I would think that the major news outlets would all be jumping to get on this first...unless they're just being cautious too, and want to fact-check first. ...though lack of fact-checking rarely stops US news...

  • Re:At 2.36TV... (Score:3, Informative)

    by mea37 (1201159) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @12:11PM (#30377702)

    Yeah... if only a volt (unit of electrical potential, symbol V) and an electron-volt [wikipedia.org] (unit of energy, symbol eV) were the same thing...

  • by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @12:17PM (#30377766) Homepage

    Why not try this Firefox extension: RefControl [mozilla.org]. You can set it to block the referer (equivalent to copying & pasting the URL) or, even better, set it to the URL you're visiting, which gets around attempts to block direct links. This is, as one of the commenters put it, "One of the essential addons for Firefox. "

  • by Rigrig (922033) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @12:24PM (#30377850) Homepage

    How about you click the link, get the error image, then press enter in the address bar?
    Works for me (firefox 3.5)

  • by mea37 (1201159) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @01:00PM (#30378222)

    "You guys aren't comparing apples to apples "

    Wrong. Comparing average power consumption is just as valid is comparing energy over a fixed time frame.

    "141304 average US residences able to be powered off the energy consumed by the LHC"

    Very similar to the result I posted, which should have tipped you off that your numbers are no better than mine. You used different estimates given in different units, but otherwise you're merely repeating the calcualtion that a number of us already did.

    The reason the numbers are slightly different (you actually estimated slightly less homes than I did, btw) is that I used different starting estimaets and rounded a bit more. Why did I do this? Because it was sufficient to disprove the original claim of 'millions of homes and businesses' and was a lot less work.

    In other words, you spent more effort to reach the same conclusion. In a discussion on efficiency. And then had the balls to claim the rest of us were doing it wrong.

    "during a regular usage month"

    And here you are factually wrong. Those estimates were for a peak utilization month.

  • Re:Still? (Score:2, Informative)

    by toruonu (1696670) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @01:08PM (#30378290)

    Do you guys even read the post? The news is the COLLISION. Not just accelerated beam in both directions, but also the fact that the beams collided head on in points 1 and 5 i.e. Atlas and CMS. Atlas even has a fancy picture of the di-jet event at 2.36 TeV center of mass energy. THAT is the new result. There have not been collisions at center of mass energies beyond 1.96 TeV, now there are, hence the new record.

    And with regard to following CERN twitter or not understanding physics, I'm actually a member of one of the LHC collaborations so I'd guess I do know something of this thing. I only linked here the public results, not that there would be THAT much more internally, but there's plenty to say that there were collisions.

  • by geckipede (1261408) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @01:44PM (#30378746)
    What makes you think that increasing temperatures will help to reverse desertification? Increased evaporation of water isn't going to change the lack of regular pressure changes over the equator that could cause more regular rainfall. What it is far more likely to do is cause heavier intermittent storm rain, of the type that overwhelms the land's ability to retain water and mostly just flows away. Colder regions nearer the poles may gain in agricultural productivity, but at the cost of farmland nearer the equator, and the equator covers far more land area.

    You might also want to look up ocean acidification by increased uptake of CO2, which is causing loss of coral reefs and threatening stability of fish as a food source.
  • by Steve Max (1235710) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @02:12PM (#30379058) Journal
    The LHC accelerates a huge bunch of particles (around 3x10^10 particles per bunch during the physics run) in each direction, and records their collisions. UHECRs come to the Earth at a rate of around one particle per square kilometer, per century. There is ~1000 times more energy in a single LHC bunch than on a single UHECR, and more energy running on it at a given moment than the whole UHECR flux on the planet.

    Also, you can't observe UHECR collisions. You don't know where they will collide in the atmosphere to put your ATLAS/CMS in position; and even if you could do so, recording a few events per year would be useless to do particle physics. We need a lot of events to be able to work statistically on them.

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