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CERN LHC Reaches Its Goals For 2010 90

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the christmas-break-woohoo dept.
Anonymous Dupaeur writes "The goals for the first run of the most powerful particle collider (and the most energetic storage ring since ISR) were recently surpassing the 10^32 level of luminosity, with a destructive 15 MJ energy per-beam. This is a significant milestone, opening the way to collect more and more data. The current plan is to stop the proton collisions soon, and provide an ion (Pb) beam and conclude this year with a X-mass break. The next year is expected to bring at least one inverse femtobarn of data, which is achievable with such beam power. After that, the entire accelerator complex will be shut down for a year, due to budget costs for science in Europe."
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CERN LHC Reaches Its Goals For 2010

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  • X-mass? (Score:5, Funny)

    by suso (153703) * on Thursday October 14, 2010 @12:59PM (#33896616) Homepage Journal

    conclude this year with a X-mass break.

    Is that supposed to be some kind of punny joke?

    • Re:X-mass? (Score:5, Funny)

      by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @01:01PM (#33896656)

      conclude this year with a X-mass break.

      Is that supposed to be some kind of punny joke?

      It's just a subtle reminder to never cross the beams.

      • by suso (153703) *

        conclude this year with a X-mass break.

        Is that supposed to be some kind of punny joke?

        It's just a subtle reminder to never cross the beams.

        Its streams, not beams. Nice try though.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        what about cross beams?

      • It's just a subtle reminder to never cross the beams

        Yet another cross to bear

      • by zAPPzAPP (1207370)
        Does colliding beams head on count as crossing?
      • by f3rret (1776822)

        I thought crossing the streams was the whole point of the LHC.

        Well crossing the streams and bringing about the apocalypse.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      conclude this year with a X-mass break.

      Is that supposed to be some kind of punny joke?

      Yes? :)

      Later on they say The next year is expected to bring at least one inverse femtobarn of data. Barn is a unit of area. inverse femtobarn is collisions per that unit of area (10^-28 m. sq.) which is related to luminosity. The brighter the beam (ie, more crap in it that is focused properly) the brighter the luminosity, the more data you get.

      From, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barn_%28unit%29

      "It took Fermilab over a decade to achieve 1 /fb" (fb is femtobarn)

      And yes, physics like to make these little puns

    • If it was, I didn't even get it until you mentioned it.

      I don't know if that's the best kind of pun, or the very very worst...

  • The cost is too high to run next year. That is disappointing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      It seems like they could solicit money from the rest of the world since their studies benefit everyone. I'm sure someone smarter than me has thought of that already.
    • The article says 2012. Is it 2011 already? Did my nap take THAT long???

    • Re:Shutting down (Score:5, Informative)

      by the_other_chewey (1119125) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @01:52PM (#33897626)

      The cost is too high to run next year. That is disappointing.

      Bad reporting. The LHC has scheduled maintenance in 2012.

      However, CERN has more accelerators than just the LHC, and those will
      be shut down due to financial constraints. They don't do much cutting edge
      research anyway, so the science output is largely unaffected.

      Shutting down the LHC for other than technical reasons isn't planned at all.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by gbeagle2112 (1839198)
        The reason for the shutdown in 2012 is to replace the faulty interconnects (too high resistance) in the quench protection system (QPS) which caused the accident in fall 2008. With the interconnects they have now they can only run the magnets at less than nominal current and still have the QPS protect the magnets from damage if there is a quench. Once these are replaced, the LHC should be able to operate closer to the design beam energy.
    • by f3rret (1776822)

      Well as I understand it, it is not just because of budget constraints that the LHC is being shut down, I seem to recall there being a story here on /. about a number of upgrades being planned for the LHC over the next few years.

      Even so, the accelerator has produced a lot of data already, which needs to be processed by some theoreticians.

  • So you editors are going to go ahead and just post any old gibberish?

  • The next year is expected to bring at least one inverse femtobarn of data, which is achievable with such beam power.

    Provided the inverse femtobarn doesn't react at a quantum level with the inverse tacheons (they're BOTH inverse!) then we should be fine.

    I hope someone has thought of the possible interactions here.

    wtf is a inverse femtobarn? Great term though

    • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Thursday October 14, 2010 @01:10PM (#33896838)

      Well, if a femtobarn is a really really small barn, then its inverse would be a really really small anti-barn.

      When two such particles collide, you'd better get the flock out. At least that's the little I've herd.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by epiphani (254981)

      Ok, wow, its an actual term explaining the number collisions. From wikipedia:

      The "inverse femtobarn" (fb1) is a measurement of particle collision events per femtobarn. Over a period of time, two streams of particles with a cross-sectional area, measured in femtobarns, are directed to collide.

      However, an "inverse femtobarn of data" still makes no sense.

      • Re:Inverse!!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DirePickle (796986) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @01:20PM (#33897042)
        You take the number of inverse femtobarns ( units of 1/area ) times the cross-section of the interaction/particle/whatever that you're looking for (which varies with energy) to get the total number events that you should see. So, inverse femtobarn is a good unit for amount-of-data-collected.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Ihmhi (1206036)

          Could you tell us the formula for converting femtobarns into Libraries of Congress so the rest of us can understand this?

        • ....to get the total number events that you should see.

          Actually that gives you the number of event that should be produced. The number that you should see also depends on your detector's acceptance and efficiency.

      • Re:Inverse!!!! (Score:5, Informative)

        by Rising Ape (1620461) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @01:23PM (#33897106)

        It's not really a measurement of collision events, though it is proportional to it. Think about it classically, for a beam of billiard balls, say. The number of collisions you get will be proportional to to the area of beam, the number of particles per unit area for beam 1, the same for beam 2 and the cross-sectional area of the balls. All the factors apart from the last are shoved together in the luminosity figure - which has dimensions of inverse area and the barn is a unit of area.

        So the integrated luminosity (in inv. barns) * the cross-section of the process you're interested in (in barns) gives you a number.

        In reality, the cross-sections don't correspond directly to physical areas (it's all quantum after all) but the principle is the same.

    • In the future you will be able to buy reproductions of tacky watercolor paintings depicting landscapes with inverse femtobarns. Will they have a weathered texture to their walls? Will they be colorful or drab? Will they be upside down? Will they sell them at Ikea?
    • by petschge (967576)

      wtf is a inverse femtobarn? Great term though

      Enough collisions that you expect to see a collision with a cross section of one femtobarn once.

      • by AJWM (19027)

        Thank you. Clearest explanation of an inverse femtobarn yet.

        Since I have an idea how small a femtobarn is*, enough collisions to see one with that cross section is one hell of a lot of data.

        (*Take a half teaspoon (about 3ml) of stuff, stretch stuff out into a strand a megaparsec long. It'll have a cross section of about 1 barn. Now take a quadrillionth of that.)

    • The summary didn't mention how many MeV's the particles had. Is it that they weren't colliding the beams?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 14, 2010 @01:09PM (#33896800)
    Summary is incorrect. The LHC is NOT shutting down due to budget cuts. It was planned to shut down to accommodate the upgrade to full 7TeV beams. The budget cuts are responsible for shutting down other accelerators (not LHC). If you can even name one of these other minor accelerators, you know more about CERN than I do (and IAAPP).
    • You're correct (as I glance at my LHC run schedule PDF that I probably shouldn't provide a link to). It appears the LHC is doing ion beam setup in a week or so (for two weeks), and then begins ion physics runs starting Nov 1st for 4 weeks. Still, lots of science to do before the upgrade.

    • by afidel (530433) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @03:28PM (#33899056)
      It's also shutting down because the peak demand for electricity in that part of Europe is during the winter. It was always planned to be shutdown for upgrades and repairs during the peak demand months.
  • by mswhippingboy (754599) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @01:11PM (#33896852)
    they'll have to take the femto-hay out to make room for all that data.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think they're more worried about what to do when the femto-chickens come home to roost.

    • by Xyrus (755017)

      They won't have to. They'll just feed it to the atto-cows.

  • After that, the entire accelerator complex will be shut down for a year, due to budget costs for science in Europe.

    The Great Recession that Saved the World! Don't worry, our politicians are dutifully working on more.

  • by Tablizer (95088)

    with a destructive 15 MJ energy per-beam.

    Actually, it's only 14.9999999.... MJ, so we're safe. [slashdot.org] Thank goodness!

  • But Earth still exis
  • "The goals for the first run of the most powerful particle collider (and the most energetic storage ring since ISR) were recently surpassing the 10^32 level of luminosity, with a destructive 15 MJ energy per-beam."

    Wait, are they trying to study particle behavior or build a Death Star?
  • One inverse femtobarn of data? Is that the euphemism they're using nowadays for "one shitload of data"?
    • It's a unit.
      1 barn = 10^-28 square meters
      1 femtobarn is 10^-15 barn, i.e. 10^-43 square meters.
      1 inverse femtobarn therefore is 10^43 per square meter.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You do realize that "Budget cuts force CERN to shut accelerators for year" is yet another example of the God particle coming back in time and preventing its discovery. Indeed I'd wager that this entire "Great recession" is do to the God Particle's insistence on anonymity. That or the theory that in this universe the CERN collider cannot operate else a black hole would open and swallow us all.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE68G3NL20100917

    • by melikamp (631205)

      I am sure they thought of it. They will probably just open a micro-wormhole into the future and send Gordon Freeman, PhD, to smash the God particle with a crowbar as it starts moving back in time.

  •   * LHC did not explode into bits.
      * finally find the other side of that wormhole (spills out into a closet in it).
      * 30 consecutive days of no spontaneous human combustion.
      * Do not destroy the galaxy with spurious black hole generation.

  • The earth hasn't been swallowed by a man-made pinpoint black hole yet!
  • Isn't LHC supposed to destroy the universe by creating some black holes? It'll be very disappointing if the 2 billion investment for LHC will not even destroy the universe. If I were putting my money on it, I would immediately want them back.

  • They should just turn it up to whatever the full power is and answer the question about the "higgs boson" once and for all...

Only God can make random selections.

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