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LHC Powers Up To 4 TeV 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the time-to-re-up-your-black-hole-insurance dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Due to a decision made at Chamonix, the LHC will operate with a 4 TeV beam energy in 2012. This will allow them to collect as much data as possible (15 inverse femtobarns for ATLAS and CMS) before the whole accelerator complex gets shut down for about 20 months to prepare for even higher energies. 'By the time the LHC goes into its first long stop at the end of this year, we will either know that a Higgs particle exists or have ruled out the existence of a Standard Model Higgs,' said CERN's Research Director, Sergio Bertolucci. 'Either would be a major advance in our exploration of nature, bringing us closer to understanding how the fundamental particles acquire their mass, and marking the beginning of a new chapter in particle physics.'"
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LHC Powers Up To 4 TeV

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  • Hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @02:52PM (#39022575)

    That is a fairly large amount of energy, and the benefit to science seems substantial... neat!

    I hope they find success within the 124 to 126 GeV range.

    • Re:Hmm (Score:4, Funny)

      by justforgetme (1814588) on Monday February 13, 2012 @03:12PM (#39022875) Homepage

      I surely hope so. I'm still waiting for that CERN engineered black hole!

    • by grimJester (890090) on Monday February 13, 2012 @03:19PM (#39022991)
      The bump around 125 is fairly close to a discovery already. The first time they release fully analyzed data at all this year will be enough for a five sigma discovery. After seeing what kind of lag they have between data gathering and release, I'd say the discovery will be announced in August.
    • by wbr1 (2538558)

      Due to a decision made at Chamonix, the LHC will operate with a 4 TeV beam energy in 2012.

      Is a lot of energy. In fact, I think it is what the Mayans were talking about.

  • Funding (Score:5, Funny)

    by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday February 13, 2012 @02:56PM (#39022645)

    They could easily double their funding if they told the US military there may be a way to weaponize the Higgs. Or at least they could call it a black hole gun. It might be hard to find a ship large enough to mobilize it.

    • Given that the Higgs is theorized to be vital to matter having mass, it is probably the case that it is impossible to weaponize without the Higgs(if it exists). Massless ammunition, after all, is almost as effective as massless armor...
      • by Joce640k (829181)

        Neutrino cannons FTW!

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        Lasers use massless ammunition.

        Of course the massless laser generator might be a little hard to engineer.

        • by HybridST (894157)
          "Lasers use massless ammunition."

          would you like to know more... [slashdot.org]


          The Susskind lectures on youtube have gotten me through the relevant mathematics. I'd link it but typing out html links is a real bitch on the ipod!
          • by Chris Burke (6130)

            REST-massless ammunition. Which is what the Higgs theoretically grants to particles, and is also the only kind of mass which physicists talk about these days since 'relativistic mass' has fallen out of favor.

            Happy now?

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        Mass is just one of the forms of energy. Conventional ammunition uses kinetic energy. Lasers use massless artificially excited photons as ammunition, and are very effective at "burning through" armour that has mass.

        At the same time if it were possible to devise fully massless highly energetic energy flux, it would likely make a far better armour then anything with mass ever could achieve (i.e. "shields).

    • by yodleboy (982200)
      It's the GOD particle! We now know what was coming out of the lost ark in Raiders, a giant flood of Higgs.
      • Those were just the pissed off souls of those killed by the ark. Which in turn are used to kill more people. Keep on using the ark to have a more powerful ark. Well as long as people watch it. Having a powerful weapon rendered useless by simple closing your eyes is funny. The same could be said for Medusa. Does watching the ark via a mirror not kill you? Who ever has the ark please test that out.

        • by vux984 (928602)

          Having a powerful weapon rendered useless by simple closing your eyes is funny.

          The weapon wasn't rendered useless. The weapon was simply selectively killing those that chose to look upon the opened ark, and sparing those chose not to.

          It was no more "rendered useless" than an infantry unit deciding not to shoot civilians who lay on the ground unarmed. Its not that lying on the ground unarmed renders M16s unable to kill them, but rather that the intelligence behind the M16s is only interested in killing comba

          • Ark - meets design requirements.

            Signed-off-by: God

        • Those were just the pissed off souls of those killed by the ark. Which in turn are used to kill more people. Keep on using the ark to have a more powerful ark. Well as long as people watch it. Having a powerful weapon rendered useless by simple closing your eyes is funny. The same could be said for Medusa. Does watching the ark via a mirror not kill you? Who ever has the ark please test that out.

          But to answer the GPP's question we must ask this... do souls have mass? If so they must have Higgs bosons.

          And if the ark kills by unleashing the souls of those that were killed by it, how did the first person get killed by it? Perhaps they dropped it on top of some poor sucker/s to seed the weapon?

          • by Thing 1 (178996)

            Perhaps they dropped it on top of some poor sucker/s to seed the weapon?

            All pumps need priming...

          • by Whiteox (919863)

            do souls have mass?

            Currently there is research on that very question.
            Also, does data have mass? Also being measured!

            • do souls have mass?

              Currently there is research on that very question.
              Also, does data have mass? Also being measured!

              Well, Catholics have mass, so...

    • Soon there will be a new type of legal defense...the god-particle told me to do it, your honor.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      I'm amazed the rest of the world hasn't figured out the true purpose of the Large Hadron Cannon... er, I mean Collider, yet. Everyone else is going to look pretty stupid with their 1960s lasers when our particles travel FASTER than the speed of light!

    • by Agripa (139780)

      I have read that book. It did not turn out well for the LHC or the Axis.

  • What they will discover is that the Higgs both does exist, and doesn't exist, at the same time.
  • Good timing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @03:03PM (#39022753)

    By the time the LHC goes into its first long stop at the end of this year, we will either know that a Higgs particle exists or have ruled out the existence of a Standard Model Higgs

    If the scientists have any sense of humour at all, they will schedule the final test at maximum power for December 21st, 2012.

    • by Anrego (830717) *

      Yes! Please yes!

      I actually choked on my coffee a bit when I read this!

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      That would be the best joke ever...

      Well, not quite as funny as slipping a spring-loaded Mars Bar onto the Mars Rover just before launch ... but still pretty funny. Would love to see them do it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Using the Google guidelines for "funny": Looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool!
    • I couldn't resist. I just e-mailed them a suggestion to do it on December 21st. I bet they won't but it's worth a try.

      Even if they only announce that date and play along with it for a month or so ... it would still be the Best Troll Evah!

      PS: What's Brian Cox's email? I bet he'd do it.

    • by thygate (1590197)
      It will be SHUTDOWN at the end of the year for 20 months to PREPARE for higher power tests. So it will be 2014 before they can run these.
  • Wake me up when they get to 11.

  • THC (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @03:26PM (#39023095)
    I first read that as THC powers up, I thought they'd found some new super marijuana.
  • "Yawn. Wake me when it gets to 10 Tev." *sigh*
  • I was thinking about an argument I had with someone a long time ago, what it was about wasn't important but.... answering which version of events was true was only going to be settled by the word of a third party....who was still sleeping. I remember coming to the realisation that only one thing would solve our dispute... I remember waiting for that person to show up with the truth....

    I wonder now how maddening it must be. Every time I read of these things I think of that.... weeks here, a month there, pred

  • One bit more... (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by LeDopore (898286)

    From TFS:

    'Either would be a major advance in our exploration of nature, bringing us closer to understanding how the fundamental particles acquire their mass, and marking the beginning of a new chapter in particle physics.'

    I can't help but point out that knowing if the Higgs exists will increase our information about the universe by a maximum of 1 bit. (Knowing its mass and decay modes probably would give us more like a dozen or two bits of information - more than 1 bit but still not much.)

    Particle physics

    • Re:One bit more... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fzammett (255288) on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:55PM (#39026767) Homepage

      That's only true if you're of the belief that knowledge in and of itself isn't a commodity worth having for a given price. That's certainly not an interpretation of things I subscribe to.

      You're point isn't invalid by any stretch, it is in fact the core of a very good argument. But it's one I'd argue against strenuously. In fact, I'd argue that every step towards a total understanding of our universe, no matter how small the step, is worth virtually any cost placed on it. The toys we may sacrifice as a result of that pursuit is more than a worthy tradeoff to make. The knowing in the end is its own best reward.

      I'd also hold that over the long-term all those 1 bit advancements in knowledge pay us back tenfold or better. Think of the relatively minor advances in knowledge that pure science and experimentation had to provide before we could invent the transistor, and then think about all the benefits that invention has led to. I think it'd be nearly impossible to argue that ratio isn't magnificent. Sure, I can't say knowing whether the Higgs is real or not would have a similar outcome, but nor can anyone say for sure it won't. Therefore, the only option is to proceed down the path of discovery and pay the opportunity cost along the way in the hope that a similar situation to the transistor might arise.

      I make the same type of argument for human exploration of space. As easy as it is to argue against such ventures on the basis of cost and risk and other things, the benefit we may derive from it, not only on incidental technological invention but in pure knowledge that we can only guess at, is worth it no matter what the cost. At least, it is to me.

      • by LeDopore (898286)

        In fact, I'd argue that every step towards a total understanding of our universe, no matter how small the step, is worth virtually any cost placed on it.

        I agree with you 100%, but my application of this sentiment differs from yours. It's a shame when only a few dozen bits are discovered when the same effort could have lead to enormous gains in other fields. That's why I encourage scientists away from particle physics and into other areas like biophysics, nonlinear physics, fluid dynamics, bioengineering, neuroscience, machine intelligence and applied mathematics.

        The only way the LHC makes sense is if you believe one bit of particle physics knowledge is wo

        • by Chris Burke (6130)

          I agree with you 100%, but my application of this sentiment differs from yours. It's a shame when only a few dozen bits are discovered when the same effort could have lead to enormous gains in other fields.

          The only way the LHC makes sense is if you believe one bit of particle physics knowledge is worth millions of times more than one bit of neuroscience knowledge, since there might be a million to one ratio of understanding per effort spent.

          Even the single bit of "Does the SM Higgs exist?" has far greater implications than just "1 bit of information" implies. And we will learn farm more than a 'few dozen' bits of information from the LHC.

          Those bits may not be a million times more important than knowledge gained in other fields -- then again they may be. Many of the fields you might think are more important are only possible because of fundamental physics discovered earlier. When one bit of knowledge is a prerequisite for finding another, th

      • I think you're completely wrong.

        Here's my objection : when you're talking about spending resources towards advancing technology and knowledge, WHERE you choose to spend the money is of immense importance. Putting 20 billion towards something that only advances human knowledge a tiny bit (like exploration of subatomic particles that are not separable without exotic energy states) is a bad idea if there are other things the 20 billion could be spent on to get more useful results.

        For example, instead of resea

        • For example, instead of researching the basic nature of matter, we could be trying to build self-replicating nanoscale machinery

          That would be engineering, not science. You don't learn anything about nature by doing that.

          And we do spend a hell of a lot more on almost everything than particle physics. When I worked in the field, the budget for particle physics and astronomy was less than 0.02% or so of GDP for my country.

          • I guess from my (admittedly biased) perspective, developing something that let you have more of EVERYTHING more easily and cheaply is a better investment than a moonshot effort that has no known payoff at all.

            Self-replicating nanoscale machinery would be a risky effort that might result in enormous gains, but better robotics and machine intelligence and more infrastructure are all lower risk investments that definitely improve material wealth.

  • do you have your Crowbars ready?

  • Nobody mentioned it yet, but the 4 TeV is the energy per proton, so the energy of each collision is 8 TeV. 2011 operated at 7 TeV.

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