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Awesome Pics of CERN's Large Hadron Collider 249

mactard submitted a collection of insanely beautiful pictures of the Large Hadron Collider. I've always had a warm place for amazing photgraphs, and these really don't disappoint. Science really is beautiful sometimes.
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Awesome Pics of CERN's Large Hadron Collider

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  • 3rd photo (Score:5, Funny)

    by tgd ( 2822 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @09:48AM (#24447053)

    That 3rd photo looks an awful lot like a stargate.

    I'm assuming its a shot facing downwards, thus the pool of water or whatever that is, but it just looks cool.

    • Re:3rd photo (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Gromius ( 677157 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:01AM (#24447137)
      You're not the first person to think so []. It is suspicious that no answer is actually given....
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Truth is stranger than fiction...

        Turns out, the government really did have a Stargate Project [] -- it was just about psychics, not aliens. And they didn't find any. Of either.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by lennier ( 44736 )

          "Turns out, the government really did have a Stargate Project [] -- it was just about psychics, not aliens. And they didn't find any. Of either."

          Actually they did. You might want to read Mind-Reach, the 1977 original book about SCANATE, the SRI project that later became GRILL FLAME then was closed (at least officially) by the CIA under the name STAR GATE. Some of their 'hits' detailed in this book are pretty darn impressive.


          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Some of their 'hits' detailed in this book are pretty darn impressive.

            Care to relate any of them?

            The tricky thing about remote viewing is not that it doesn't work, but that it's hard to separate the 'signal' from the 'noise'.

            Which is, in essence, the definition of a cold reading. []

            While I'm at it, check out Banachek [].

            I'm not saying it's impossible, and I would agree with this:

            But when you get significant results that contradict theory, it's the theory that should change, if you're doing science.

            However, this being little more than a hobby, I don't really want to buy a book. If the results really are that compelling, there should be some web resource you can point me to.

      • by xPsi ( 851544 ) *

        You're not the first person to think so []. It is suspicious that no answer is actually given....

        I'm not so sure a question phrased like "...these rings that you are building look like the Stargate. What is to guarantee that you are not building a portal to other universes?" really has a succinct scientific answer other than "It won't. The fact that the detector geometry looks like the Stargate is a coincidence. However,...[insert detailed and extended discussion of LHC extra dimension searches]."

    • Re:3rd photo (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kestasjk ( 933987 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:57AM (#24447585) Homepage
      While we're swooning over the LHC watch the Large Hadron Rap video: [] (Don't worry, it's made by some of the people who work there and it's pretty funny, and sums it up nicely)
      • That rap is amazing. 5 mins of your time and so many questions explained. And it's entertaining as well. I must say I am impressed mostly by the sheer political willpower it took to make this device. The expense and risk born and everything. Imagine that while this device was being built, a new model for physics came up that would render the entire LHC irrelevant. A lot of heads would roll for that, I can imagine. And of course the small chance that we could be engineering the end of the universe right here
      • Thanks for that link! That was awesome! :)
    • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) * on Saturday August 02, 2008 @12:51PM (#24448591) Homepage
      Well, the FIRST picture looks like the Flying Spaghetti Monster with it's clothes off.

      ... averts eyes ...
    • to bad we don't have a ZPM.

  • "This thing is going to kill us all."

    • by Gromius ( 677157 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:06AM (#24447173)
      Look I've never understood what the LHC is going to kill us all thing. I'm a physicist working on the CMS experiment so perhaps I can explain what we are going to do more clearly. All we plan to do is take two proton beams or 'streams' and then cross them. Why is everybody so worried?
      • well done. That's a pretty odd reference. ;)
      • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:27AM (#24447353) Homepage Journal

        Dr. Egon Spengler: There's something very important I forgot to tell you.
        Dr. Peter Venkman: What?
        Dr. Egon Spengler: Don't cross the streams.
        Dr. Peter Venkman: Why?
        Dr. Egon Spengler: It would be bad.
        Dr. Peter Venkman: I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?
        Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
        Dr Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.
        Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

      • Either that, or they'll start an irreversible resonance cascade, opening a portal into another universe.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by 3seas ( 184403 )

      "This thingis going to kill us all"

      Don't worry, be happy....... that if it does it will happen so fast that you won't know it.

      However become concerned if you live within 50 miles and the power in your home drops out around the time they turn it on.

  • Nice server room. They're still going to use distributed storage to put all their data at other universities and national labs.
  • by Rooked_One ( 591287 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @09:58AM (#24447117) Journal
    So, it begs the question - where's our savior, Gordan Freeman?
  • by Anrego ( 830717 ) * on Saturday August 02, 2008 @09:59AM (#24447121)

    .. this can't end well

  • by eekygeeky ( 777557 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:01AM (#24447133)

    this is clearly copyright infringement.

  • What is the condition called where you become sexually aroused by technology?

    Well... that's what I've got.

    These images set the mind on fire!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Next time some sci-fi movie wants to display a massive quasi-government experiment regarding anything, they should look this stuff over. So much cooler looking than the BS that most movies have.

  • by ClaraBow ( 212734 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:16AM (#24447269)
    It is astonishing what man can accomplish when not at war!
    • by antic ( 29198 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @11:38AM (#24447941)

      +1 on amazing.

      I don't know how it works exactly, but it's massive, incredibly complicated and absolutely stunning. Something of a beacon to children becoming interested in science, I'm sure.

      A toast to the brains behind it and those who got it funded.

      • My sentiments exactly. I've read/heard on numerous occasions NASA's space shuttle touted as the single most complicated machine ever built by man. Come now, really? Does it really hold a candle to this? Unbelievable engineering effort.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Arguendo ( 931986 )
      It is inspiring to see so much human effort put into exploring the nature of our existence. Our species is truly just trying to make sense of it all.
  • by Gromius ( 677157 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:17AM (#24447275)
    I always find the most impressive things about the detectors is the cabling that you have to do. The CMS ECAL has at least 61,200 cables to read out all the the crystals, the tracker (first photo) also has thousands and thousands of cables. Trying to wire the damn thing up is an epic task (one I'm happy to have avoided) and trust me, you dont want to screw up.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I was thinking the same thing. Could this be the most complex device ever assembled by humankind? Just the diagnostics and debugging seems way beyond daunting.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Gromius ( 677157 )
        you're telling me. Trying to figure out if the damn thing is working is an epic task. It takes hundreds of scientists, all testing little parts to commission these things. And trust me everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Right now I'm writing monitoring software to ensure that we can trigger electrons and photons and to diagnose problems when they occur and its a huge pain in the ass. And when we think its working, even then we will have a round the clock team in place to continuously monitor it add
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tijnbraun ( 226978 )

      And what about reproducibility?.
      It would be rather hard too say "Oh yeah, I confirmed that experiment in my laboratory". If something would be wrong wired and thereby giving some false positives, how do you test for those? They must have some redundant checking mechanism somewhere...

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's tested with processes which were already observed on other experiments. There is awful lot of testing during preparation phase (but also in first year or so), test beams were used during construction of some detectors, cosmic muons that you can detect without beam that produces particles, and, finally, simulations which help to predict detector output. Also there are many different test procedures to check if hardware is properly assembled (or even working properly).

        Systematics is a term for that kind

    • I'd like to seem some stats on the entire project. Miles of cable, tons of metal, number of computers, data storage, etc. And I think the more interesting one: how many people were involved and what % of them are from each field 500 engineers, 200 physicist, 200 mathematicians (that sort of thing).

      The one thing that occurs to me every time I see those pictures: I'd hate to see the CAD drawings for that project.

      Even if this isn't the greatest engineering feat of "man" so far, its a genuine marvel to look at.

  • by fullgandoo ( 1188759 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:21AM (#24447307)
    If this wasn't designed by inter-galactic aliens, i'll eat my hat. I can't think of any purpose of this machine other than them beaming down their armies as soon as the thing is fully powered.
    Search for exotic particles? Yeah right!
  • by Channard ( 693317 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:26AM (#24447343) Journal
    It does look impressive. Now all we need is an undead assassin to tow it out into space attached to a giant insect. Before we all die horribly.
  • Do these pics remind anyone else of the original System Shock?

    I wonder how much Karma this question will cost me.

  • Holy Shit! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:27AM (#24447357)

    Picture 5, I just spotted the Higgs Boson! Oh no wait, hold on. False alarm folks. Just a dead pixel.

  • ET technology (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SpaceGoret ( 577395 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:31AM (#24447381)
    This is so beautiful. It looks like extra-terrestrial technology.
  • Impressive (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Greenmoon ( 656273 )

    I've never seen such a complex array of technology outside a Hollywood or video game mock-up. It must be very exciting for the folks on the design team to see this coming together.
    And kudos to the photographer(s) who captured these. That was a smart move, collecting such high-res images.
    Very nice.

  • The Big Picture (Score:3, Informative)

    by DrHanser ( 845654 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:38AM (#24447437) Homepage
    The Big Picture photoblog is quite good. I've been subscribed to its RSS feed for nearly a month now, and it never disappoints.
  • Wow! (Score:3, Funny)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @10:46AM (#24447505)
    Let me be the first to say: That's a LOT of zip ties...
  • Dates? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Article says: "The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) is preparing for its first small tests in early August, leading to a planned full-track test in September - and the first planned particle collisions before the end of the year" anyone knows the specific dates for these events?
  • Hey, I'm an atheist, but those were the first words that came to mind when I saw the pictures. I mean, the sheer scale of this project alone is mind-boggling, let alone what it is designed to detect!!!!!!

    This is for sure the stuff that sets Man apart from Animal!

    Now, if we can get the US to stop blowing $billions on killing people and instead invest in human understanding of the greater universe we live in! What a dream... Oh well, the US cares more about dropping bombs on the heads of innocents...

  • by C_Kode ( 102755 )

    Ok, whats the word I'm looking for? Oh yes, WOW!

    Did they hire a designer to design the color scheme? That is simple gorgeous!

  • by somethinsfishy ( 225774 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @11:50AM (#24448035)

    The tools are beautiful objects, to be sure. But what makes beautiful science is elegant, concise, and simple (within the context) descriptions of how the universe works.

  • And with all the wires and pieces making up that machine... what are the odds that there was one tiny little mistake somewhere in the assembly? Or is it made redundant, so that if a part fuck up, it doesn't matter? I mean, a little spark at the wrong place in these wires and...

  • it looks like they have a couple strands of copper wire here and there which is ripe for the picking. We've had thieves taking copper water pipes, ground strapping and rods, and even had a few electrocuted while attempting to take live power lines.

    seriously, those pics looked amazing.


  • I don't mind if they make a black hole, as long as they don't drop it. I think that would be bad.
  • by caluml ( 551744 ) <> on Saturday August 02, 2008 @12:56PM (#24448641) Homepage
    I wanted to try and find the location of the last pic in Google maps. So I went to, and typed in Lake Geneva. It suggested something called "Lake Geneva", WI. I thought, OK, typical Americanocentrism, so I searched for Lake Geneva, Switzerland, and ended up with "Lake Geneva Uninc Switzerland County, IN". I zoomed out of that place a fair way, and I couldn't see any water. What gives? Brin, you listening?
    • by caluml ( 551744 )
      For the record, it's here []. Visit it again in a few years to look at the smoking crater.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's because the real name is lake Leman, not Geneva, dont know why english folks use the Geneva town name for the lake

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You just reminded me of an LHC fact my professor told me a year or so ago: when lake geneva is particularly full, the *country* bends enough that CERN have to take it into account. It's just that sensitive.

      • by renoX ( 11677 )

        Yep, I've heard that the power in the ring fluctuate because of moon attraction..
        Boss> Ok, we have weird results from time to time, your mission is to find the cause.
        [month laters]
        Engineer> Eureka, I've found that it's moon attraction which change the ring's length so it has an impact on on our measurements!
        Boss> What took you so long?
        Engineer> *Argh* [die of an heart attack]

  • The comments (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nightfire-unique ( 253895 ) on Saturday August 02, 2008 @01:37PM (#24449025)
    The comments on that page are as depressing as the pictures are beautiful and impressive. :(
  • One of the experiments shown contains a unit called the "Time Projection Chamber." And so what exactly is the purpose of this "Time Projection Chamber", hmm?
  • I was recently lucky enough to have two tours of the CMS experiment, once on the open day and a second private tour a couple of weeks later. I can honestly say that I felt humbled standing next to it.

    I am no stranger to technology, I work as a sysadmin in a large, world class data center. But this thing is something else. To think that a team made up of people from all over the world can accomplish something like this when they put their minds to it.

    And the purpose of it? Not to make weapons or money, b

  • A guy I know who works on one of the experiments told me a joke they have. Apparently there is more than a little rivalry between the Atlas and CMS teams. I asked him what CMS stands for, he told me - When you go and look at it you See A Mess :)

  • When I saw the photo of the CMS (first one) I figured that some salesman at Monster Cable must have wet himself.

  • this thing is being build to collide hadrons?

    Just saying that I wouldn't be surprised if the first initialization command goes something like:
    "Commence Primary Ignition"

  • ...looking at those pics. Brings back memories.

    From the page:

    It looks like Half life:)
    Posted by Palko

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!