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LHC Success! 1007

Tomahawk writes "It worked! The LHC was turned on this morning and has been shown to have worked. Engineers cheered as the proton particles completed their first circuit of the underground ring which houses the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). (And we're all still alive, too!)" Here is a picture from the control room which I'm sure makes sense to someone that isn't me.
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LHC Success!

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  • by suso ( 153703 ) * on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:12AM (#24946089) Homepage Journal

    I expected the "turned on" link to be linking to XKCD [].

    My only question is, when the smoke clears and we're all fine, will the doomsayers ever learn for the next time? Probably not. I'm sure next time they'll say
    "this time, its different, the world is really going to end this time".

  • by numbware ( 691928 ) <> on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:13AM (#24946113) Homepage

    If I'm correct, no collisions have taken place yet.

  • Epic fail (Score:5, Funny)

    by ZeroFactorial ( 1025676 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:14AM (#24946121)
    What you don't realize is that everything around the LHC is being converted into strange matter.

    It started with the scientists, so noone has noticed anything different yet.
  • No risk yet. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fprintf ( 82740 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:14AM (#24946127) Journal

    The only question is, when they start colliding and/or accelerating the beams up toward the speed of light will this be the end of the world? As the XKCD comic says, they haven't really done anything interesting/risky just yet.

  • by ccguy ( 1116865 ) * on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:14AM (#24946139) Homepage
    "It worked! The LHC was turned on this morning and has been shown to have worked"

    Here's []proof.
  • BFD (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheNecromancer ( 179644 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:15AM (#24946145)

    I thought that the critics of this project were worried about the effects of COLLIDING the particles. Since that hasn't happened yet, this story is a whole lotta nuthin'.

    • Re:BFD (Score:5, Funny)

      by neoform ( 551705 ) <> on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:22AM (#24946263) Homepage

      Does this mean I'll have to build up another sigh of relief and let it out again at a later date?

    • Re:BFD (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hairykrishna ( 740240 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:33AM (#24946423)
      The vast majority of the 'critics' you refer have no idea what they're actually scared of. This switch on should reassure them well enough. The loons that make up the other fraction of the 'critics' will carry on doomsaying. Fortunately the majority of the reporters giving them air time don't really understand either so this switch on should effectively shut them up too.

      By the way the story is 'the LHC is switched on'. It heralds the beginning of one of the most interesting science experiments of our age. The story is not really 'we are still alive' as that is no surprise to anyone who is not a retard.

    • Re:BFD (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JustinOpinion ( 1246824 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:34AM (#24946445)

      I thought that the critics of this project were worried about the effects of COLLIDING the particles. Since that hasn't happened yet, this story is a whole lotta nuthin'.

      Huh? You do realize that the purpose of building and turning on the LHC isn't to silence black-hole-apocalypse believers, right? The purpose of the LHC is to do new science. Successful containment and acceleration of the beams is an important milestone for this project. That's why this is news.

      Presumably you will still think this story is "a whole lotta nuthin'" once collisions do happen, because those collisions will be at energies already probed by other accelerators. And even once LHC ramps up to full power, it will still be "a whole lotta nuthin'" because those energies already occur in nature (e.g. cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere).

      I think it would be more accurate to say that the worries about black-hole-apocalypse are "a whole lotta nuthin'" whereas a successful activation of the LHC is amazing news for anyone interested in science.

  • by Adreno ( 1320303 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:16AM (#24946169)
    Based on the images released thus far, I've come to the conclusion that a team of well-trained monkeys working exclusively in MS-Paint are close to modeling the stock market. In unrelated news, the head scientists at the LHC are planning their lavish retirement on Grand Cayman. More at 5.
  • Damnit! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:17AM (#24946173)

    You're all still here.

  • Screenshot (Score:3, Funny)

    by saterdaies ( 842986 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:26AM (#24946317)

    Well, I'm breathing a sigh of relief to see they're running some sort of *NIX. I was worried a Windows BSOD would mean the end of the world :-).

  • by Khakionion ( 544166 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:27AM (#24946337)
    • by Shakrai ( 717556 )

      I love that they had to use Javascript on a webpage that consists of two letters ;)

  • by lyapunov ( 241045 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:27AM (#24946339)

    When I was an undergraduate studying mathematics one of the most intriguing comments made by a professor was
    Cutting edge mathematics takes about 50 years to find its way into physics, from there it takes about 25 years to find its way into engineering.
    With the advent of the LHC and other amazing advances, like easy access to substantial computing power, do you think that this still holds true? By this, I mean do you think that life cycle times will shorten, or will they remain the same because even though these advances are being made, they are at higher, or very specific level, and as such, they will not be able to be developed into applications as quickly?


  • by bradgoodman ( 964302 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:27AM (#24946347) Homepage
    The history channel ran a special on the LHC last night - I highly recommend everyone watch it!

    I've always known this project was enormous, but I really didn't get it until I watched this special. They'd spend 5 minutes or show showing this massive facility with 30 foot high equipment - and this would be just like a little instrumentation room - just one of many. Truly amazing.

    Working in "technology" - all the same-'old same-'ol computers we see day-in and day-out look like stupid adding machines next to the scale and complexity of the stuff there.

    Speaking of which - it also went over their "computing grid". Their data storage farm was enormous. They also had ten thousand nodes to crunch the data!

    BTW - What kind of machines did they have you ask? Some slick IBM 1u rackmount chassis? No - just a bunch of cheap, off-white, off-brand tower PCs sitting on rows and rows of shelves.

    I'm sure they (did the smart thing) and did what Google did. High-end machines? No. Support Contracts? No.

    If it dies? Pitch it and get a new one.

  • by Doug Neal ( 195160 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:32AM (#24946421)

    Am I the only one who's sick of every news story and every discussion about the LHC deteriorating into giving the "end of the world" bullshit even more time of day that it doesn't deserve?

    This is one of the most important and ambitious scientific experiments that has been attempted in a long long time, but it seems that instead of taking the opportunity to get the general public inspired about science and discovery, the mainstream media has used it to spread unfounded doomsday rumours and anti-science propaganda. The fact that it's dominating even Slashdot discussions (albeit mostly in a joking way) is pretty tragic IMHO.

    Prof Brian Cox said it best [] - "anyone who believes the LHC will destroy the world is a twat".

    I've taken a huge interest in all this lately and have been spending hours on Wikipedia reading about bosons and leptons and so on.. it would be great to get some quality posts in this thread from some real hardcore particle physicists (come on, I know you're out there...)

    • by spaceyhackerlady ( 462530 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @11:35AM (#24947489)

      The big problem is the media reporting a tiny group of crackpots as if they represented mainstream views. They don't.

      I think the LHC is the best thing to happen to science in a long time. Three cheers for CERN!


  • by Bob-taro ( 996889 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:34AM (#24946449)
    Huh? That's like saying "sparky stuff known as electricity" or "an attractive force known as magnetism". If you don't know what a proton is, is knowing it's a particle going to help you understand the article?
  • by meist3r ( 1061628 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:34AM (#24946451) [] Check the site source :p
  • by bockelboy ( 824282 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:35AM (#24946475)

    That picture is from smashing the beam into the collimator, not from passing the beam through ATLAS.

    This is one of the final tests that you perform before passing the beam through - the result though is that millions of muons from the beam smash and deflect off the collimator, touching off all the different parts of the detectors. That's why you see so many energy deposits (green) throughout ATLAS.

    When you're just circulating beams, the only thing you see are Cosmics and BeamHalo - any muons which collide with remaining gas particles upstream of the detector and basically circle right outside of the beam. Here's some pictures of CMS beam halo: []

  • by lymond01 ( 314120 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:36AM (#24946489)

    Has anyone seen my cat?

  • Picture (Score:3, Funny)

    by JoeCommodore ( 567479 ) <> on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:39AM (#24946555) Homepage

    > Here is a picture from the control room which I'm sure makes sense to someone that isn't

    Looks like one of those freeware DOS screensavers from the 90s.

  • by richie2000 ( 159732 ) <> on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @10:42AM (#24946609) Homepage Journal

    > And we're all still alive too!

    I'm not, you insensitive clod!

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @11:50AM (#24947723) Homepage

    ..... is .... 42!

  • by Lars T. ( 470328 ) <.moc.liamelgoog. .ta. .regearT.sraL.> on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @12:30PM (#24948383) Journal
    Now I'm stuck in this alternative reality where George W. Bush is President?
  • by CodeBuster ( 516420 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @12:58PM (#24948805)
    I remember seeing a program recently on the History Channel where they were explaining the science behind the LHC along with a tour of the facilities, the major experiments, interviews with the scientists, and (the interesting part for us Slashdot dwellers) the computer facilities. They mentioned that a tremendous amount of processing power with massive computer grids is required to analyze and filter the data from the detectors because there is not enough data storage presently in existence here on Earth to store more than one day's worth of collisions and detector data if they stored everything (i.e. they have to try and decide which collisions are the most interesting and only record those ones to the SAN). It seems that the more computing power they have available the more thorough they can be in their analysis of the data to fish out the interesting bits so I was wondering...How long might it be before we see a LHC@Home project like the Seti and protein folding where those of us who wish to can donate spare CPU cycles to analyze collision detector data can do so?
  • by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @12:59PM (#24948819) Journal

    Something created the universe out of nothing. Which suggests space itself may be damaged by certain events, possibly creating another universe inflating at the speed of the Big Bang.

    Now that'd be something.

    A non-evaporating black hole would merely swallow the Earth over a matter of days or weeks. Then the moon would continue to orbit a black hole with the Earth's mass, but no more ocean tides sapping its orbital energy, and the rest of the solar system wouldn't notice all that much.

    It would drastically reduce the probability of a collision with a planet-killer asteriod, though. So we got that going for us.

    • Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Burning1 ( 204959 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @07:08PM (#24954385) Homepage

      You're making a huge assumption here...

      From my understanding, energy cannot be created nor destroyed in a closed system (such as the universe.) While it's tempting to believe that everything has a beginning and an end, it's more realistic to see that matter and energy simply change forms. For example, a baby isn't created out of nothing... He or she is formed from food consumed by the mother. Likewise, he or she doesn't cease to exist when dead... The person simply changes form back into the kind of dirt that grew the food he or she was formed from.

      So, saying that the universe created really is inconsistent with everything we've observed. It's more probable that the universe always has existed, and always will exist... Although perhaps not in it's present form.

      My favorite theory is that the universe will eventually re-compress to form another big bang, and that it's destined to forever continue forming, spawning life, and collapsing.

      I cite Atheist Universe by David Mills for a lot of this information.

  • by shish ( 588640 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2008 @03:59PM (#24951409) Homepage
    Have people become so excited over something actually interesting that they've forgotten to spam the discussion with old memes? I ask because "does it run linux" could actually be relevant -- That screenshot looks like KDE; now I wonder what the rest of their software stack is like...

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