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LHC Reaches Record Energy 347

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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  • by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:22AM (#30377206) Homepage

    A greater understanding of physics may well be worth the excessive use of energy, as it may lead to better sources of energy tomorrow.

    Lately I've been wondering how worthwhile attempts to e.g. stop climate change are when, if Kurzweil is right, we'll hit the Singularity in only a couple of decades and then all of humanity's environmental and technological problems may well be solved.

  • by oldspewey ( 1303305 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:25AM (#30377242)

    What the hell? Is this for real?

    I don't know what's freakier - the idea that this is some kind of covert human activity, or that humans aren't involved in any way.

  • Re:Breaking news. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:31AM (#30377296)
  • by geckipede ( 1261408 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:51AM (#30377508)
    Nobody agrees on when the singularity is coming. We're nowhere near producing an innovative AI, let alone anything genuinely intelligent in software, so technological progress is stuck going through human systems for a while yet. I am more inclined to believe the predictions that technological advances will start coming too fast for humans to follow in centuries to come, not decades. Our job is to make sure that civilisation doesn't fall apart in a mess of overpopulation and resource shortage before then. Global warming carries with it a huge risk of reducing food supplies below that that we'll need in order to ever reach the point of singularity.
  • Re:Doom (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pisto_grih ( 1165105 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:59AM (#30377606)
    you missed out step 3: natalie portman's hot grits.
  • by starglider29a ( 719559 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @12:25PM (#30377858)
    http://gfx.nrk.no/YOYD2X1CgNBSeaPse9LjVwT6ymkkphv7Q7x0aibAWJwg.jpg [gfx.nrk.no]

    as evidenced by the trail from over the horizon. Note the wind shear... Sorry, Russia. Denial denied!
  • by juletre ( 739996 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @12:53PM (#30378142)
    ..or so the theory goes. Norway's largest newspapers all did stories on this earlier today. Here is from one of them: Vg.no [www.vg.no], and here is another dagbladet.no [dagbladet.no].

    The first image from vg is taken with a long shutter time (or long exposure, or what the english expression is) on a tripod.
    americans might consider these newspapers NSFW. Most norwegian ads contain a fair amount of tits and ass. just sayin'.
  • Re:Doom (Score:3, Interesting)

    by X0563511 ( 793323 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @01:27PM (#30378550) Homepage Journal

    http://dengine.net/ [dengine.net]

    jDoom is old-n-busted.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @01:32PM (#30378626) Homepage Journal

    Looking at some clip, it appears to me to be an rocket spiraling out of control and leaking propellant. The propellant is reflecting sun light.

    but based on the time-lapse photo, it created a geometrically perfect spiral - the odds of a malfunctioning rocket doing this would approach zero.

    Another forum had a link to an ionospheric heater nearby:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionospheric_heater [wikipedia.org]

  • by radtea ( 464814 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @02:04PM (#30378976)

    And a whole lot cheaper to observe the collisions.

    Not if by "observe" you mean "observe with multiple layers of detectors that the collision happens inside of", which is the only sense of the term anyone would use in this context.

  • by Remus Shepherd ( 32833 ) <remus@panix.com> on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @02:15PM (#30379094) Homepage

    That's freaky. I'm more interested in hearing about this phenomenon than the LHC.

    And you know, they *might* be related. I don't buy any rumors about a russian rocket -- no rocket would make anything that geometrically precise and long-lived. This looks to me like a bizarre magnetic disturbance caused a bizarre aurora. The helical blue beam looks like a trace of a LEO plasma stream. The large spiral would then be a magnetic mirror -- common in the polar magnetosphere, but never this bright or perfect.

    Could the LHC have spat out a magnetic monopole?

    I'd like to see the timing of when the LHC spun up to power and when this display occurred.

  • Re:Still? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by toruonu ( 1696670 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @02:28PM (#30379252)

    The easiest answer is that it is for understanding the underlying world better than we do today. The whole scientific world can be worked up in a hierarchical structure.

    The fundamental layer is where the deeper understanding of the universe and interactions are explained, the four interactions that we know now, the elementary particle content etc.

    Then comes the layer that has atomic physics that explains how the fundamental particles behave in combined systems, how they can interact in complex structures and what rules there are about such reactions etc.

    That information is then usable for other fields like chemistry, the rest of physics, etc. And on top of that come the applied sciences like biology, material science, etc.

    So whenever a fundamental discovery is made in the lowest possible layer it slowly propagates upwards over a substantial period of time. If you think on the discovery of electron and quantum mechanics that then explained the electromagnetic interactions, then over quite a period of time you finally reach the point that you have computers. Without the original fundamental discovery of electromagnetic interaction this would not have been possible. Without understanding the strong force and electroweak force we couldn't have nuclear energy (I'll just wait until someone goes off on a nuclear bomb tangent here). Without electroweak interaction we wouldn't have had X-ray machines.

    So it all comes down to the fact that if fundamental research is not done, then those huge leaps will simply not happen. Yes, there are plenty of avenues still to explore in the higher layers and there's probably work left for centuries, but if we don't do the fundamental research this speed of progress will slow down and probably stop at some point. We have actually been in this position once. Around the end of 19th century when a lot of physicists thought that the physical explanation of the world is complete and the applications were ranging far and wide only to be shattered by unification electrostatics and magnetism and not long after the discovery of weak interaction.

    Soo... long story short. LHC is looking at the fundamental layers of the universe and if we should have a discovery of similar magnitude, like say the discovery of the Higgs particle and the associated Higgs field would add a new interaction to the map. This would be the fifth interaction and so far every single new interaction has brought revolution in science and technology and a huge amount of new energy sources.

    You know Maxwell was considered a nutcase for working with magnets while he could have been a respectable doctor or smth. But we wouldn't be having this discussion here if he hadn't done those experiments. It's just that we have gotten so far in the search that we have to look at higher and higher energies to hunt the new knowledge hence the big colliders and hence the excitement over new energy regions reached.

    But if you don't care about any of the other stuff, then you probably care about the MRI machines. From what I know the machines are these days possible because a full industry for superconducting magnets was created when the Tevatron experiment had to be built. Once it was done the same production capabilities allowed for a lot of new things to be done. The same goes for LHC related construction work that has also sparked a lot of engineering progress that is being used already now. And any kind of diagnostic imaging system is a direct descendant from particle physics detectors as they essentially do the same thing on a lower scale.

  • by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @03:57PM (#30380118) Homepage

    Since the rocket doesn't really have to move in a spiral, just tumble/spin in a relatively stable way in the center of it, perhaps it's not so unlikely...

  • by arminw ( 717974 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @08:35PM (#30383348)

    ...increasing temperatures will help to reverse desertification?....

    Because a warmer atmosphere will hold a LOT more water which then can precipitate out in places that get little or no rain today. Warmer, moist air also distributes temperature variations more efficiency because it holds more heat. This means that rather than more violent weather, the weather will calm down because there is less difference between the hot places and the cool places on earth. This applies vertically in the atmosphere as well, reducing the temperature differences that drive violent storms such as hurricanes and tornadoes.

    When the fossil fuels were formed, the earth was uniformly tropical and life was much more prolific because of that.

    (...farmland nearer the equator, and the equator covers far more land area...)
    Maybe that is true of farmland, but not land as a whole. The vast areas of northern Russia and China as well as northern Canada would once again be usable by humans. This tremendous increase in usable land area would far outstrip a possible small loss of land in coastal areas. There is also evidence that the areas now known as continental shelves were once free of water. A warmer atmosphere, say 10 C. warmer on the entire earth would hold a tremendous amount of water in suspension. Water vapor is lighter than either oxygen or nitrogen. This means that pure water vapor could accumulate above the oxygen nitrogen atmosphere. Water vapor is orders of magnitude more effective as a greenhouse gas than CO2.

    All that presupposes that global warming is actually taking place. In the last 10 years at least, there has been no evidence of this. That is why, in one of the hacked e-mails, one of the so-called global warming scientists called it a "travesty" that the data doesn't support their foregone conclusions.

  • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @08:44PM (#30383438)

    Even if the Singularity did happen, who's to say a pain-free energy source actually exists? What if the new super computer brain comes back with, "nuclear fission is your best bet"?

    Since I happen to think nuclear fission is our best bet, that wouldn't bother me.

    Or, "a lot of problems would be solved within 100 years if you just quit making babies"?

    On that subject, I noticed in the news today that Taiwan now has a birthrate of 1.0 babies per woman. Which is about 1.2 babies per woman below replacement rate....

  • by arminw ( 717974 ) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @08:50PM (#30383512)

    ...*IF* you have serious data for this I'll believe it.....

    Is oil in Alaska and coal in Antarctica good enough? These are fossil fuels produced by dead plants and animals. All fossil fuels represent carbon that was once were? Oh yeah, in the atmosphere were plants and sunshine could turn them into hydrocarbons which we now burn in our SUVs.

    (...More hurricanes is the problem,...)

    All weather on earth, including hurricanes, tornadoes and nasty blizzards, such as the Midwest is experiencing as I write this, are the result of temperature DIFFERENCES both vertically and horizontally in the atmosphere. If it were true that the earth is getting warmer overall, these differences would be reduced, because the atmosphere would hold more water and carry more heat that would be distributed more evenly. It is just too bad, that the wishful thinking of climate scientists is not happening. It would be rather nice to have a more uniformly warm earth. It would mean we would burn fewer fossil fuels to heat our houses. The vast iced over land areas of Siberia, northern Canada and Greenland would be habitable.

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!