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Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Generates a 'Mini-Big Bang' 570

buildslave writes "The Large Hadron Collider has successfully created a 'mini-Big Bang' by smashing together lead ions instead of protons. The scientists working at the enormous machine on the Franco-Swiss border achieved the unique conditions on 7 November. The experiment created temperatures a million times hotter than the center of the Sun."
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Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Generates a 'Mini-Big Bang'

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  • Science Journalism (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sonny Yatsen ( 603655 ) * on Monday November 08, 2010 @12:37PM (#34162242) Journal

    So, is a mini-big bang just a bang, then?

    I hate this constant need for science journalists to oversell and over-hype an outstanding achievement with misleading hyperbole. They didn't create mini big bangs. They smashed lead ions to try to recreate the conditions that existed shortly after the big bang. It's already an impressive enough achievement without cheapening it with sensationalist BS.

  • by Senior Frac ( 110715 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @12:44PM (#34162350) Homepage

    I'm not so sure the scientists intended that, but the reporters felt a need to glam the article up to sell copy.

    The issue here is that now we are going to have trouble with a union of the set of anti-science loons and the set of religious fundamentalists. Let us not be satisfied with unnecessarily pissing off just one group, when we can do two!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 08, 2010 @12:45PM (#34162372)

    Uh, that's what "mini big bang" means. OK, so you don't like it, but who cares.

    It isn't cheap sensational BS, it's expensive evocative BS at worst.

  • Re:Just you wait... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @12:48PM (#34162418) Journal

    Or it could had its own relatavistic principles, where our mini Big Bang might have lasted mere seconds or fractions thereof - if it did in fact recreate the universe properly down to scale, then life and intelligence could have evolved, and died out in those mere seconds.

  • by groslyunderpaid ( 950152 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @12:53PM (#34162474)

    Not necessarily. I am a religious fundamentalist, and science is all well and good in my book, to a point. And by to a point, I mean "this is what we've been able to prove thus far".
    Really though, not trying to troll. Just saying those two groups are not necessarily mutually inclusive, though sometimes that is the case.

  • Re:Next step... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @12:55PM (#34162508) Homepage

    Indeed. A roommate of mine, who was a religious micro-biologist, insisted that evolution, more-so than anything, is indicative of Intelligent Design/Creationism. In his own words, "What's smarter than designing something that can adapt to its environment entirely on its own?"

  • Re:We're still here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @12:59PM (#34162534) Homepage

    Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.

    R. A. Heinlein

  • by Zeek40 ( 1017978 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @01:32PM (#34162976)
    Just out of curiosity, at what point do you draw the line? Because I only know one person who describes herself as a 'christian fundamentalist' and she refuses to believe any science that proves that the earth is more than ~6000 years old. When I explained to her that simply refusing that fact throws out almost our entire understanding of the universe around us, from the distance of the stars to why the atom's we're composed of don't just fall apart, her response was akin to sticking one's fingers in their ears and screaming "i can't hear you" over and over again.

    She didn't think that she was anti-science, she just thought that she could cherry pick facts from the bible and set up special cases in which the physical laws of nature no longer apply.

  • Re:Next step... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rob Kaper ( 5960 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @01:32PM (#34162978) Homepage

    Last I checked most scientists in the field no longer even accept the big bang as likely. They consider it the same "something from nothing" unanswer as religions offer, looking for a cyclic model [] instead. :D

  • Re:Sooo..... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by XSpud ( 801834 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @02:38PM (#34163864) Homepage

    You are quite a long way off with your estimate, though you're right that the effect would be small.

    One mole of lead is 207 grams so the energy you are talking about would cause a 1 K rise in only (207 * 2 * 10^12) / (6.02 * 10^23) or 6.9 * 10^-10 grams of lead.

    That's less than the mass of a human ovum. Orders of magnitude (mass) []

    And the heat capacity (by mass) of water is about 32 times that of lead so you could heat up even less than that - just over 2 * 10^-11 grams of water.

  • Re:Fail (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mosb1000 ( 710161 ) <> on Monday November 08, 2010 @02:45PM (#34163966)

    I don't think big bang theory plays into this scientific investigation at all (it's more of an astronomical theory). The language used in the article is designed so that they lay person may understand why it is relevant.

    But my point is that they don't know a lot about the nuclear strong force, that's why these experiments are necessary.

  • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @02:45PM (#34163968)

    They didn't create mini big bangs. They smashed lead ions to try to recreate the conditions that existed shortly after the big bang.

    I'm not so sure that there is a difference. From what I've understood, the "Big Bang" really refers to the period of inflation due to Higgs field being stuck on a supercooled state, and these conditions could potentially be re-created by rising energy density high enough to re-create the correct symmetries and then letting it fall very fast again.

    Dunno what the word "mini" is doing there, though; any Big Bang will either fizzle out or become the full-sized version.

  • by BobMcD ( 601576 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @02:45PM (#34163970)

    No, I think religion is the *prime* motive for a lot of shit people does, not a "mere justification".

    If you believe someone can become a suicide terrorist without religion, then you really don't understand people... or religion.

    It wouldn't follow, though, to attack the Twin Towers. What sort of religious icon were they? To say that 9/11 was a religious attack, rather than a political one, you'd need to demonstrate how that religion sought to further it's ends through the attack. Has the falling of the towers made Islam stronger, or weaker, or was there no change?

    Please do explain how this works, because from where I sit it seems entirely political in nature, with a religious wrapping - which is just what the Parent is suggesting.

  • by osu-neko ( 2604 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @03:02PM (#34164224)

    If the 6000 years ago bit is true, we can just continue working on the old universe idea and since God made it look like it old experiment will keep matching theory. God can just giggle at us as his brilliantly faked universe tricks us into eternal damnation as we follow the evidence.

    Thus casting God in the role of Descartes evil demon. Oh, the fun you can have with that idea...

    Interestingly enough, there was a branch of early Christianity which insisted that the Creator was in fact evil, and Jesus was here to save us from him.

  • by BobMcD ( 601576 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @03:05PM (#34164272)

    If god created the universe then why can't people of all faiths see science as a way to get closer to god by unlocking the mysteries of the universe.

    Indeed it is.

    4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

    6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

    I have always believed that this passage is a parable describing what separates us from the other animals on the planet. We started off as they are, amoral and ignorant. God offered us a path towards being as he is, and dared us not to take it.

  • by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @03:18PM (#34164462)
    The rational was that America was evil. A work of the devil, and thus anything American that can be attacked is attacking evil. The higher profile the better. It would be naive to think that there wasn't any politics behind it, but to deny that religion was not a prime influence is absurd.
  • by chrb ( 1083577 ) on Monday November 08, 2010 @04:22PM (#34165444)

    Please do explain how this works, because from where I sit it seems entirely political in nature, with a religious wrapping - which is just what the Parent is suggesting.

    You are both right. The majority of people in the world are taught from birth to believe in a God, and that it is right to follow the teachings of the Holy men, including going to war. Some of the Holy men are religious fundamentalists, and they will demand war against those who follow a different religion. They will justify the war with reference to the Holy scriptures, and this will provide a self-reinforcing story that the people will follow (self-reinforcing because, as a result of the violence. they can refer to new acts of savagery that their opponent has carried out). However, the religious leaders are also rational, and will not usually carry out actions that will weaken their own power base or result in their own destruction. For example, the Iranian religious leaders will not directly attack the U.S. or Israel, as this would ensure their destruction. The violence is geo-political in nature, but in order to justify and motivate the population it is necessary to create a religious narrative that they can follow.

    It wouldn't follow, though, to attack the Twin Towers. What sort of religious icon were they?

    The goals of the leadership of Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are geo-political: resistance against the House of Saud and it's U.S. backed dictatorship being the most obvious. There is a great amount of social injustice in Saudi Arabia, resulting from a huge inequality in the distribution of wealth - millions of ordinary people live in abject poverty, whilst a few thousand people in the royal family control trillions of dollars in personal wealth. This leads to a society in which corruption is the norm, and where the wealthy can literally "get away with murder". It is not difficult to see why ordinary people might want to replace the existing system with something that seems a little fairer. The Islamists offer them a future governance based on what they perceive to be a better system, where the rules are supposed to be applied equally regardless of wealth or position in society. Throw into this the fact that the U.S. is a major ally of the House of Saud, supplies a huge amount of military and intelligence hardware, and at one point had 10,000 troops stationed there, and it is not difficult to see how the resentment shifts from the House of Saud and onto the U.S.

    The average citizen of these countries is poorly educated, and often illiterate. Justifying and motivating them towards acts of violence through geo-politics is hard - how do you convince a man to commit suicide, or otherwise take enormous personal risks, in order to destabilise the governing regime? A rational man will usually believe that his own death is not justified except in exceptional circumstances, and overthrowing his government is not usually one of those. The concept of "life after death with big rewards" is essential to the narrative that enables self-sacrifice towards the attainment of geo-political goals.

    So, people attack targets like the Twin Towers because they observe massive social injustice in their home land. Their religious leaders tell them that this injustice is the fault of people outside of their social group, and that God wants them to make the world a better place, and that when they die they will receive the reward of an eternal life. They are personally motivated by religion, and by a sense that the world that they are fighting against is unjust. However, the Twin Towers is chosen as a target because it is a symbol of the injustice; this is not about "glorifying" a religion, it is about striking back against an "evil empire" that is seen as being intimately linked with the social problems of the population as a whole.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson