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Science

The Case For a Muon Collider Succeeding the LHC Just Got Stronger 53

StartsWithABang writes: If you strike the upper atmosphere with a cosmic ray, you produce a whole host of particles, including muons. Despite having a mean lifetime of just 2.2 microseconds, and the speed of light being 300,000 km/s, those muons can reach the ground! That's a distance of 100 kilometers traveled, despite a non-relativistic estimate of just 660 meters. If we apply that same principle to particle accelerators, we discover an amazing possibility: the ability to create a collider with the cleanliness and precision of electron-positron colliders but the high energies of proton colliders. All we need to do is build a muon collider. A pipe dream and the stuff of science fiction just 20 years ago, recent advances have this on the brink of becoming reality, with a legitimate possibility that a muon-antimuon collider will be the LHC's successor.
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The Case For a Muon Collider Succeeding the LHC Just Got Stronger

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  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Saturday May 30, 2015 @03:13AM (#49803921) Homepage Journal
    10,000 years of civilization and they're still just beating rocks together.
    • by JeremyWH ( 1354361 ) on Saturday May 30, 2015 @04:39AM (#49804035)
      But, progress nevertheless, as the rocks are now much smaller! Nanorocks
      • More like attorocks but whatever.

        And what much difference is there between a speeding bullet and a rock? The way you throw the rock might differ, but a rock is a rock.

        • We need a better way to thin the herd. The existing methods haven't worked at slowing down the increase in humans.

      • Muons are actually much smaller than the nano scale, which is typical for small molecules. The Muon is like a big electron.
        • But not very stable..
          A muon is like an electron but is type II matter so is unstable.. Could work great in an accelerator. :))

    • And still move their wheels with fire
      • Well - some move on electrons now.
        • Electrons propelled, ultimately, by fire (mostly).
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The byline of the article explains it better:

    How one of the first tests of special relativity might lead to the greatest particle accelerator of all-time.

  • by fph il quozientatore ( 971015 ) on Saturday May 30, 2015 @03:40AM (#49803969) Homepage
    What is it with the metric ton of medium.com articles appearing recently? Their advertising and media presence team got awake and started mass-submitting stories to slashdot?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What is it with the metric ton of medium.com articles appearing recently? Their advertising and media presence team got awake and started mass-submitting stories to slashdot?

      StartsWithABang [slashdot.org] submits them all but never comments. That account has submitted nine articles from medium.com this week alone. Funny that.

    • by Megol ( 3135005 )

      Well at least the medium articles tend to be readable (ignoring the useless images).

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Yet often full of incorrect things based on the articles related to areas I have formal background in, and sometimes even things that should be known from an intro level class. Not every article, but enough that it kills my motivation to read them (even if I have a background in it, it is nice to read pop-sci stories to see if someone comes up with a good way to explain things to non-technical people, or if there is some new bit of news I've missed). What is sad, is at least one of the author of articles t
    • "What is it with the metric ton of medium.com articles"

      IMO the "metric ton" should be called a MegaGram (it is after all one thousand KiloGrams)

      and of course the article should be on light.com rather than medium.com

  • Seriously, you can't find a physics blog written by an adult?

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Saturday May 30, 2015 @04:20AM (#49804017)
    It's a good idea to use muons. Especially after that article about a proton failure.




    P.S. Where is the JOKE tag when you need one?
  • ...but is it Heuristically Programmed?

    • by johnw ( 3725 )

      Weird. I was reading one thread, went to post, realised I wasn't logged in, logged in, and somehow my comment got attached to a completely different article.

      Please ignore.

  • Very old news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Livius ( 318358 ) on Saturday May 30, 2015 @06:54AM (#49804201)

    The supposed 'advance' was someone asking a question on the Internet. The answer was special relativity which we've had for 110 years.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In other words, clickbait that is mildly interesting but not at all new or useful. Exactly like every other StartsWithABang post.

  • by Translation Error ( 1176675 ) on Saturday May 30, 2015 @10:18AM (#49804675)
    In case anyone else was completely confused about the ''estimate of just 660 meters" in the summary:

    But let's do the math: even if these particles are moving at almost the speed of light--300,000 km/s--and they live for 2.2 microseconds, they should only be able to travel about 660 meters before decaying away.

    Yet I told you these particles are created at the top of the atmosphere, which is some 100 kilometers, or 100,000 meters up! From our perspective, that muon should never make it to the ground. And yet, it's Einstein to the rescue, thank to the fact that when objects move close to the speed of light, their clocks run slow.

  • Old news (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 30, 2015 @10:33AM (#49804717)

    IAAAP (I am an accelerator physicist), and this is pretty old news. The US muon collider program is actually on its way out. Last year's Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) advised the DOE to defund the muon collider project, redirecting funds toward the International Linear Collider (ILC)-- a 250GeV e+/e- precision Higgs factory-- and other projects:

    http://science.energy.gov/~/media/hep/hepap/pdf/May%202014/FINAL_P5_Report_Interactive_060214.pdf

    The DOE has followed P5's review, and Fermilab's muon collider project is winding down.

    • IAAAP (I am an accelerator physicist), and this is pretty old news. The US muon collider program is actually on its way out. Last year's Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) advised the DOE to defund the muon collider project, redirecting funds toward the International Linear Collider (ILC)-- a 250GeV e+/e- precision Higgs factory-- and other projects:

      According to this article it's easier to put energy in particles with substantial mass. They don't seem to leak as much.
      So how are they gonna

      • Re:Old news (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 30, 2015 @01:15PM (#49805191)

        IAAAP (I am an accelerator physicist), and this is pretty old news. The US muon collider program is actually on its way out. Last year's Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) advised the DOE to defund the muon collider project, redirecting funds toward the International Linear Collider (ILC)-- a 250GeV e+/e- precision Higgs factory-- and other projects:

        According to this article it's easier to put energy in particles with substantial mass. They don't seem to leak as much.
        So how are they gonna accomplish these 2-3 x higher energies in the ILC over the LEP ? More massive electric fields ?

        It's all in the name. ILC = "International Linear Collider", i.e., two linacs pointed at each other. Synchrotron radiation only bites you if you're accelerating tangentially to the direction of motion. There's very little synchrotron radiation in a linear accelerator. LEP was a circular collider (proceeding the LHC, and occupying the same tunnel the LHC now uses), hence the synchrotron radiation problem.

        The trouble with linacs is they're somewhat wasteful. Each bunch only gets one crossing with the opposing beam, so you're constantly accelerating new bunches. At LEP you got something around 100 million chances for a bunch to interact with the opposing beam (assuming ~1hr fills)-- and that's assuming only one collision point.

        So, it's six to one, half-dozen to the other. Either you expend all your energy accelerating new bunches constantly, or you expend all your energy replacing what's lost to synchrotron radiation.

        --IAAAP

      • The problem with high-mass particles is they lose energy when accelerating - and in the physics sense, which includes changing direction, as when traveling around a circular path. Linear accelerators, I assume, do not have such a problem: They don't spin their particles in circular paths. That's my guess anyway, I'm not a physicist.

  • we need to find a way to talk about the price of science projects. there are many examples: the top of top500, LHC, Iter, etc. we don't seem to discuss them rationally: to estimate the practical payoff in order to evaluate the cost of building them.

  • Oh.. moun collider. This article just got BOOOORRRING.

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