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Old 2008-09-10, 16:45   #1
ewmayer
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Default LHC delivers doppelgänger piazza

Massive particle collider passes first key tests
Quote:
GENEVA – The world's largest particle collider passed its first major tests by firing two beams of protons in opposite directions around a 17-mile (27-kilometer) underground ring Wednesday in what scientists hope is the next great step to understanding the makeup of the universe.

After a series of trial runs, two white dots flashed on a computer screen at 10:26 a.m. (0826 GMT) indicating that the protons had traveled clockwise along the full length of the 4 billion Swiss franc (US$3.8 billion) Large Hadron Collider — described as the biggest physics experiment in history.
Whenever I read about big particle colliders, I can't help but think back to that classic non-sequitur line from the 50s Sci-Fi classic This Island Earth, in which the 50s babe with the classic 50s biconic brassiere is showing the hunky male scientist around the secret nuclear lab, and he is startled by a cat jumping up onto of a huge slab of lead shielding. At which point she says brightly: "Oh, that's our lab mascot, Neutron. We call him Neutron because he's he's always so positive!!!"
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Old 2008-09-11, 02:31   #2
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I just wish all the religious zealots and people who think science is evil would just shut up about the black hole thing. One particularly dumb comment was said by someone in response to an article about it who said, "If it's so safe, why would they build it so far underground?" which means that person has no idea why it is built underground in the first place. Ugh.
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Old 2008-09-11, 03:56   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwb52z View Post
One particularly dumb comment was said by someone in response to an article about it who said, "If it's so safe, why would they build it so far underground?" which means that person has no idea why it is built underground in the first place.
Probably not, so if that question were being asked of a good teacher, such a teacher would try to find an explanation simple enough for the questioner's level.
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Old 2008-09-11, 04:08   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
Probably not, so if that question were being asked of a good teacher, such a teacher would try to find an explanation simple enough for the questioner's level.
That's right and there is a rather simple explanation that most people wouldn't think to question unless they hate science as a whole. My only fear is that this experiment will show that they really should have built the 50 mile one here in Texas instead of the 17 mile one in Europe.

Last fiddled with by Jwb52z on 2008-09-11 at 04:09
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Old 2008-09-11, 18:50   #5
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What they really should have done to help sell the Texas SSC was help justify the enormous cost [which admittedly is peanuts given the kind of money our govt is throwing at moribund investment banks, irresponsible homebuyers and neverending wars these days] by tying it to some kind of useful commercializable research. For instance something along the lines of

"Here's a couple hundred million $ in seed funding ... you physicists use it to go work with the materials industry to try to develop viable Hi-Tc superconducting magnets which could be used in place of your current liquid-Helium-cooled designs. Show us the magnets at a low enough cost and high enough power to also be commercially interesting, and we'll fund the full project, because even though the total upfront cost won't be lower, the operating cost will be much less and we will derive a broader economic benefit, as well."

But noooooooo ... they had to go spouting bogus claims about "helping to cure cancer" and such nonsense. Another huge opportunity to do both interesting and useful scientific/industry collaboration missed.
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Old 2008-09-12, 01:05   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
But noooooooo ... they had to go spouting bogus claims about "helping to cure cancer" and such nonsense. Another huge opportunity to do both interesting and useful scientific/industry collaboration missed.
The science editor for the Washington Post gave a lecture to the physics dept at the U of MD in the mid-90s, and was involved in the debate about the SSC; he thought it would have gone better had the scientists not bothered mentioning the possibility of useful spinoffs, but instead just said "we want to discover the secrets of the universe; are you going to help us?"
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Old 2008-09-12, 20:21   #7
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Default LHC Webcam

Fascinating live-cam images of the Large Hadron Collider facility in Switzerland in operation:

http://www.cyriak.co.uk/lhc/lhc-webcams.html

”Geneva, ve haff ein kleines Problem…”
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Old 2008-09-13, 09:18   #8
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The LHC really seems to be getting a lot of attention

Hacking
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle4744329.ece

and

Rapping
http://www.dbtechno.com/space/2008/0...a-youtube-hit/


Regards
Patrick
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Old 2008-09-14, 05:55   #9
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No kidding!

From Scientific American:

"How long would it take the LHC to defrost a pizza?"

(Assume that the beam energy would be spread evenly across the surface of the pizza.)

Answer: 30 nanoseconds, for DiGiorno's Microwave Rising Crust Four-Cheese Pizza (although the illustration clearly shows a pepperoni pizza).

http://www.sciam.com/blog/60-second-...o-d-2008-09-10

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2008-09-14 at 06:00
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Old 2008-09-14, 09:20   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
"How long would it take the LHC to defrost a pizza?"
A more relevant question is how many pizzas can LHC defrost each second.

You didn't expect me to put an answer here did you? For a simple reciprocal? You work it out.
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Old 2008-09-14, 10:45   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post

"How long would it take the LHC to defrost a pizza?"
It doesn't say anything about the duration of the energy release, only the power. 10 TW. Does it lasts as long as their calculated defrost time?
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