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#249005 - 09/10/08 03:19 PM LHC
king tut Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2488
Loc: UK


At CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) based in Switzerland, on the morning of Wednesday 10th september 2008, the first particle beam was successfully sent around the full circuit of the Large Hadron Collider.

The LHC is the worlds largest and highest energy particle accelerator. It is contained within a circular tunnel with a circumference of 27 kilometres at about 100 metres underground beneath the Alps!

Historic moment more revolutionary than the moon landings- what will you tell your kids when they ask you where you were when the LHC was turned on?

Structure- two adjacent beam pipes fire beams of protons in opposite directions around the ring. 1,232 bending magnets keep the protons on their path, 392 focusing magnets keep the beam focused, over 1,600 superconducting magnets are installed- most weighing over 27 tonnes! Approx 96 tonnes of liquid helium is used to keep the magnets at their operating temp of 1.9K, about minus 271 degrees Celsius, giving the LHC the additional title of being the worlds largest cryogenic facility at liquid helium temp! Using the worlds most advanced superconducting magnetic technologies, It is also the worlds largest machine!

LHC's conception and construction involved 10,000 people from 500 institutes in 50 countries. The UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has invested more than half a billion pounds in the project.

A succession of accelerators are used prior to injecting the protons into the main accelerator to get them up to speed. Detectors are placed at the four intersection points where the particles collide.

The detectors:

ATLAS - one of two so-called general purpose detectors. Atlas will be used to look for signs of new physics, including the origins of mass and extra dimensions, ATLAS is cathedral sized! (much UK involvement)

CMS - the second general purpose detector will, like ATLAS, hunt for the Higgs boson and look for clues to the nature of dark matter

ALICE - will study a "liquid" form of matter called quark-gluon plasma that existed shortly after the Big Bang

LHCb - Equal amounts of matter and anti-matter were created in the Big Bang. LHCb will try to investigate what happened to the "missing" anti-matter

The LHC collided opposing beams of protons to explore the validity and limitations of the standard model of particle physics. Scientists hope to detect the Higgs Boson to discover the missing links in the standard model of particle physics and to explain the property of mass.

The standard model of particle physics is a relativistic quantum field theory, consistent with both quantum mechanics and special relativity- describing three of the four fundamental interactions between elementary particles of matter. The standard model does not fully explain gravity nor does it explain neutrino oscillations (whereby neutrino lepton flavour can vary with periodic propagation implying non-zero mass).

The four fundamental interactions:

The weakest interaction, more important at long distances. Gravity is a force that acts between two masses, it has an infinite range, always positive reaction so cannot be screened, cannot be absorbed or transformed, acts on all matter. Isaac Newton's law of gravitation describes the general behaviour of gravity. Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity describes gravity more accurately in terms of space-time.

Electromagnetism is the force that acts between electrically charged particles. Electrostatic forces are used to describe charges at rest and the combined effect of electric and magnetic forces are used to describe moving charges.
It is an infinite range force much stronger than gravity, but is heavily screened by opposite charges. It describes most things in everyday life, from light to the impenetrability of macroscopic bodies and the structure of atoms and metals.

Weak Interaction
The weak nuclear force is important at the scales of the atomic nucleus- an electroweak theory with massive gauge boson carriers.

Strong Interaction
The strong nuclear force is very weak at "large" distances. This force explains how the nucleus can retain positive protons packed so closely and is stronger than the electromagnetic force. The short range force suggested a massive particle proposed to be the pion.

The LHC recreated the conditions that existed a millionth of a millionth of a second after the big bang- the birth of the universe, today!

Universe re-born!

Aiming to discover the Higgs Boson, this will validate much of what is believed about physics. The Higgs Boson- the "God Particle", is a hypothetical massive scalar elementary particle predicted by the standard model. Discovery of this particle will help us understand the concept of mass better. The Higgs Boson is thought to be an integral component of the material world. This research will unify three of the four fundamental forces, excluding gravity.

Other particles, models and states may be produced, searches are planned for supersymmetric particles, compositeness, extra dimensions, string theory, strangelets, micro black holes, magnetic monopoles, the nature of dark matter and dark energy, and may help to explain why gravity is so weak compared to other forces, amongst other things.

"We are trying to find out what everything is made of; what we are made of; the smallest pieces inside us; every atom... We're also trying to understand how the universe started " Peter Watkins, professor of the University of Birmingham's School of Physics and Astronomy

"Whatever the LHC finds, or fails to find, the results will tell us a lot about the structure of the universe," Prof Stephen Hawkings

Hawkings money is not on finding the Higgs boson but rather on finding supersymmetric partners to particles already known about- a confirmation of string theory and giving some explanation for dark matter.

The last of 1746 superconducting magnets is lowered into the LHC tunnel via a specially constructed pit at 12:00 on 26 April. This 15-m long dipole magnet is one of 1232 dipoles positioned around the 27-km circumference of the collider. Dipole magnets produce a magnetic field that bends the particle beams around the circular accelerator.

#249006 - 09/10/08 03:30 PM Re: LHC [Re: king tut]
LN3(SS) Offline

Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 486
Loc: MD

Dare I ask if you had any involvement in this?


"When we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead, or alive, we will all come home together." LTG Hal Moore, Jr., USA (Ret.)

#249007 - 09/10/08 03:37 PM Re: LHC [Re: king tut]
Sans Logos Offline

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5796
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
lewis i saw this on yahoo news this morning. this topic is far beyond my ken but i find fascinating the quantum levels of everything from the material to the spiritual.

i am particularly fascinated by quantum wave property theory as it relates to the intersection of the time and space continuum. it's mind boggling how the tiniest particles can maintain their integral properties across the passage of time. what keeps it all from falling apart????

back to head scratching.....


Ron Schulz, MSPC, NCC

#249009 - 09/10/08 03:47 PM Re: LHC [Re: Sans Logos]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
I'm clueless about how this will actually work but just the idea of it is fascinating. I've actually been following the story for a while, but I can honestly say I'm no smarter about it now than I was a year or so ago when it first came on my radar.

ROCK ON.......Trish

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

#249012 - 09/10/08 06:00 PM Re: LHC [Re: Trish4850]
king tut Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2488
Loc: UK
Unfortunately i didn't have the pleasure to have any actual involvement with the project, just a casual observer, but the head scientist, i think his name was Dr Lyn Evans, is welsh! a miners son from Aberdare, so that gives me hope for the future since i am welsh too! and he has a much stronger accent than me and i know the english try to frown on our accents because they think it makes us sound stupid, but it doesn't make us sound stupid at all, they are just jealous that we own the best part of britain

#249014 - 09/10/08 06:20 PM Re: LHC [Re: king tut]
AndyJB2005 Offline

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1249
Loc: Minnesota
Is this the same thing as what some are speculating might cause a mini black hole and end the world? LOL :P

Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

#249017 - 09/10/08 06:56 PM Re: LHC [Re: AndyJB2005]
dgoods Offline

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 622
Loc: Richmond area
Yes, it's turned on, but they're not going to conduct any actual collision experiments until probably the end of the year or so. Any black holes created would be smaller than a proton, and would "evaporate", rather than grow- nothing to worry about.

Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III

#251237 - 09/26/08 05:42 PM Re: LHC [Re: dgoods]
ineffable Offline

Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 1371
Loc: state of holeecrapdood

This is an artist rendition of dark matter, represented by purple in its various shades.
The yellow represents known galaxies.
What is really cool to me (& others) is how similar this is to our brain's neural pathways.


:: "Anyone who can handle a needle convincingly can make us see a thread which is not there" ::


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