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Old 2008-09-14, 02:05   Link #121
Jazzrat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.A. View Post
If collision didn't produce what they want, means they get something, they will get to think again and learn more. Experiment failure? No, this is also success because it means there are more to find out and more research means more development for the world.

Scientists are actually hoping that the LHC can't fully solve their problems lol
Meaning they can keep their job and get more research grant?
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Old 2008-09-14, 07:48   Link #122
4Tran
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Originally Posted by Jazzrat View Post
Meaning they can keep their job and get more research grant?
Nope. It means that the standard is incorrect, and that they're going to have to find/use a different theory to describe the phenomenon. It'd be an extremely exciting time for scientists specializing in the field.

Let me repost what Quarkboy wrote earlier since it encapsulates the situation so well:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarkboy
For the more technically inclined (and/or those of you with a college level background in physics), the experiment could really see 3 basic categories of things:

1. It could discover the Higgs particle, the only particle in the "standard model" of particle physics that has yet to be observed.

2. It could discover evidence of new particles beyond the standard model... many theorists think that there should be an extra symmetry called super symmetry that implies a whole other set of partner particles with high masses, so it's hoped that this experiment will see one of the lightest of these "super" particles.

3. It could see evidence of exotic behavior, including extra dimensions, black hole formation, particles with strange properties like tensor states or high-er spin...

And then there's also possibility number 4: It sees nothing new. Nothing at all except the particles we already have observed from the standard model.

Number 1 almost everyone expects to see. If LHC doesn't see the Higgs, something is very very wrong with the standard model, because there is a lot of very strong theoretical evidence that the higgs must be below a certain mass or the theory itself becomes unstable. So actually seeing nothing at all would be quite a discovery, as it proves that the standard model by itself must be totally redone.
If you see the higgs, but nothing else, well..... That's sort of the worst case scenario for physics jobs. There are plenty of nice theoretical questions left out there, but who's going to fund another machine that costs a trillion dollars and is even bigger just so we can "perhaps" see something new?
If that happens I predict the end of these large scale collider experiments.

Then possibility 2 is interesting, but problematic for theorists. If there are new particles, it can be extremely difficult to pin down exactly which theory is "correct". Since the 1980s, we've come up with a ton of workable phenomenological theories and there was even a paper published a year or so ago that estimated that no matter WHAT combination of data LHC sees, we could construct 100 or so theories that match the data. So then the selection becomes one of which of these theories is the "nicest"....
Chances are we'll end up writing computer programs to cycle through 1000s of symmetry groups and particle contents, adjusting moduli trying to fit a few data points, and'll end up with 5000 theories all about as good, and all exceedingly complicated and ugly.

Then of course there is outcome 3, where crazy shit happens. If the thing really does form a black hole, it'll probably be a 5 dimensional one, by the way, because the machine isn't powerful enough to form one in 4 dimensions (it takes less energy to form a higher dimensional black hole because there's more "space" for it to extend out into). That'll produce a really really crazy signature in the detector, since it'll evaporate into hawking radiation, but at a time scale much slower than the scattering so it'll looking like a delayed burst of random black-body particles. Also if there are large extra dimensions, we should be able to see them because some of the particles will "escape" into those dimensions and become missing energy.
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Old 2008-09-14, 13:16   Link #123
ApostleOfGod
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Originally Posted by C.A. View Post
Then, you've misunderstood science and this experiment.

If an experiment is well designed and the apparatus works, whatever result from the experiment will mean that the experiment works, it will let the scientists find out something new.

If collision produces what they wanted to find, they fufil they objectives and carry on to the next experiment. Experiment success.

If collision didn't produce what they want, means they get something, they will get to think again and learn more. Experiment failure? No, this is also success because it means there are more to find out and more research means more development for the world.

Scientists are actually hoping that the LHC can't fully solve their problems lol
I don't think I've misunderstood. When I said I don't think it's going to work, I mean that it won't produce Any unforseen / new results. Therefore, I'm saying the workload as a whole may go to waste. Then I went on to say that scientists will know better about this than I do, especially regarding such a big experiment. But I can't quite see how things will change after the experiment. Not that it can't, it's like I'm not yet accustomed to the idea - it's still fresh to me. So I'll have to look deeper into the "matter" (haha, matter - meaningless pun for those who don't get) prior to any further prejudices. But yeah, I'm not expecting a big whoop out of the collision either - and as long as there are a dividend of opinions between scientists, chances of success would differ too, the way I see it.
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Old 2008-09-14, 13:27   Link #124
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Originally Posted by ApostleOfGod View Post
I don't think I've misunderstood. When I said I don't think it's going to work, I mean that it won't produce Any unforseen / new results. Therefore, I'm saying the workload as a whole may go to waste. Then I went on to say that scientists will know better about this than I do, especially regarding such a big experiment. But I can't quite see how things will change after the experiment. Not that it can't, it's like I'm not yet accustomed to the idea - it's still fresh to me. So I'll have to look deeper into the "matter" (haha, matter - meaningless pun for those who don't get) prior to any further prejudices. But yeah, I'm not expecting a big whoop out of the collision either - and as long as there are a dividend of opinions between scientists, chances of success would differ too, the way I see it.
I see, but I can refer you back to Quarkboy's post as 4Tran about has requoted. Quarkboy pointed out what you've just explained as a possible outcome no. 4.

If they do not find anything at all, it may indeed become a problem. But its impossible to 'not find anything at all'.

For the design of the experiments, it has designated a few objectives and the collisions have low chance not to reveal anything totally not related to them or anything unknown.

And if there's really nothing to learn for quantum physics, some military will probably learn the fudamentals for 'Hadron beam cannons' and such lol
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Old 2008-09-14, 14:07   Link #125
Anh_Minh
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Well, after that, there's always the next big collider they've got in the tubes, and whose location they haven't decided yet. And whose name escapes me at the moment.
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Old 2008-09-14, 14:26   Link #126
C.A.
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Well, after that, there's always the next big collider they've got in the tubes, and whose location they haven't decided yet. And whose name escapes me at the moment.
Hmmm, not sure if I've heard of that.

The other mega science experiments/apparatus I've heard is the South Pole station, super radio array, super telescope and in 50 years the prototype cold fusion reactor lol
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Old 2008-09-14, 14:54   Link #127
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Originally Posted by C.A.
And if there's really nothing to learn for quantum physics, some military will probably learn the fudamentals for 'Hadron beam cannons' and such lol
You think they'd spend US$7.9 billion just to let some physicists do (gasp) science?

Of course it's the Death Raytm, Earth's ultimate weapon against the little grey men that crashed into Roswell decades ago. Either that, or it's our insurance policy against any interstellar goons who are planning to build a hyperspatial express route through our planet.
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Old 2008-09-14, 15:40   Link #128
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by C.A. View Post
Hmmm, not sure if I've heard of that.

The other mega science experiments/apparatus I've heard is the South Pole station, super radio array, super telescope and in 50 years the prototype cold fusion reactor lol
I was talking about the ILC which will smash electrons against positrons.


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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
You think they'd spend US$7.9 billion just to let some physicists do (gasp) science?

Of course it's the Death Raytm, Earth's ultimate weapon against the little grey men that crashed into Roswell decades ago. Either that, or it's our insurance policy against any interstellar goons who are planning to build a hyperspatial express route through our planet.
I wish. If we ever make a death ray, I'm pretty sure our first targets will be each other.
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Old 2008-09-15, 09:40   Link #129
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Oh, I suppose I should add possibility number 5:

The machine doesn't work for some reason.

There are a couple of reasons why this might happen:
1. Catastrophic engineering blunder. Used yards instead of meters, etc... So far things seem pretty good.
2. Unforeseen interference. This can be systematic radiation from some nearby source or also caused by an engineering flaw like putting a motor too close to the detector or something... Tidal waves screwed up another experiment once, and satellite telescopes often have strange problems that take a while to counter.
3. 3rd party issues: World economic collapse destroys funding, switzerland engulfed in war, etc etc...
4. Data analysis fails. If the group of scientists charged with analyzing the raw data can't agree on what it means, then we could be in real trouble (they are split into separate groups that work independently to help avoid tainting the data analysis with your expectations). So it's possible that each of the 4 groups or so comes up with different answers and then the data would simply be "inconclusive".

Problem 1 seems unlikely, since the machine itself works fine as of wednesday and the basic principles of an accelerator are no different than the numerous experiments that have proceeded it. All components have been tested and retested and there are contingency plans for pretty much anything.
Problem 2 is usually encountered at least once, and can be solved by carefully studying the cause of the interference and accounting for it in the data (i.e. if the sun causes the ground to heat up too much screwing up the muon detectors you can just take data during the night or something)
Problem 3 is SOL, basically, but what can you do? Chances are scientists would keep working even if they aren't paid, but the machine uses an assload of power.
Problem 4 is actually somewhat likely, at least in the short term. But as more and more data is taken the chances of the analysis groups' opinions diverging becomes less and less.
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Old 2008-09-15, 14:35   Link #130
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There was a brief hack attempt the other day from some idiot hackers - but they failed to get very far (and we're dealing with a huge infrastructure of support computers as well as direct control computers). That's be either under subsection 2 or 3 of Quarkboy's #5 possibility.
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Old 2008-09-15, 14:44   Link #131
Anh_Minh
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The Greek guys? I heard they went far enough. While they couldn't actually have damaged the collider or actually do anything to it, they could have altered some of the data. (If there'd been any.)
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Old 2008-09-20, 07:42   Link #132
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This may not be posted yet on the thread since it just happened recently.

Quote:
The world's most expensive experiment, which aims to unlock the secrets of the Big Bang, has been halted for at least two months because of an electrical glitch.

The cooling system for the Large Hadron Collider's high-powered magnets that steer beams of particles around the tunnel broke down on Wednesday.

The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) said it had taken several days to replace the equipment, but the damage is worse than previously thought.

CERN spokesman James Gillies said the LHC will be out of commission for at least two months.

"In layman's terms, the LHC is a great big fridge, and part of the power supply failed," he said.

The LHC took nearly 20 years to complete and at 4.4bn is one of the costliest and most complex scientific experiments ever attempted.

It aims to resolve some of the greatest questions surrounding fundamental matter, such as how particles acquire mass and how they were forged in the Big Bang that scientists believe created the universe 17 billion years ago.
Source: Sky news


It's a stroke of bad luck. Great scientific discoveries aren't meant to be achieved easily anyway. 2 Months isn't a very long time.
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Old 2008-09-20, 07:56   Link #133
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Hmmm it seems that the experiments will start next year than, actually not too big of a delay.

Since they previously already declared that they will not be doing experiments in winter and they were not going to do any big experiments in fall anyway. So the experiments were sort of expected to start next year.
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Old 2008-09-20, 08:02   Link #134
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The reason it'll take up to 2 months, by the way, is the cooling process.

The machine is split up into 8 quadrants which are independant, and if a serious repair is needed an entire quadrant must be warmed up to room temp for a human to work on it.

The problem is, see, it's not so simple to cool it back down. Cooling down to 40 kelvin or so, the temperature of liquid nitrogen is relatively easy, but then going down to 3 kelvin with liquid helium and the final 1 degree using fancy refrigeration heat pipe techniques is very very slow going, primarily because at that temperature range the properties of copper and other materials go all wonky and you have to go bit by bit, wait for the system to equilibriumise, then go a little further, etc, otherwise you end up warming the thing instead of cooling it.

The first time it took nearly 4 months to cool the first quadrant, then for each succesive one the scientists got better at the process. 2 months is actually a pretty generous estimate, I've been told they think they can get the re-cooling process done in only 3 weeks assuming it goes as planned.
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