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Old 2008-08-02, 14:23   Link #1
Vexx
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Large Hadron Collider Nearly Ready (pics)

First, the reference:
http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/200..._collider.html

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a 27 kilometer (17 mile) long particle accelerator straddling the border of Switzerland and France, is nearly set to begin its first particle beam tests. The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) is preparing for its first small tests in early August, leading to a planned full-track test in September - and the first planned particle collisions before the end of the year. The final step before starting is the chilling of the entire collider to -271.25 C (-456.25 F). Here is a collection of photographs from CERN, showing various stages of completion of the LHC and several of its larger experiments (some over seven stories tall), over the past several years. (27 photos total)

Many of the pictures will make absolutely stunning wallpapers. Follow the above links for all of them.


This is .... so cool. And many of the comments following the article are sooooo stupid or ignorant (but many are quite erudite or funny).
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Old 2008-08-02, 14:38   Link #2
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You mean it will be stupid to say I'm not scared of falling into a blackhole because I've got a ez-pass?

Seriously speaking, this is a fantastic news. One more victory, no matter how rarely they come, for science. Let's go smash some atom.
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Old 2008-08-02, 14:41   Link #3
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Oh, so thats the thing that could destroy our planet before we notice it by creating a black hole (an stable one) if a calculation made by the scientist and physicists go wrong....huh?

Well, at least if it works they could use it for create an internet 10.000 times more fast....(called the grid).
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Old 2008-08-02, 15:53   Link #4
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David Brin flashbacks are popping up in my mind as I re-read this news...

For those who don't know, the LHC was designed to look specifically for Higgs boson (a hypothetical massive elementary particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics). By finding these particles, scientists hope to establish a clear step toward a Grand Unified Theory which postulates that three of the four fundamental forces (electromagnatism, strong nuclear force, and weak nuclear force) can be combined into a unified field when forced together by extrememly high fields of energy. The LHC is also designed to attempt to figure out why gravity is so weak in comparisson to the other Forces.
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Old 2008-08-02, 16:30   Link #5
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Also, for the laymen (me included):

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Last edited by WanderingKnight; 2008-08-02 at 16:41.
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Old 2008-08-02, 16:31   Link #6
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We want cheap energy ^^
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Old 2008-08-02, 16:57   Link #7
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Darnit, WanderingKnight, you beat me to posting the xkcd reference! That's the FIRST thing I thought of when I was pondering what to post...

It is truly amazing what human beings are able to accomplish without knowing what the HECK we're doing. I really wonder how many engineering breakthroughs were achieved in building this that will inevitably not make news because of the focus on the result.

I confess to kind of hoping that there is a negative result out of sheer curiosity of what the reaction would be in the scientific community and among the public that suddenly wonders about the cost despite a negative result being as useful as a positive (if less satisfying).
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Old 2008-08-02, 17:02   Link #8
Irenicus
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This thing really does look like a Doomsday Machine.

I predict that, once this baby's up and running, people are going to start complaining that it's "anti-climactic" because it didn't take us all out in one step with glorious black hole, doesn't explode and wipe out half of Western Europe, doesn't open the portal to Cthulhu, doesn't revive Jesus Christ, and doesn't stop global warming within three months after it became operational.

Meanwhile, scientists will probably eventually get some data out of it for some future use, which is what it's made for anyway.

*intelligent comments lacking because, honestly, I don't understand a thing about what they're doing*
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Old 2008-08-02, 17:08   Link #9
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Oh... it costs, what, a few days of War-time?
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Old 2008-08-02, 17:17   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Oh... it costs, what, a few days of War-time?
Well, about a month's worth, but when has the public ever cared about little things like logic when deciding what to get upset about? On the off chance there is a negative result, I'd be worried about the future of scientific funding. It's no less a useful answer, but public opinion is such a finicky thing...

I'm actually really impressed with the amount that's been done on the budget they have. Sure, it's cost a ton, but I expected it to cost far, far more.
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Old 2008-08-02, 17:20   Link #11
Irenicus
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Originally Posted by Kyuusai View Post
I'm actually really impressed with the amount that's been done on the budget they have. Sure, it's cost a ton, but I expected it to cost far, far more.
I suspect a donation of 100$ from each planet in the galaxy would be sufficient to build the Death Star itself.

But really, who'd get upset over the cost of this magnificent machine? The Americans have no business getting upset over it (meh, we already ruined our own program, no? Next stop: stop stem cell research!!1one!), and the French and Swiss are probably not all that concerned either except for the ones that buy the "this thing is going to suck us all in" hype. Or the Greens. But nobody cares about the Greens.
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Old 2008-08-02, 17:26   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
This thing really does look like a Doomsday Machine.
Just so everyone knows, we need not worry about mini-black holes. Any that could form will be hurdled into space, away from our planet, and will be safely decomposed via simple background radiation. But, even if they are not safely decomposed, they will not be harmful.

What we should worry about are strangelets . Strangelets are strange pieces of matter that are composed entirely of qurks as opposed to nuclear matter made up of protons and electrons. If a strangelet is form a "ice-nine" disaster scenario could occur in which all matter on the planet is "turned" into quark matter. Then again, this is a radical QCD matter that is still unknown to exist and even if it does exist (most probably in neutron stars), it would be near impossible to form in the conditions that the LHC is working with.
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Old 2008-08-02, 18:21   Link #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james3wk View Post
David Brin flashbacks are popping up in my mind as I re-read this news...

For those who don't know, the LHC was designed to look specifically for Higgs boson (a hypothetical massive elementary particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics).

3.2 to 6.4 billion euros
that's a goddamn expensive game of hide and seek if you ask me,
so what if they DON'T find anything?
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Old 2008-08-02, 18:27   Link #14
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I would make some obligatory Code Geass Anya ftw comments, but I'm too busy reading about this magnificient experiment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NightbatŪ View Post
3.2 to 6.4 billion euros
that's a goddamn expensive game of hide and seek if you ask me,
so what if they DON'T find anything?
If they don't find anything, we discover that this scale of scientific experiment was insufficient to prove or disprove the theory.
Which in itself is a minor scientific discovery.

Which, in the long run, is MUCH more productive (for the human cause) than spending the equal amount of money dropping bombs and killing "insurgents".
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Old 2008-08-02, 18:43   Link #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightbatŪ View Post
3.2 to 6.4 billion euros
that's a goddamn expensive game of hide and seek if you ask me,
so what if they DON'T find anything?
The 3.2-6.4 billion euros is spread out over 80 some countries, with about a half of it being financed by France and Switzerland. Realistically, this is a small price to pay even if the machine fails in finding its set-goal. As Vexx said, the price of the LHC costs about the same amount as what America spends in Iraq in a week (honestly, I would preffer if money was "wasted" on scientific experiments than useless war-time activities).

If the Higgs Boson is found, then a new era of scientific breakthroughs and experiments can begin (possible new energy sources, greater theories concerning the orgins of the universe, and so much more). If the Higgs Boson is not found, the all of the Standard Model of particle physics must be re-written since the previously established laws will be based on incorrect observations and data.

That being said, they are bound to find something (and if nothing else, finally test the theory), and the likelyhood of finding the Higgs boson is highly probable.
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Old 2008-08-02, 19:16   Link #16
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Quote:
so what if they DON'T find anything?
I believe you don't understand how science works, buddy. Failing to find the Higgs boson doesn't mean "failure", no matter what the results-looking media wants to make you believe.

I think not finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is much, much worse. That's a couple of hundred times the amount of money invested in this experiment over a mere game of "hide and seek".
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Old 2008-08-02, 20:45   Link #17
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Its starting to look like a stargate.
I can't help it, but to think of Help! A Black Hole Ate My Laboratory!

I think they might find unexpected things along whit the expected, of course it doesn't have to be strangelets, monopoles or blackholes. Its large enough and has the energy capacity to make various undiscovered matters appear via scientific. They did it even in smaller scales, imagine what this machine can discover ?
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Old 2008-08-03, 17:12   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aohige View Post
I would make some obligatory Code Geass Anya ftw comments, but I'm too busy reading about this magnificient experiment.



If they don't find anything, we discover that this scale of scientific experiment was insufficient to prove or disprove the theory.
Which in itself is a minor scientific discovery.

Which, in the long run, is MUCH more productive (for the human cause) than spending the equal amount of money dropping bombs and killing "insurgents".
[sarcasm]So at least we have a technological way to prevent overpopulation[/sarcasm]

[cold hard truth]alot of children wouldn't have starved to death or die of some innocent flu with that money[/cold hard truth]
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Old 2008-08-03, 17:20   Link #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightbatŪ View Post
[sarcasm]So at least we have a technological way to prevent overpopulation[/sarcasm]

[cold hard truth]alot of children wouldn't have starved to death or die of some innocent flu with that money[/cold hard truth]
There is plenty of money to go around. Just because that money was spent doesn't mean that other things can't be paid for.

Whatever the result, it will give us very significant information that will be used to progress the field of physics. That means more than just scholars pontificating. These answers can help drive industry.
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Old 2008-08-03, 17:23   Link #20
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Quote:
[cold hard truth]alot of children wouldn't have starved to death or die of some innocent flu with that money[/cold hard truth]
Go complain to the US government if you're going to talk about wasted money over useless things.

Better yet, go complain to the Vatican, they've been literally sitting on gold since the Middle Ages.

This, on the other hand, is much more useful than a war on Iraq or a golden palace. And probably cheaper, too.
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