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Old 2008-08-05, 12:56   Link #41
Kyuusai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarkboy View Post
String Theory could be completely right, there could actually be 10 dimensions and we're all living on some brane-world sheet.... but if the string constants are too small and interactions with the excited string states too small, no planetary based experiment would ever detect it. (you could come up with some fanciful sci-fi type experiments involving collapsing jupiter into a black hole, but then you'd get sued by Gainax)
I think that those most eager to know are the sci-fi writers who will utterly abuse whatever knowledge we find here and whatever gaps in our knowledge that are left.

Man, once we know something, a lot of sci-fi is going to become much harder to read without wincing.
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Old 2008-08-05, 12:56   Link #42
escimo
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Originally Posted by NightbatŪ View Post
If it works, nice
The whole idea with what they're trying to prove bugs me
"The existance of a hypothetical particle" WTF? it's like sending an expedition to the northpole to find Santa
or buying a very fast car to be able to reach both ends of the rainbow before it disappears
and HOPE the pot of gold will be able to pay for the car
This post somewhat ticks me off.
Practically every scientific discovery has started its life as a hypothesis. Sometimes they were miles off the mark, sometimes right on the money. Better yet many of them started as science fiction.

Whether the Higgs is observed or not, it'll provide us at least some valuable information. If nothing else it'll prove that either the scale of the experiment is insufficient or the hypothesis was inaccurate or plain wrong.

You could argue that many scientific theories and experiments that haven't seen practical application yet, are a waste of time and money. Yet you don't really need to study much of the history of physics to find that many day to day things that we take for granted today are just some previous crazy experiments baring fruit.

You could just as well say that space exploration is massive waste of time and money. Here's a theoretical scenario for you to chew on. Say in 50-100 years earth has become uninhabitable due to global warming, melting of the icecaps etc. etc. If humans are at that point capable of either terraforming or in some other way colonizing nearby planets or the moon it'd quite definitely prove that space programs of several countries were not wasted.

I just finished reading "Maxwell's Demon: Why Warmth Disperses and Time Passes", fairly basic and populist stuff about thermodynamics, but what I found amusing and sometimes full out hilarious was the theories that were dominant about it say 200 years ago. They were disproved either by direct empirical study or by proving conflicting theories. Either way, through experiments. Experiments are needed in all fields of science, if for nothing else to point the study to the right direction. And you can never be sure what is going to be the experiment, discovery or theory that opens the door for some wonderful or terrible practical application of some "waste of time and money".

As for myself. Can't really say that I'd fully understand what the hell they're doing but I'm excited anyway.
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Old 2008-08-05, 14:11   Link #43
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Originally Posted by escimo View Post
As for myself. Can't really say that I'd fully understand what the hell they're doing but I'm excited anyway.


I don't think any of us really do!


This article posted in BBC a while back may give a vague idea how this accelerator can be put to many many use. I almost went nut at trying to realize the possibilities!
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Old 2008-08-05, 14:41   Link #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightbatŪ View Post
@ wanderingknight and James3wk

If it works, nice
The whole idea with what they're trying to prove bugs me
"The existance of a hypothetical particle" WTF? it's like sending an expedition to the northpole to find Santa
or buying a very fast car to be able to reach both ends of the rainbow before it disappears
and HOPE the pot of gold will be able to pay for the car
This illustrates exactly why you have no idea what you're talking about, or a clue about scientific methods.

If there were scientific evidence of Santa existing, and probability was acceptable, it would be perfectly REASONABLE to send an expedition team to find him. If there were sufficient evidences and experiments to lead one to believe traveling from one end of rainbow to the other was possible, it's perfectly fine to experiment it, given that the cost was not from some "pot of gold", but within reasonable budget. That's what shows like Myth Busters are for.

However, in both of the cases you mentioned, there are not sufficient evidences to lead to an experiment, and that's why you find it absurd.

And may I ask why you are you still typing? How did you think that computer you're using came to existence?
Going by what your beliefs are stated earlier, you should cancel your internet connection, sell your computer away, and give those money to the starving children you speak of.
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Old 2008-08-05, 18:22   Link #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aohige View Post
And may I ask why you are you still typing? How did you think that computer you're using came to existence?
Going by what your beliefs are stated earlier, you should cancel your internet connection, sell your computer away, and give those money to the starving children you speak of.
Funny how people react if I were to say starvation solves overpopulation
but if I critisize "science" It's suddenly worth it to let a 100.000 die in the name of science to save millions
...yet nobody volunteers their family for it

No I'm not a scholared AS-member, I have not even the basic understanding of particles
but since I can count, I do know that 1 billion Euros is a ****load of money
and 3.2 billion even more
and knowing any practical uses won from these experiments will be used "to kill the other ones more efficiently" first
(that computer we're typing on was develloped in WWII for not so friendly purposes)
before 'you and me' see any profit from it
it makes me wonder if we shouldn't spend that on other matters
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Old 2008-08-05, 18:40   Link #46
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Actually 3.2 billion euros is not that much money. We live in a world were the largest GDP is 16 trillion dollars (the EU). Your country's (Netherlands) GDP is 700 billion dollars. 3.2 is nothing, especially when you learn that it is money that has been paid over the course of 10+ years (in fact I wouldn't be suprised if part of the project was not paid off yet). I can not emphasize how little this project really costs in the grand scheme of things, but it is literally a drop of water in a large bucket.There are so many things to actually be upset about concerning budgetary issues, R & D is generally not one of them.

edit: lol, I looked at you location again, and say that it said "Neverland" not "Netherlands". My mistake .
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Old 2008-08-05, 18:49   Link #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightbatŪ View Post
Funny how people react if I were to say starvation solves overpopulation
but if I critisize "science" It's suddenly worth it to let a 100.000 die in the name of science to save millions
...yet nobody volunteers their family for it

No I'm not a scholared AS-member, I have not even the basic understanding of particles
but since I can count, I do know that 1 billion Euros is a ****load of money
and 3.2 billion even more
and knowing any practical uses won from these experiments will be used "to kill the other ones more efficiently" first
(that computer we're typing on was develloped in WWII for not so friendly purposes)
before 'you and me' see any profit from it
it makes me wonder if we shouldn't spend that on other matters
To put things to perspective, a B-2 Spirit bomber costs 2.2 billion apiece. 3.2 billion may sound like a massive amount of money (which it is) but it still represents a minuscule fragment of military budgets of the involved countries. You're making it sound like the money that was spent on the LHC was directly ripped of the hands of starving children. Well not quite so.

Let's face it. As long as third world staying the third world is one of the major things keeping the inflation in the west in check, things are unlikely to change. And as far as uses for the money goes, I think this is in the constructive end of the scale.

On a less serious side note, my dirty mind prevents me from reading the name of the thingy correctly.
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Old 2008-08-05, 20:11   Link #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightbatŪ View Post
Funny how people react if I were to say starvation solves overpopulation
but if I critisize "science" It's suddenly worth it to let a 100.000 die in the name of science to save millions
There is nothing funny about because you don't have to be a "scholared member" to think of more efficient and humane methods to fight poverty or overpopulation than starvation or not building the LHC. Its natural that people assume that you're just being polemic especially since your goals seem to contradict themselves. If famishment is your goal and you think the LHC leads to that shouldn't you then be all for the LHC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aohige
Going by what your beliefs are stated earlier, you should cancel your internet connection, sell your computer away, and give those money to the starving children you speak of.
He's right. And banning the highly inefficient methods of transportation displayed in your avatar and sig pic would probably also free enough money to feed quite a few people.

Why don't you just make another thread with two ordered lists in general terms of what you think is desirable on this world and what not and we can all discuss if they make sense to us and how to relocate money from the not desirable to the desirable side. In this thread, the discussion is meanwhile running in circles and I fear that watching the arguments collide will not lead to any new knowledge.

BTW, humanity and efficiency aside "let them starve" isn't even a method to fight overpopulation at all because dying people tend to be very good in taking resources with them. The typical result would be a planet Earth with a population reduced by five million people and a potential to feed people reduced by ten millions. Death spiral anyone?
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Old 2008-08-05, 21:05   Link #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightbatŪ View Post
No I'm not a scholared AS-member, I have not even the basic understanding of particles
but since I can count, I do know that 1 billion Euros is a ****load of money
and 3.2 billion even more
and knowing any practical uses won from these experiments will be used "to kill the other ones more efficiently" first
(that computer we're typing on was develloped in WWII for not so friendly purposes)
before 'you and me' see any profit from it
it makes me wonder if we shouldn't spend that on other matters
Most of humanity's greatest discoveries, medical, physical, energy, etc..., have predominately come from experiments used "to kill the others ones more efficiently". I mean the Nobel Peace Prize was founded by a man who invented dynamite, ironic.

It's impossible to say what uses the LHC may produce because, quite simply, no one knows exactly what will come out. If the Higgs is found, Particle Physics will get a kick in the balls in the form of 'The Standard Model is Done... what do we do now?' If something for String Theory is found, a new form of Quantum Mechanics may develop. If a strangelet appears we're all fucked. And so on. You're certainly not going to get much in the form of immediately tangible rewards (other than some infinitesimally small chance we kill ourselves), but Physics isn't about 'now', its a field of investment.

If you want to make it a moral question, do you let a few hundred thousand die to facilitate life for millions later? The question has been asked, in various forms, through time in regards to science, medicine, and, quite simply and most recently, the atomic bomb.
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Old 2008-08-05, 22:17   Link #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Var View Post
Most of humanity's greatest discoveries, medical, physical, energy, etc..., have predominately come from experiments used "to kill the others ones more efficiently". I mean the Nobel Peace Prize was founded by a man who invented dynamite, ironic.

It's impossible to say what uses the LHC may produce because, quite simply, no one knows exactly what will come out. If the Higgs is found, Particle Physics will get a kick in the balls in the form of 'The Standard Model is Done... what do we do now?' If something for String Theory is found, a new form of Quantum Mechanics may develop. If a strangelet appears we're all fucked. And so on. You're certainly not going to get much in the form of immediately tangible rewards (other than some infinitesimally small chance we kill ourselves), but Physics isn't about 'now', its a field of investment.

If you want to make it a moral question, do you let a few hundred thousand die to facilitate life for millions later? The question has been asked, in various forms, through time in regards to science, medicine, and, quite simply and most recently, the atomic bomb.
Just to point out, the discovery of string theory will not change quantum mechanics at all, in fact it would be strong evidence that quantum mechanics is truly fundamental.
String theory is a fully quantum theory, and obeys all the basic laws of quantum mechanics. It also contains general relativity, and therefore is a fully quantum theory of gravity, which is string theory's greatest "success" and the primary reason theorists think it has something to do with reality since no other theory anyone has ever come up with has satisfactorily provided a truly Quantum theory of gravity.

Quantum mechanics is not really a theory, it's a set of principles about how to set up a theory and experiments, and almost no one expects QM to be proven wrong at any scale. Not that it couldn't happen, but that would require a complete scrapping of all theoretical progress of the last century, basically.
Einstein eventually came around to understanding quantum mechanics late in his life. And it's not like physicists love it, there's always something a bit iffy about it, but the very computers you are typing on run based on QM principles so there's little point in denying it now.

Basically, any physical theory can be classical or quantum. Both type are governed by an action which is minimized over paths (in the most common formulation). The difference is that in the classical type the action and the cordinates are normal functions and numbers, whereas in the quantum type they are more complicated mathematical objects called operators (which can be represented by matrices of numbers).

So in the classical case, X*Y=Y*X, but in the quantum case where X and Y are matrices, X*Y-Y*X=something other than zero*hbar
Here hbar is plancs constant, and you can see that as you tune hbar to 0 you recover the standard classical behavior of X and Y, (which you can take as positions or rotations, or any value that describes your system).

String theory is also based on these basic principles, except it's a bit harder to describe the position of a string since you have to describe the entire path of the string, so you get a function not just of time but along the length of the string as well. This can also be quantized as above and it actually is just a slightly more difficult version of the normal classical field theories.

(There is a large complication however that I should point out in case anyone has gotten this far without falling asleep: String theory does not have a very good 2nd quantized formulation yet. That means there is no action principle we can write down that we fully understand how to solve. However there is a fully explored 1st quantized formulation which produces full solvable equations of motion... the problem is that scattering interactions need to be sort of set down by hand. This isn't really a big issue since we can fix those reactions by demanding things reduce to super yang mills theory in certain limits but... okay, I'll stop now)
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Old 2008-08-05, 22:25   Link #51
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Originally Posted by Quarkboy View Post
Just to point out, the discovery of string theory will not change quantum mechanics at all, in fact it would be strong evidence that quantum mechanics is truly fundamental.
String theory is a fully quantum theory, and obeys all the basic laws of quantum mechanics. It also contains general relativity, and therefore is a fully quantum theory of gravity, which is string theory's greatest "success" and the primary reason theorists think it has something to do with reality since no other theory anyone has ever come up with has satisfactorily provided a truly Quantum theory of gravity.
New form =/= change. It would be a change in face, as string theory would become a dominant/prominant theory within the field of quantum mechanics, hence a new form. There is no need to explain it to me as I work with Quantum Mechanics on a daily basis, but thank you for taking the time.

Last edited by Var; 2008-08-05 at 22:36.
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Old 2008-08-05, 23:32   Link #52
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Originally Posted by Quarkboy View Post
So in the classical case, X*Y=Y*X, but in the quantum case where X and Y are matrices, X*Y-Y*X=something other than zero*hbar
Here hbar is plancs constant, and you can see that as you tune hbar to 0 you recover the standard classical behavior of X and Y, (which you can take as positions or rotations, or any value that describes your system).
I'm dead right about here.

*googles hbar and plancs constant*
*reads up*
*is confused*
*gives up*
*swears to take physics next spring or something, then return*

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Old 2008-08-06, 00:13   Link #53
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Cant wait to die, wonder what the other side of the black hole looks like. I choose not to beleive in the gazillion megatons of gravity that will crush me.

Got my finger cross for it to produce a portal to another dimension.

For everyone that is scare, this is a necessary step to further the advancement of science, just like cloning. Morals will keep us stagnant. I personally think some risk must be taken to better the future of the human race

Collide away i say.
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Old 2008-08-06, 09:57   Link #54
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Originally Posted by NightbatŪ View Post
Funny how people react if I were to say starvation solves overpopulation
but if I critisize "science" It's suddenly worth it to let a 100.000 die in the name of science to save millions
...yet nobody volunteers their family for it
The reason why people are opposing you is because your statement comes off as being alarmist and not quite valid. A relatively large amount of money went into the project, it's true. Your statement makes it sound like this money was taken straight out of foreign aid. You could be right, of course, but I don't think that governments are so charitable that they spend all of their surplus on foreign aid. If the money wasn't spent on this project there's a very good chance that it would have gone to other things, many of which are not foreign aid. If you want to argue that this project is a waste based on its own merits you'd probably have more of a case than claiming that the money could have been better spent elsewhere.

I'd also like to mention that your concern for foreign aid is quite noble. However, simply throwing money and food at starving populations hinders long-term solutions. In summary, you're flooding their market with free or cheap food, thereby making it nearly impossible for local farmers to compete. Without local farmers the population can't sustain itself, and they'll either become or remain dependent on foreign aid as a food source. Keep that in mind the next time you're deciding what charity to donate to.
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Old 2008-09-06, 04:18   Link #55
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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle4682260.ece

So doomsday *cough* deadline day is this coming wednesday, skeptics are ever more fidgity, scientists on the project are ever more hopeful. I was thinking, should it end up being the 'final day' would there be anything I'd wanna do in the remaining 4 days?
Actually there's a lot of things, but as is the case sometimes, we don't always have the choice on when we ship out, others will do it for us regardless of our plans.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbduece View Post
Cant wait to die, wonder what the other side of the black hole looks like. I choose not to beleive in the gazillion megatons of gravity that will crush me.

Got my finger cross for it to produce a portal to another dimension.

For everyone that is scare, this is a necessary step to further the advancement of science, just like cloning. Morals will keep us stagnant. I personally think some risk must be taken to better the future of the human race

Collide away i say.
Morals keep some form of control on otherwise a very chaotic species (aka us). Not just in regards to science, but sex, sense of judgement, behaviour and many other things. Morals in a way do need to evolve with the times, but science also sometimes needs to know when to say 'you know what... that's messing with the very fabric of our physical being, let it lie. The results if all goes well could be amazing but the consequences could be tragic and/or irreversable or we're gonna have to work real hard to find a cure/solution."
There's a certain kind of arrogance with that field that irks me for some reason.
(Cloning I'm against for btw, but that's another issue not for this thread)

How nice is it for science to always disregard the possible tragic effect of its discoveries 10, 20 or 30 years into the future, but focus on the immeadiate benefits of research (if it goes well)
And if some other human beings, that you know... share the planet with you diasgree, money and power will at the end of the day rule all (politics proves that), and we're supposed to sit down and smile and believe 'its for the benefit of human kind'.
Pfft.

And no Ledgem, you've said the same thing to me, anytime I mention the possible risks, consequences or fears as they currently stand, you'll say 'that's just alarmist talk, just inciting fear'.
(Albiet, you're referring more to the way the post you were replying to about how the person constructed their thoughts)
Yeah, not all humans are created with an interest in scientific research + infinite curiousity to break boundaries and take that kinda risk into the unknown, especially when the world is in such a sorry state as it is on the bigger scale, we kinda wanna fix and amend current things.
The reasons for the worry is same reason that scientists base their justification.

"Well... we've done and seen such and such... and we're not dead yet, so we're not likely to create any form of damage in the future at all..."
How very reassuring.
vs
"History has shown this and this and this gone wrong. This is what happens when this situation is presented, based on what we know. The worst case senario is such and such, so don't go ahead."

But it's the same, neither you or me can predict tomorrow when venturing into the unknown. All either side opposing and supporting have is what we know now and in the past.
That's it.

The info of the experiment will benefit only those with an interest in physics, or those within the immeadiate field who'll all see it as some form of data to further or benefit their own analysis or ideas. Whoever makes a breakthrough, gets their names down in history. I guess it's not so much 'science' we're fighting as much as it's 'human curiousity'.

The only prob with that seeing as we're human beings is it's coupled with corruption, power, greed as well as hope, inspiration for something possibly beneficial.
And that's why (imo) morals are so so so important. It's not to "keep science stangant" as rather to think 'wait... there's gotta be alternative methods to this same goal that works better and lessens the fears. This wall that we see here, let's find another way around it rather than just forcing our way through it regardless, just to get to the end goal."

Eitherway, Wednesday will follow and we'll soon find out (whether we want to or not, or care or not) how it all goes.
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Old 2008-09-06, 08:23   Link #56
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The article is a bit misleading, let me try and clarify exactly what will be going on this Wednesday:

I was just there (at LHC) 2 weeks ago where we were briefed on the project and the schedule.

This wednesday they are planning on doing the first full circumference beam test. What does that mean? That means that a beam of protons will be going all the way around the entire circle. No colliding. They will test the clockwise one and then the counter clockwise one separately.

They've already tested a beam travelling through 1 of the 8 sectors around the machine and it worked well within tolerances (specifically the beam containment was calibrated properly).


After the full cycle test on wednesday, they will procede to "tuning" the beams, i.e. fine tuning adjustments on the magnets in order to constrain the proton beam into the thinest and most central as possible. This is for somewhat obvious reasons: You want the beams to collide as head on as possible and get as many collisions as possible, so thinning them and aiming them properly is the main function of the "commisioning" process.
It's not known how long this part will take, but most people estimate at least a month.

THEN, after that, they will actually test colliding beams. Furthermore, the first colliding beams will not be at particularly high energies. In fact, they will start off at energies lower than the energy used at other similar experiments that are operating RIGHT NOW at Fermilab in chicago. In them optimistic scenario, they hope to ramp up to full operating spec energy around november.
During the winter the LHC is shut down (this is a cost saving measure due to increase energy costs in switzerland's winter).
Starting around February is a more likely time for the machine to get up to it's full operating potential.

So anyway there is nothing to fear at all wednesday. There is no "switch" that will get pulled.
At some point the machine will be ramped up to energies beyond which experiments have already explored, and that's the time when the unexpected could happen. Or, I suppose, we hope the happens. That's the point after all: To see phenomena we haven't seen yet.
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Old 2008-09-06, 12:05   Link #57
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Thanks for the update, btw... outta curiousity, what is your profession and secondly is that a timetable that's already been published globally for anyone to check out or are we getting some kinda of mini exclusive here?
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Old 2008-09-06, 14:17   Link #58
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Thanks for the update, btw... outta curiousity, what is your profession and secondly is that a timetable that's already been published globally for anyone to check out or are we getting some kinda of mini exclusive here?
I'm a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Tokyo... in high energy theoretical physics, specifically string theory.

I'm not sure exactly how exclusive it is, but during the international string theory conference which was held at CERN 2 weeks ago (which is why I was there), they had about 3 hours of talks devoted to the LHC. One was a progress report/timeline... I bet that the powerpoint is online for that, here: http://indico.cern.ch/getFile.py/acc...s&confId=21917

Heck, the entire talk (video) is online: Watch it here:
http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1121986?ln=en (about 50 minutes)

Actually that was a pretty interesting talk.
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Old 2008-09-06, 18:18   Link #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarkboy View Post
I'm a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Tokyo... in high energy theoretical physics, specifically string theory.

I'm not sure exactly how exclusive it is, but during the international string theory conference which was held at CERN 2 weeks ago (which is why I was there), they had about 3 hours of talks devoted to the LHC. One was a progress report/timeline... I bet that the powerpoint is online for that, here: http://indico.cern.ch/getFile.py/acc...s&confId=21917

Heck, the entire talk (video) is online: Watch it here:
http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1121986?ln=en (about 50 minutes)

Actually that was a pretty interesting talk.
Theoretical... hum...

Aoie <-- Industrial Engineering
---
Blah, i'm more worried about those bad drives hitting me on the way to work that the Hadron Collider turning me into goo.
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Old 2008-09-07, 14:03   Link #60
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Regardless of the result, it would be interesting to see how it would turn out. Hope not a failure. And, if it would be the world's destruction, or the deaths of millions, well, nothing can be done about it. Right? If you want to advance, that is.
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