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CERN's LHC

  1. Sep 10, 2008 #1
    So they didn't seem to collide any particles yet? I'm not too knowledgeable about this topic, but it must be something "landmark" as Google altered their logo to inform people about this.

    Anyways, there's a link to the article here:

    http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/09/first-beam-circ.html


    And pictures can be seen here:

    http://atlas.web.cern.ch/Atlas/GROUPS/OPERATIONS/prodSys/atlasoracleadmin/10Sep2008/beam/index.php

    My apologies if this was already posted


    Oh, and a question: What great advancements science will be made by colliding particles in a 17-mile long circle will happen other than doing something no man has ever done before? I'm really new to physics and I don't clearly see this benefits. It sounds really cool though :P
     
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  3. Sep 10, 2008 #2

    malawi_glenn

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  4. Sep 14, 2008 #3

    A/4

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    Not two years, much sooner than that. The 14 TeV collisions are expected to begin in early 2009.
     
  5. Sep 14, 2008 #4

    LURCH

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    One thign they hope to do is finally observe (indirectly) the Higg's Boson. You see, physists have been working for years on the current model of Quantum Mechanics, and it's pretty good. It accounts for a lot of the properties and behaviors of physical matter, with one glaring omission; there is no explanation for why things have the property called "mass". The model was altered (by some guy named Higgs, I'm guessing) to include a prediction of a partical responsible for mass, and the LHC may have enough energy to produce this partical.
     
  6. Sep 14, 2008 #5
    Watch out not to confuse the mass of elementary particles, the mass of "things" like your own (which comes from QCD and not the Higgs), or even "dark matter/energy. All those are different problems.
     
  7. Sep 14, 2008 #6
    http://www.astronomy.com/asy/default.aspx?c=a&id=7368
    =======quote=========
    The LHC, the largest and most expensive scientific instrument ever built, will begin the actual high-energy collisions of protons October 21
    =====end of quote======
     
  8. Sep 15, 2008 #7

    malawi_glenn

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    largest? Though LEP was as large as LHC since LHC uses LEP tunnel? ;-)

    But those high energy pp collisions is not at 14TeV.
     
  9. Sep 15, 2008 #8

    ahrkron

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    If things go well, the first collisions may occur pretty soon, although at a relatively low energy. However, it should already be enough to do several fine-tunning tasks in all systems by searching for some well-known particles so that all instruments can be better calibrated; for example, by reconstructing J/psi particles (discovered in 1974 or so), one can make sure that the momentum reconstruction puts it on the correct mass (as measured by several experiments before LHC).

    After this first run at low energy, there will be some data collected at 10TeV, and then the start of the 14TeV run.
     
  10. Sep 15, 2008 #9

    ahrkron

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    In terms of the benefits from this endeavor:
    1. The technologies developed for the analysis of the massive amount of LHC data may have a strong impact in the way people use computers (google for "the grid")
    2. In the medium term, several thousands of solidly trained scientists will be able to return to their countries to disseminate first hand knowledge of "the largest and most expensive scientific instrument ever built"
    3. From the current understanding of particle physics, plus constraints from experiments done so far, there are several competing theories possible. New data will point out which ones to pursue. Extra dimensions, the mechanism that gives particles mass, microscopic black holes, supersymmetry, and new particles are among the possible outcomes.
    4. Basic science usually pays off mainly in the long term. Going from someone doing strange experiments with magnets in a lab to you reading this lines through a world-wide network of interconnected computers takes knowledge of the very intricate details of how to cleverly arrange a few grams of silicon, a lot of work by many generations and, mainly, a daring imagination.
     
  11. Sep 16, 2008 #10
    ahrkron touched on this, but also, for the laymen like me, it is important to note that many of the advances in computers in recent decades have come from CERN experiments, most notably one of the precursors of the modern internet. I for one eagerly await what incredible advances this brings with it.
     
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