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LHC - The 8 billion dollars experiment to find the Higgs boson
Posted: 01 July 2008 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The LHC (Large Hadron Collider) is scheduled to come online come August 2008 in Europe. For seven thousand scientists, it is finally show time after 10 years and 8 billion dollars. It might end the quest to find the Higgs boson aka the “God particle” because it gives mass to itself and all elementary sub atomic particles. Peter Higgs proposed the Higgs field/mechanism in 1964 and predicted the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson. Other expectations of the LHC include elucidating the nature of dark matter/energy and gravity.

Here is a wiki on the LHC:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Hadron_Collider

The LHC is being funded and built in collaboration with over two thousand physicists from thirty-four countries as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories.

When activated, it is theorized that the collider will produce the elusive Higgs boson, the observation of which could confirm the predictions and “missing links” in the Standard Model of physics and could explain how other elementary particles acquire properties such as mass

Another article here from Scientific American:

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=the-discovery-machine-hadron-collider

Physicists expect the LHC to bring about a new era of particle physics in which major conundrums about the composition of matter and energy in the universe will be resolved.

Who is Peter Higgs?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Higgs

Peter Ware Higgs, FRS, FRSE, (born May 29, 1929), is an emeritus professor at the University of Edinburgh.

It was at Edinburgh that he first became interested in mass, developing the idea that particles were weightless when the universe began, acquiring mass a fraction of a second later, as a result of interacting with a theoretical field now known as the Higgs field. Higgs postulated that this field permeates space, giving all elementary subatomic particles that interact with it their mass.

Why is the Higgs particle nicknamed the “God particle”?

Higgs is reported to be displeased that the particle is nicknamed the “God particle”, as Higgs is an atheist.This nickname for the Higgs boson is usually attributed to Leon Lederman, but it is actually the result of Lederman’s publisher’s censoring. Originally Lederman intended to call it the goddamn particle because of its elusiveness.

Here is the wiki on the Higgs boson:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_boson

The Higgs boson is a hypothetical massive scalar elementary particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics. It is the only Standard Model particle not yet observed, but would help explain how otherwise massless elementary particles still manage to construct mass in matter.

There are some concerns that the LHC will unleash mini black holes, magnetic monopoles or strangelets which could destroy the earth:

http://www.lhcdefense.org/

http://www.nowpublic.com/technology/potential-danger-particle-collider-experiments

The main danger could be now just behind our door with the possible death in blood of 6.500.000.000 (US notation 6,500,000,000) people and complete destruction of our beautiful planet. Such a danger shows the need of a far larger study before any experiment ! The CERN study presents risk as a choice between a 100% risk or a 0% risk. This is not a good evaluation of a risk percentage!

Our desire of knowledge is important but our desire of wisdom is more important and must take precedence. The precautionary principle indicates not to experiment. The politicians must understand this evidence and stop these experiments before it is too late!

Is the LHC a doomsday machine or is the experiment which will determine the nature of physical reality?

Exciting stuff indeed! What do you think?

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Posted: 01 July 2008 09:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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My prediction:  Nobody will see or understand the results (at least for some time) because—

1)  We’ll all vanish in some kind of black hole or Star Trek-type “anomaly” (ah, the quintessential Star Trek plot device!)

2)  It will take a few years to decipher the results and even more to understand the implications and still more to realize the practical outcomes.

[ Edited: 01 July 2008 09:19 PM by fmiddel ]
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Posted: 01 July 2008 10:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I work in the field.  I hope we see something far more interesting than a Higgs scalar and supersymmetry, which are the leading attachments of particle physicists.

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Posted: 05 July 2008 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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What the heck. It all has to end sometime. May as well be the result of the pursuit of something noble rather than because the sun got old and cratchety.

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Posted: 09 July 2008 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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brillig - 05 July 2008 05:28 PM

What the heck. It all has to end sometime. May as well be the result of the pursuit of something noble rather than because the sun got old and cratchety.

Quite so, however the earth is expected to support life for another 1 billion years if scientists do not destroy it now in the pursuit of “something noble”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun

The increase in solar temperatures is such that in about a billion years, the surface of the Earth will become too hot for liquid water to exist, ending life as we know it.

Here is the cautionary tale of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sorcerer’s_Apprentice

The tale begins as an old sorcerer departs his workshop, leaving his apprentice with chores to perform. Tired of fetching water by pail, the apprentice enchants a broomstick to do the work for him - using magic he is not yet fully trained in. The floor is soon awash with water, and the apprentice realizes that he cannot stop the broom because he does not know how. Despairing, he splits the broom in two with an axe, but each of the pieces transforms into a whole broomstick. The broomsticks take up pails and resume their work, now faster than ever. When all seems lost in a massive flood, the old sorcerer returns and quickly breaks the spell, saving the day.

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Posted: 09 July 2008 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Cool machine. Scary stuff. But chances of anything like that happening are very remote. If it did “go off” I suppose the end would be very quick and painless… I hope!

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 09 July 2008 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Of all the ways to eat it (rogue comet, asteroid, global warming, etc.) I don’t think one should worry about the miniscule probability of something going wrong at the LHC.

Anyway, as Ellis and others have shown, given that the Earth is still here despite the eons of ultra-high energy cosmic rays hitting the Earth, the risk at the LHC is indeed miniscule.

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Posted: 10 July 2008 12:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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2008-06-26-LHC.PNG

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Posted: 10 July 2008 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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42 happens to be my address wink

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Posted: 10 July 2008 06:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Ha ha - cute cartoon

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 10 July 2008 09:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Ah, the meaning of the universe.  (Hitchhiker’s Guide)  LOL


Occam

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Posted: 10 July 2008 10:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Jules - 09 July 2008 11:39 AM

Cool machine. Scary stuff. But chances of anything like that happening are very remote. If it did “go off” I suppose the end would be very quick and painless… I hope!

I hope they let me know when they plan to turn it on…..I plan to be doing something FUN!!!! ......just in case…... wink

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Posted: 01 August 2008 01:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I read this thing should be active this month any body have any idea when?

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Posted: 01 August 2008 01:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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macro820 - 01 August 2008 01:36 AM

I read this thing should be active this month any body have any idea when?

LHC is completely cool.  They could start running protons in a week.

BTW, how come cartoon scientists always where labcoats?  The only time I ever wore a labcoat is in the machine shop.  (Work boots are most important to protect the piggies from falling tools.)

Oh, and if you’re working with corrosive chemicals—then a labcoat is the minimum.

[ Edited: 01 August 2008 01:46 AM by Hypnos ]
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Posted: 01 August 2008 02:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Have you seen the suits they use to handle old war heads? They are plastic and they get welded in the suit and it gets pressure tested before they can enter.

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Posted: 01 August 2008 03:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Seen them in pictures, but never first hand.  Fun!

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