Are we dead yet?

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by joseephuss, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    Particle accelerator fires up

    THE world's most powerful atom-smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), began operations just after 5.30pm AEST in a mission to pierce the greatest secrets of the physical universe

    The first proton beam was injected into the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a massive project that took nearly 20 years to complete and ranks as the most complex and one of the most costliest scientific experiment ever attempted.

    "After the beam is injected, it takes about five seconds for the acquisition of the data,'' said LHC project leader Lyn Evans.

    Shortly afterwards, a telltale flash on control screens confirmed the injection.

    Scientists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) are aiming to re-enact the conditions of the "Big Bang" that created the universe.

    Experiments in the Large Hadron Collider, a $US9 billion ($11bn) accelerator built underneath the Swiss-French border, could unlock the remaining secrets of particle physics and answer questions about the universe and its origins.

    "There are two emotions, the pleasure of completing a great task and the hope of great discoveries ahead of us," said CERN Director General Robert Aymar.

    The giant accelerator's first task is to send a particle beam in one direction around its 27km circumference, and then one in the other direction to test if the path is clear.

    In the coming weeks beams will be sent in both directions simultaneously to create high-speed collisions.

    Scientists around the world are eagerly anticipating data on those minuscule crashes. One possibility is that they will cause the creation of matter - proving correct the theory that there exists a "Higgs Boson" that gives matter its mass.

    Doomsday writers have also fanned fears that the experiment could create anti-matter, or black holes, spurring unprecedented public interest in particle physics ahead of the machine's start-up.

    CERN has insisted that such concerns are unfounded and that the Large Hadron Collider is safe.
  2. CATCH17

    CATCH17 1st Round Pick

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    Yeah i've heard about the black holes.

    So is all going well? Are we going to be ok?

    I can't believe someone would be allowed to put the entire earth at risk like this and not have a war break out over some stupid data.
  3. jksmith269

    jksmith269 Proud Navy Veteran 1990-1995

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    This was a test, all protons are going in the same direction currently, the real deal will be in a few weeks to months when they send the protons in oppsite directions and "collide" them together, this is when it's expected the formations of mini black holes, and other out of this world stuff. One of the biggest items they are looking for is "antimatter" which if harnased they beleive could provide emense power. and I'm sure the military will find a way to use anything that is found...
  4. kelvinkato77

    kelvinkato77 New Member

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    Nah catch it really isn't a big deal. Well actually it is. Scientists around the world are basically going to be able to now test age old "theories" and now have an opportunity to prove some of them in real life situations. In todays world of Pysics there are several theories as to how the world began, what caused it, are there other dimensions, ect...

    The series of experiments over the next couple of years should shed alot of light as to who is "right". (Watch out Einstein..) But below is an article in somewhat laymens terms for anyone that is interested:

    Large Hadron Collider: Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios

    By Alexis Madrigal September 09, 2008 | 7:34:09 PMCategories: Large Hadron Collider

    OMG! Have you heard that huge atom smasher in Europe powers up for the first time tomorrow?
    Of course you have. You've also heard it repeated over and over that the Large Hadron Collider is the biggest, most expensive scientific instrument in history and that it's going to change our fundamental understanding of the universe.
    Well, great, but what does that mean?
    We break down how five major physics theories -- and the theorists who've spent their lives developing them -- may be impacted by the discoveries that could emanate from the LHC. We also provide answers to all your LHC FAQ in 140 characters or less, so you can send them to your friends on Twitter.
    Basically, the collider is a series of tubes intended to guide protons as superconducting magnets propel them close to the speed of light. You can think of the LHC as the Disneyland of physics experiments. A host of different detectors have been designed to test which theoretical physicists' math fits the real world.
    Over the last few decades, physics has followed a path of increasing strangeness. Theory after theory about the fundamental nature of the universe has arisen: string theory, universes composed of multiple universes and many dimensions, and matter we can't see and can hardly detect. Now, that generation of theoreticians will have their ideas put to the test deep underground on the border of France and Switzerland.
    Here's how the LHC could bolster or banish five of those theories:

    The Big Bang Theory
    Best Case: The Large Hadron Colliders' ALICE experiment successfully creates quark-gluon plasma, a substance theorized to have existed just milliseconds after the Big Bang. By generating temperatures more than 100,000 times hotter than the sun, scientists hope to watch as this particle goo cools and expands into the particles that we know. That could help scientists answer why protons and neutrons weigh 100 times more than the quarks they're made of.
    Worst Case: Scientists inadvertently make a micro black hole, and the earth is quickly erased from existence. Just kidding: scientists at CERN and elsewhere have ruled out the possibility that the LHC will create any kind of doomsday scenario. The black holes that the LHC could theoretically create don't even have enough energy to light up a light bulb. On the other hand, the U.K.'s Astronomer Royal put the odds of destroying the world at 1 in 50 million (which puts it in the realm of possibilities but still not as likely as hitting the lottery).

    String Theory
    Best Case: Scientists detect certain types of supersymmetric particles, aka sparticles, which physicist Michio Kaku calls, "signals from the 11th dimension." This would show that string theorists have been on the right path and that the universe really is made up of the four dimensions we experience and then seven others that unite the forces of nature.
    Worst Case: String theory's basic assumptions are violated. The LHC will be the first particle accelerator capable of allowing scientists to study W bosons, the elementary particle responsible for the weak force. If they don't scatter in certain ways, it'll be back to the drawing board for a generation of string theorists, or as one physicist told New Scientist, "If we see these violations, people will start working very feverishly on some sort of alternative that will produce these violations."

    The "Our Universe Is Not Alone" Theory
    Best Case: If scientists find a long-lived gluino, the postulated supersymmetric partner of the gluon, one group of scientists argues that it can be seen as a "messenger from the multiverse" and will lend support to the theory that our universe is just one of many. (Keep in mind though: not everyone is buying this interpretation.)
    Worst Case: Our universe really is alone. Or even worse: it's lonely.

    The Dark Matter of the Universe Theory
    Best Case: Astrophysicists currently believe that 96 percent of the universe is made up of dark matter and energy that we can't see and can barely detect. Dark matter alone is estimated to compose 26 percent of the universe, only we have no idea what it's made of. It has been postulated that the neutralino is the best candidate for dark matter. Many physicists hope that the neutralino -- which, if it exists, will be relatively easy to produce -- will make an appearance in the debris inside the CMS or Atlas detectors, confirming the theory of dark matter.
    Worst Case: Proudly, physicists announce that they've observed dark matter's unmistakable signature inside one of the LHC's detectors. But over the next few weeks, the reality sinks in that they've actually made a measurement mistake. Some physicists don't think that the LHC will be precise enough to measure any dark matter that it's lucky enough to create.

    The Standard Model of Particle Physics
    Best Case: With the standard model so well elucidated, perhaps a curveball is in order. Sean Carroll of Cosmic Variance notes, "There is almost a guarantee that the Higgs exists, or at least some sort of Higgs-like particle," so perhaps the best scenario would be finding the Higgs-like particle rather than the Higgs itself. That wouldn't be such a radical break from the model such that all previous work is too highly devalued, and at the same time it could open new physics frontiers.
    Worst Case: The Higgs boson -- the long-postulated particle that is supposed to give mass to particles -- is finally confirmed. Sure, discovering the Higgs at the LHC would be neat, but it would basically just confirm a lot of what physicists already know, without really pushing the science: Boring. Some scientists have even said that their worst case scenario for the entire collider project would be finding the Higgs and just the Higgs.
  5. kelvinkato77

    kelvinkato77 New Member

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    LHC FAQ in 140 Characters or Less
    Particle physics is complicated. Tweets are not. So, naturally, answering your questions about the Large Hadron Collider in Twitter format, i.e. 140 characters or less, could help you understand some physics.
    Q: *** is a Large Hadron Collider?
    A: Hadrons are the parent family for protons and neutrons. The collider will smash protons together to see what they're made of.
    Q: What are ATLAS and CMS and all these other acronyms?
    A: They are particle detectors. ATLAS and CMS are the big ones. Each detector is designed to carry out a set of experiments.
    Q: How does the Large Hadron Collider work?
    A: It smashes particles moving at near the speed of light together. Then, detectors look for very rare particles in the wreckage.
    Q: Is smashing things together to look for progressively smaller and rarer particles really how particle physics is done?
    A: More or less: yes. Theoretical physicists work out the math. The experiments get run to see whose math matches the world.
    Q: Gimme the stats on the Collider? Factoid stats.
    A: 17 miles around. 9,000 magnets. 7,000 scientists. $10 billion. Operating temp: -456.25 F. Power used: 120 MW. Network: 1.8+Gb/s.
    Q: Who paid for the Large Hadron Collider?
    A: You did! But not nearly as much as your European cousins. The US contribution stands at $531 million. Total cost: $10 billion.
    Q: How does a particle detector work?
    A: They work like digital cameras with 150 megapixels taking snapshots 600 million times a second! Then algorithms look for interesting stuff.
    Q: Is there an end 'product/goal' that the average Joe will eventually see from these experiments? ie:teleportation?
    A: Not directly, but confirmation that physicists understand the universe would be nice. And you never know. The engineering can lead to other things.
    Q: When you smash particles at nearly the speed of light isn't that going to release a lot of energy?
    A: Yes. The highest-energy collisions will reach 14 trillion electron volts.
    Q: How many particles are actually colliding?
    A: Hacked Wikipedia: The beam pipes contain 1.0×10-9 grams of hydrogen, which
    would fill the volume of one grain of fine sand.
    Q: Is the Large Hadron Collider a threat to human civilization and the existence of the Earth?
    A: No. Einstein's relativity says it's impossible. And, just in case, studies of highly-energetic cosmic rays hitting earth rule it out, too.
  6. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye.

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    This may be the coolest thing ever.
  7. J-Skip

    J-Skip New Member

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    Theory is theory until proven wrong. Let's just hope we're not wrong and ended up building a monster too big to be contained.:)
  8. Achozen

    Achozen Sounds From The Lair

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    Dying because of a Black Hole > *
  9. hairic

    hairic Well-Known Member

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    Well, an Indian girl committed suicide over this.

    Too bad you won't be able to experience it. While on Earth, you'll likely die due to the breakdown of Earth's geology. Imagine eruptions of 1000s of volcanoes and earthquakes that wouldn't stop until the Earth was eaten. If you're an astronaut and are in space at the time, I stand corrected. They should be able to experience the black hole on their terms.
  10. Route 66

    Route 66 Well-Known Member

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    Black holes already exist in the Eagles' Trophy Case so I wouldn't worry...
  11. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    Apparently at the edge of a black hole time stands still. So we're really just stuck in time right now. No biggie.
  12. Heisenberg

    Heisenberg That gum you like.

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    It's too bad the one in Texas didn't work out.
  13. DallasCowpoke

    DallasCowpoke Fierce Allegiance

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    It worked out ok in the end though. They're turning it into a really cool waterpark.

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