What do you think we will see at the LHC?

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What do you think we will see?

Higgs Boson
62
31%
Micro black holes
32
16%
Supersymmetry
22
11%
Headcrabs
70
35%
Other(please specify)
16
8%
 
Total votes: 202

zenten
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What do you think we will see at the LHC?

Postby zenten » Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:39 am UTC

Would the Large Hadron Collider at CERN be able to confirm (at least with very strong evidence) the existence of the Higgs boson, the nonexistence of the Higgs boson, or both? And if so, how long should it take?

Merged with the other thread, in which the post that went along with the poll was as follows:
alexgmcm wrote:Well the question is kinda self-explanatory. I mean here we are 10 years and £3.5bn later and now we finally get to see what will happen.

Do you think we will see the Higgs Boson?. Or microscopic black holes? Or we will tear a hole in the space-time continuum and have to fight aliens from the planet Xen?

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby JayDee » Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:15 am UTC

From the way my (first year) physics lecturers have been talking about it, they are hoping to find evidence of the Higgs boson with the LHC. But other than that being one of the reasons to build the thing, we haven't been told much anything about it. No details.

I am curious, though. I'm guessing it's not going to be as simple as flicking a switch and going "Yep, there is it, there's the Higgs boson. All done now."
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby trip11 » Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:56 am UTC

The answer is a little bit more complicated. There are several theories about the higgs. (Some theories predict charged higgs, some predict several different types etc). So it depends which theory you're looking at as to how long it will take to provide good evidence for it. Also we don't know what the mass will be. The mass of the Higgs will change the amount of time to find it dramaticly. Other colliders have given us limits on the mass though. The number standard number I hear is about 1-2 years after we get up to high luminocity. (Note that the LHC will start at low luminocity and over the course of months slowly increase the luminocity). Before people even start looking for the Higgs the LHC and detectors need to be calabrated and understoon. This will take months/years. But after a few years expect a paper one way or the other.

disclaimer: I work at CERN but I'm studying top quarks not Higgs physics. So my knowledge on the subject is gained from lunch table conversation.

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby kalma » Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:55 am UTC

Also, CERN only works during the summer months, as during the winter months it would put too much of a strain on the French company that supplies the power (CERN consumes as much energy as the nearby city of Geneva - which is by the way one of the most beautiful cities my eyes have ever had the pleasure of seeing).

trip11 wrote:I work at CERN

*drool*
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby Korandder » Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:22 pm UTC

Which one? Keck? Gemini North? James Clerk Maxwell? Canada France Hawaii? United Kingdom Infrared Telescope? Another one that I do not know off the top of my head? There are quite a few observatories at Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii.

I turned down a job for this summer in Hawaii doing research with the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope to spend the summer working at Gemini South in northern Chile.
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby Yakk » Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:11 am UTC

There is a range of predicted values for the energy of the Higgs Boson (if it exists).

Each of the predictions usually comes with more baggage, including wonderful stuff like the energy density at which "new physics" is needed, or the like.

The lowest predicted Higgs Boson energy levels are at the edge of what existing colliders can do: some think that we have already seen the Higgs Boson in some rare events.

The highest predicted Higgs Boson energy levels are beyond what the LHC can do.

Sadly, particle physics sucks, because it is full of free parameters. That was why people tried to build stuff like string theory, to reduce the number of free parameters. Sadly, string theory ended up leaving the number of spacial dimensions semi-free @_@.
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby miles01110 » Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:26 pm UTC

The day-to-day droll of working at CERN is pretty much the same as working at any other physics lab... just with a cooler "big picture."

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby Feynman has a posse » Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:48 am UTC

miles01110 wrote:The day-to-day droll of working at CERN is pretty much the same as working at any other physics lab... just with a cooler "big picture."


You'll also have to dodge earth-swallowing black holes once it turns on. :roll: Better be quick on your feet!

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby ld50 » Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:24 pm UTC

zenten wrote:Would the Large Hadron Collider at CERN be able to confirm (at least with very strong evidence) the existence of the Higgs boson, the nonexistence of the Higgs boson, or both?


I don't know much about elementary particle physics, but it would be difficult to confirm both the existence and non-existence of the Higgs boson, wouldn't it?

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby jmorgan3 » Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:41 pm UTC

I think he meant "will the LHC be able to confirm the HB's existence if it does exists and be able to confirm the HB's nonexistence if it doesn't exist" as opposed to only being able to show one conclusively.
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby telcontar42 » Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:32 pm UTC

Can anyone explain what the Higgs Boson particle is and why it is so significant? Also, when will the LHC start running?

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby Xanthir » Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:35 pm UTC

Layman's explanation: The higgs is what makes mass work.

It's the force-carrying particle of the higgs field, which particles interact with to gain mass. The photon, frex, isn't supposed to interact with the Higgs.

*I think. I'm totally a layman at this as well.
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby Beacons! » Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:08 pm UTC

Yeah, each fundamental force is meant to have a particle that causes it. For gravity it is meant to be the Higgs.
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby asad137 » Sun Jul 06, 2008 5:11 pm UTC

Beacons! wrote:Yeah, each fundamental force is meant to have a particle that causes it. For gravity it is meant to be the Higgs.
(post now with added layman)


I don't think this is correct. The higgs causes inertial mass, not gravitational mass (they just happen to be the same, as far as we can tell). The 'graviton' is the particle that 'causes' gravitation.

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby Mr. Beck » Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:04 am UTC

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asad137 wrote:
Beacons! wrote:Yeah, each fundamental force is meant to have a particle that causes it. For gravity it is meant to be the Higgs.
(post now with added layman)

I don't think this is correct. The higgs causes inertial mass, not gravitational mass (they just happen to be the same, as far as we can tell). The 'graviton' is the particle that 'causes' gravitation.

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby roundedge » Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:05 am UTC

I seem to remember my particle physics prof describing it as a manifestation of the higgs field interacting with itself. It wasn't necessarily responsible for anything in particular, it was just a means of proving the existence of the field which is responsible for something.

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby ld50 » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:10 am UTC

telcontar42 wrote:Can anyone explain what the Higgs Boson particle is and why it is so significant? Also, when will the LHC start running?


I, also a layman, heard "it's what gives the other particles their mass". No idea how it's supposed to do this, of course.

Also, I believe it's the last particle of the Standard Model which hasn't actually been experimentally confirmed.


I think the LHC is due to "start running" at midnight, central european summer time. I don't know if that means they're actually going to start injecting protons into the main accelerator though...

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby ian » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:35 am UTC

The only way it could prove the Higgs doesn't exist is to find something else that makes everything work without the higgs, although this wouldn't really prove it doesn't exist anyway.

So the higgs gives particles mass, and then this mass warps spacetime and this warp of spacetime is experienced as gravity, with the gravitons being the particles that 'carry' these force (by bending spacetime themselves?) Anyone can clear this up?

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby 0SpinBoson » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:46 am UTC

The Higgs boson is what gives other particles mass, in a sense, by the amount of interaction they have with the Higgs field. Things like photons do not interact with the field, and so have no mass. Other things, like golden retrievers, interact with the Higgs field and drag a certain amount of Higgs particles with them, which are the cause of the thing's mass. For a great explanation/talk about LHC, see this

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/brian_cox_on_cern_s_supercollider.html

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby The_Spectre » Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:54 pm UTC

There's an upper limit to the mass of the Higgs boson, assuming it works the way we think it should (and if it doesn't, it's not really the Higgs boson but something else). This upper limit is calculated from the assumption that the Standard Model is the correct model for electroweak interactions (and it sure seems to be). The upper limit is currently at 182 GeV, with a 95% confidence level. The lower limit on the mass is 114 GeV, if it were less than that it would have been seen by earlier experiments.

The LHC will have a center-of-mass energy of 14000 GeV. So basically, if the LHC doesn't find it, it doesn't exist. However, the LHC will need to run for a while, in the order of 4 years, before enough data is collected to make a conclusion either way.

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby Mr. Beck » Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:10 pm UTC

Thinking a little, it's kinda funny how we already have a name for something we haven't found yet.

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby asad137 » Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:20 pm UTC

Mr. Beck wrote:Thinking a little, it's kinda funny how we already have a name for something we haven't found yet.


There's precedent. The neutrino was named before it was discovered directly. There are probably other examples, but that's the first one that comes to mind. Ooh, the top quark too. It's sort of the way theory goes -- if it's predicted by theory, it gets a name. Of course, we only remember the names for the things that eventually get discovered experimentally.

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby Yakk » Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:34 pm UTC

Bah, who doesn't know about the Ether!

Sure, it didn't pan out -- but it was such a neat idea. :-)
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:57 pm UTC

I'm not entirely convinced that it should exist.

1) I've read some good sci-fi that deals with potential safety issues. Are they *entirely* bullshit?

2) While pure science is a great thing, I wonder how this will affect people in 10 years. 20. 30. 50.

3) Is our technology at a point where we can adequately produce answers to the questions posed? Materials science, electronics, etc.

4) I know this is bigger then Fermilab, but I'm not sure why it needs to be. What's the advantage to making larger colliders aside from being able to smash bigger particles? could you upgrade a currently existing collider to smash bigger particles?
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby ian » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:17 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I'm not entirely convinced that it should exist.

1) I've read some good sci-fi that deals with potential safety issues. Are they *entirely* bullshit?

The fi in sci fi is there for a reason. There is no danger

2) While pure science is a great thing, I wonder how this will affect people in 10 years. 20. 30. 50.

A lot, advances in technology are heavily based on quantum and particle physics, the more we know, the more we can advance.
3) Is our technology at a point where we can adequately produce answers to the questions posed? Materials science, electronics, etc.

I don't know what you mean by this. We have some questions that the technology at the LHC might be able to answer, and the data gained from it will quite possibly answer questions we didn't even know to ask

4) I know this is bigger then Fermilab, but I'm not sure why it needs to be. What's the advantage to making larger colliders aside from being able to smash bigger particles? could you upgrade a currently existing collider to smash bigger particles?


It's not neccesarily about smashing bigger particles, it's about smashing them at higher energies. The higher the energy the more exotic the particles that are created in the collisions. The theoretical energy of the higgs is(on average) too high an energy to be produced at fermilab, but if it exists should be produced at LHC. It's absence will also be of importance. You can't really upgrade existing ones beyond a certain point. The Tevatron (the particle accelarator at fermilab) would have to be pretty much totally rebuilt to deal with these energies. Also the budgets for the LHC and fermilab come from different places, hence fermilab trying to have the ILC( international linear collider) built there

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby Yakk » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:25 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I'm not entirely convinced that it should exist.

1) I've read some good sci-fi that deals with potential safety issues. Are they *entirely* bullshit?


No, but work was done. In essence, the LHC generates collisions of energy levels that already happen all of the damn time in this universe. We just cannot watch them.

The LHC just makes the collisions happen in a middle of a huge sensor array that we can use to detect every fiddling little detail of.

In short, if the LHC was going to destroy the universe, then it would have happened long ago at a neutron star.

If the LHC was going to produce micro-black holes that eat the planet Earth before the sun eats it, then it would have happened at a neutron star sufficiently often that we'd be bombarded with semi-stable black holes that would have eaten us long ago.

Etc, etc. We aren't doing anything new under the sun -- we are just doing it where we can look at it, really really closely, as often as we want.

2) While pure science is a great thing, I wonder how this will affect people in 10 years. 20. 30. 50.


We don't know.

To give you an idea, however, the last few revolutions in science have led to semiconductors (computers are useful, and they run on quantum mechanics), nuclear bombs, and a few other minor applications of similar scale.

3) Is our technology at a point where we can adequately produce answers to the questions posed? Materials science, electronics, etc.


Hurm? Yes, that is why we are building it. There are multiple interesting possible results that could happen.

4) I know this is bigger then Fermilab, but I'm not sure why it needs to be. What's the advantage to making larger colliders aside from being able to smash bigger particles? could you upgrade a currently existing collider to smash bigger particles?


Yes, by turning it into the LHC?

The trick is to take a heavy particle, and give it LOTS of energy, and have it smash into another high-energy particle. This requires a huge "race-track" to bring the particle up to speed.

The corners of the "race track" are a problem, because turning a fast moving particle takes lots of energy, especially if you want to do it without slowing the particle down.

At a certain point, you cannot hold onto the particle beam -- your fields just aren't strong enough.

But if you make the "race track" curve slower, the amount of work you have to do to curve the beam drops off a lot. Which means you can speed the particle(s) up more before they "fall off the track".

This requires a lower radius of curvature -- which requires a larger donut -- which is what the LHC is.

The power upgrade of the LHC over previous models is quite impressive. While you can eek out a small amount of performance improvement by improving other details of a collider, the level of upgrade the LHC will pull off is well well out of the scope of a minor upgrade to any other collider.
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:36 am UTC

1) The issues I heard of were: creation of micro blackholes that could migrate to a gravity well (the sun, or Earth). Which seems fairly bs, given their evaporation rate... but then... we've never directly observed blackholes, so.... Also, an 'ice-9' like event of the space-time continuum, as the conditions we are creating do not happen normally. Also, the creation or release of more exotic particles then we can contain.

I realize these are all from sci-fi, and that it may be akin to scientists thinking the atmosphere would catch on fire with the first detonation of a nuclear warhead, but just as genetics experimentation was curbed in the 60's and 70's, i think it's important to be critical of what we plan on doing, and not merely dismiss everything as misinformed rubbish. So... Those points. Explain why that can't happen.

2) I don't think semiconductors were developed from accelerator discovery. And nuclear theory was developed before accelerator technology. I'm not saying accelerators are useless, I just think they're producing information on a field that is at this point in time, pure research to us. Which is not a bad thing. But someone tell me what's come of an accelerator that is NOT simply a modification or addition to extant textbooks/journals.

3) This was a bit vague, what I meant was, are the questions we're interested in answering, answerable by our technological limitations. In otherwords, if we want to know about exotic particular z, and it requires technologies a, b, and c to discover it, do we have those technologies. As is, I keep reading about the amount of data produced by this contraption, and it seems impossibly large to handle, and thats just on the data side. Is our control of magnetic fields, super cold liquids, SQUIDS, etc, fine enough to do what we want, or are we sort of hacking at this diamond in the rough problem with a wooden sword?

4) Okay, so we need a larger radius circle to get particles to a high enough speed so we can smash them together (overcoming repulsive forces I assume, which can only be overcome at high enough velocities?) and see what comes out. Is this the only way to see whats in fundamental particles?
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby watch_wait_plot » Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:22 am UTC

1) The issues I heard of were: creation of micro blackholes that could migrate to a gravity well (the sun, or Earth). Which seems fairly bs, given their evaporation rate... but then... we've never directly observed blackholes, so.... Also, an 'ice-9' like event of the space-time continuum, as the conditions we are creating do not happen normally. Also, the creation or release of more exotic particles then we can contain.

Yakk wrote:In essence, the LHC generates collisions of energy levels that already happen all of the damn time in this universe. We just cannot watch them.


2) I don't think semiconductors were developed from accelerator discovery. And nuclear theory was developed before accelerator technology. I'm not saying accelerators are useless, I just think they're producing information on a field that is at this point in time, pure research to us. Which is not a bad thing. But someone tell me what's come of an accelerator that is NOT simply a modification or addition to extant textbooks/journals.
No they weren't. He was just pointing out that this all works on the same principles, and trying to underline the value of "pure" research. He didn't try to connect superconductors and accelerators in any way.

To be honest, I have no idea. But, I'm just a student. I'll learn the details in a year or two. I've seen the Standard Model (or one of its variants any way) and I really have nothing more than a conceptual grasp on it. If I find anything, I'll be certain to post it. Thanks for the new project. :)
Although looking back at history, there have been very few scientific breakthroughs that did not yield practical results of some kind. Perhaps we have simply not had time to do anything with what we have gained.

Edit: Try the ion drive. It's basically a linear accelerator.

3) This was a bit vague, what I meant was, are the questions we're interested in answering, answerable by our technological limitations. In otherwords, if we want to know about exotic particular z, and it requires technologies a, b, and c to discover it, do we have those technologies. As is, I keep reading about the amount of data produced by this contraption, and it seems impossibly large to handle, and thats just on the data side. Is our control of magnetic fields, super cold liquids, SQUIDS, etc, fine enough to do what we want, or are we sort of hacking at this diamond in the rough problem with a wooden sword?
Have we ever done anything else? Most of science's greatest discoveries basically fit the model of a blind man crossing a room filled with furnature.
Yes, we can handle the data stream. CERN has developed a pretty cool computer networkto enable it to do so.
It sounds like you're really asking "Can we make this work?" I'm not certain if that's what you are actually asking, but if so...yeah. It works like any other accelerator ever built. Just on a much larger scale with quite a bit more power.

There are particles whose discovery may require an even bigger facility (or rather, one opperating at higher energies). If you're asking "Are our problems beyond the LHC to solve?" then, possibly yes. But that just means we need a bigger accelerator.

4) Okay, so we need a larger radius circle to get particles to a high enough speed so we can smash them together (overcoming repulsive forces I assume, which can only be overcome at high enough velocities?) and see what comes out. Is this the only way to see whats in fundamental particles?
You need to overcome the energies that bind fundamental particles into the well, non-fundamental ones. So the high-velocity is needed for several reasons.
I do not know if there is another way. But this is the best we have.

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby JamesObscura » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:30 am UTC

Are magnetic monopoles dangerous?
Contraceptives?

I recommend an inverse tachyon beam.

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby iop » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:51 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:2) I don't think semiconductors were developed from accelerator discovery. And nuclear theory was developed before accelerator technology. I'm not saying accelerators are useless, I just think they're producing information on a field that is at this point in time, pure research to us. Which is not a bad thing. But someone tell me what's come of an accelerator that is NOT simply a modification or addition to extant textbooks/journals.

Accelerator technology has definitely brought us some very nice light sources (accelerators that are built to harness the "waste" radiation), which are awesome to solve protein crystals and research into the structure of materials.

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby SU3SU2U1 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:02 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:4) Okay, so we need a larger radius circle to get particles to a high enough speed so we can smash them together (overcoming repulsive forces I assume, which can only be overcome at high enough velocities?) and see what comes out. Is this the only way to see whats in fundamental particles?


Don't think of it as finding what is "in" fundamental particles- rather when we collide two particles the incoming particles cease to exist and new, heavier particles come out.

This is more true of electron/positron colliders, but I like to make the statement that its the equivalent of smashing golf balls together so hard that bowling balls come out.
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:09 am UTC

SU3SU2U1 wrote:smashing golf balls together so hard that bowling balls come out.


That made my brain hiccup a bit...

I thought the idea was to find the more exotic particles that we could only detect by smashing apart larger, known particles. But really, we have 1+1 going in and zebra coming out?
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby phlip » Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:41 am UTC

Well, if you get those two golf balls moving fast enough, then (because of special relativity), their effective mass will be significantly higher than their rest mass. Get it high enough, and there could be more mass in the golf balls than there would be in a bowling ball at rest.

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby ian » Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:09 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
SU3SU2U1 wrote:smashing golf balls together so hard that bowling balls come out.


That made my brain hiccup a bit...

I thought the idea was to find the more exotic particles that we could only detect by smashing apart larger, known particles. But really, we have 1+1 going in and zebra coming out?

Not really, the fundamental particles are fundamental because they aren't thought to be made of smaller particles, you can't smash them apart, but you can change their mass energy into other particles and the higher that is the more exotic bowling balls we'll get

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby eternauta3k » Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:42 pm UTC

Probably a dumb question:
How do they aim the particles so they hit each other? Do they have a stream full of particles (which would make collision more likely) or single particles at a time (harder)?
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby Yakk » Tue Jul 08, 2008 6:12 pm UTC

eternauta3k wrote:Probably a dumb question:
How do they aim the particles so they hit each other? Do they have a stream full of particles (which would make collision more likely) or single particles at a time (harder)?


ObWiki answer:
https://edms.cern.ch/file/445830/5/Vol_1_Chapter_2.pdf

And:
Under nominal operating conditions (2808 bunches per beam, 1.15E11 protons per bunch), the beam pipes contain about 1.08E-9 grams of hydrogen, which, in standard conditions for temperature and pressure, would fill a volume of roughly 0.01 mm3.


So no, they are not aiming single protons at each other. :)
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby Xanthir » Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:29 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
SU3SU2U1 wrote:smashing golf balls together so hard that bowling balls come out.


That made my brain hiccup a bit...

I thought the idea was to find the more exotic particles that we could only detect by smashing apart larger, known particles. But really, we have 1+1 going in and zebra coming out?

For a math-y answer, it's like 1+1 going in and 2i coming out. Both in and out have the same magnitude, so you're not violating conservation laws (I guess conservation of magnitude is a rule in math-world), but you've clearly changed the original particles into a completely different beast.

What's even crazier is that the 2i particle is *far* too short-lived to actually be measured. However, our theories tell us what a 2i particle (a 2ion?) should break down into, and how, and so we measure *that*. Quite often the immediate breakdown products are too short-lived as well, so what we end up measuring is the 4th or 5th decomposition or more. And you wonder why it takes so long to find out if we've actually found something. ^_^
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby Tac-Tics » Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:01 pm UTC

Mr. Beck wrote:...Yo' Momma's Fat.

Yo' momma's so fat scientists used her to observe the Higgs boson!

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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby thoughtfully » Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:17 pm UTC

Tac-Tics wrote:
Mr. Beck wrote:...Yo' Momma's Fat.

Yo' momma's so fat scientists used her to observe the Higgs boson!

snickersnack!
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Re: Question about the Large Hadron Collider

Postby DarkLordofSquirrels » Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:15 pm UTC



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