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Posts Tagged ‘Higgs boson’

NO Big Bang, not even a little one, for 6 months!

Posted by terres on September 24, 2008

LHC Update:
Our good Professor Peter Higgs will have to find another way of communicating with the “Almighty!”

As the Moderators previously anticipated, there won’t be a big bang, not even a tiny one, for at least another 6 months at CERN’s “Champaign Science Center” the LHC.

It is highly probable that LHC may not be fully operational before 2010.


One of 1,746 helium-cooled superconducting magnets is lowered into the LHC tunnel via a specially constructed hatch in April 2007. The 17-meter long dipole magnet, one of 1,232 dipoles positioned around the LHC, is designed to produce a magnetic field that bends the particle beams around the circular path of the accelerator. [About 100 of these magnet overheated to more than 100ºC —possibly to several hundred degrees—frying the wiring, when liquid helium leaked out of the vacuum cooling system.] Photo by Maximilien Brice for CERN. Source: CNET

And who knows what surprises might be lurking around the LHC’s 27-km tunnel in 2009!

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Posted in big bang, God particle, Science & Tech, wasteful technology | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

LHC Champaign Science & Three-Legged Chickens!

Posted by feww on September 22, 2008

Will they ever catch the ‘wretched’ smashed particles?

For anyone following the fate of LHC, here’s a quick update.


The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is shut down indefinitely for all intents and purposes. At least no particle smashing is likely to occur before the official inauguration on October 21, 2008.

In fact, the collider may not be fully operational before May 2009 due to huge power requirement.

The machine went out on September 19 with a [little] big bang when a “massive” magnet quench caused over 100 of its solenoid magnets to overheat from 1.9 Kelvin to at least 373K, or 100ºC (boiling point of water) and toasted the wiring. [Note: (K) = (°C) + 273.15]

And yes, the fire brigade were called to the rescue when the system vacuum failed and tons of liquid helium escaped into the 100-meter deep LHC tunnel.

[Note: The LHC tunnel has a 27-km circumference and is built underground at a depth ranging from 50 to 175 meters.]

LHC (Large Hen Carrier) crashes, crate magnets break up, chickens escape into vacuum (near the city of Glasgow, Scotland). Photo: MEN. Image may be subject to copyright.

CERN’s director of communications, James Gillies, wants the public to look at the latest spate of failures philosophically: It’s taken us 20 years to build the machine, and we were behind the 2006 completion date by errr… 2 years. Would a few more months or another year, even two, change the “big picture?” He asks.

[No worries, Mr Gillies, so long as you can tell us in this lifetime what the smashed particles looked like. Oh, and go easy on the bubbly stuff!]

To repair the machine, they’ll have to warm it up very slowly to the ambient temperature. After fixing, it has to be slowly cooled down again to its operating temperature of 1.9 Kelvin (about -271ºC).

A litany of “difficulties” and “serious difficulties” delayed both the construction of the tunnel and the collider machine. Like the three-legged chickens, the wretched smashed particles are proving too difficult to catch!

The Three-Legged Chickens!

On the lighter side of things, it’s been said that an Australian scientist held the patent to the three-legged chicken. The idea for genetically modified monster chickens came to her because everyone in her family (she, her spouse and son) liked to eat fried chicken legs. A curious scientist visiting the ranch downunder where the tripodal creatures lived wanted to know what they tasted like. The inventor replied: “I wish we knew. The wretched things run so fast we haven’t been able to catch one yet!”


Police officer orders the escaped chicken to freeze!  Photo: Center Press Agency. Image may be subject to copyright.

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Posted in champaign science, LHC update, science-technology | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Thought for the Day: The LHC and Earth

Posted by feww on September 9, 2008

Big Bang, Indeed! [Putting the Cart before …]

The good news: “We” are about to find some answers to how the universe was born [or so we hope!]

The Bad News: We have no idea how to stop killing the earth!

See: Astronomical Cost of LHC Reminds You of ISS

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Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, Global Warming, politics | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

God Particle

Posted by feww on April 10, 2008

Updates:

Physicist says “God particle” will be found soon

Peter Higgs, a British physicist, believes scientists can soon prove the existence of a force which gives mass to the universe and makes life possible, a theory he first published 40 years ago.

Higgs, 78, believes a particle called the “Higgs boson” [nicknamed the “God particle” much to his chagrin as he is an atheist] will be found when a vast particle collider at the CERN research center in Switzerland kicks into full gear early 2009.

“The likelihood is that the particle will show up pretty quickly … I’m more than 90 percent certain that it will,” Higgs told reporters.

In the 1960s, the scientists at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) had dismissed Higgs’s theory, which explained why the force, named the Higgs field, must exist.

Today, the scientists widely accept the existence of the invisible field, which they believe came into being several milliseconds after the Big Bang created the universe about 13.73 billion years ago [the age of universe has an uncertainty of about 120 million years.]

Ordinary matter in our universe is made up of atoms. Each atom includes a nucleus composed of protons and neutrons, surrounded by a cloud of electrons. Protons and neutrons are in turn made of quarks, which are bound together by other particles called gluons. The bounds are so strong they have prevented quarks from existing on their own since just after big bang.

Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN will simulate conditions at the time of big bang. Particles colliding at near light speed will generate temperatures 100,000 times hotter than the sun, which would melt protons and neutrons, breaking the quark-gluon bonds and creating a state of matter called quark-gluon plasma. The project collaborators hope that by studying the quark-gluon plasma, as it expands and cools, they can uncover the mysteries of universe.

Higgs, who taught at Scotland’s Edinburgh University, postulated that matter was weightless at the exact moment of the Big Bang, but most of it quickly gained mass because of the presence of a field that combined with the particles as they passed through it.


LHC Particle Collider at CERN. Image may be copyrighted. See FEWW Fair Use Notice.
CERN is currently building the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC. This massive collider is being installed in a tunnel 27 km in circumference. CERN claims by studying collisions at very high energies its physicists could make progress in understanding the mysteries of how universe was born.

It is not known how long it might take to analyze the big bang simulation data, despite using bleeding edge supercomputers, before any evidence of the god particle could be found.

“I may have to keep the champagne on ice for a while yet.” Said Higgs.

“It all happens so fast that the appearance of the boson may be hidden in the data collected, and it could take a long time for the analysis to find it,” said Higgs. “If it doesn’t,” he said, “I shall be very, very puzzled.” Report

Cost of LHC Project: About $10 billion.

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Posted in God particle, invisible field, light speed, mysteries, Nuclear Research, Peter Higgs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »