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Old 03-10-2008, 05:56 PM   #1
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Hadron Collider

I was watching a documentary earlier on Stephen Hawking and the work surrounding his 'theory of everything'. I'm no physicist and some of it went over my head but it was all in all really fascinating.

They had a section on this thing... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Hadron_Collider which is gonna be tested from May of this year. The idea is to recreate the particle conditions of the big bang.

It's also extra cool because if Hawking is wrong about the decay rates of black holes then one could sink into the Earth and engulf it. Mental.
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Old 03-10-2008, 05:57 PM   #2
Philboid Studge
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maybe that's his cunning plan all along

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Old 03-10-2008, 05:59 PM   #3
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He does look like the bitter type.
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Old 03-10-2008, 06:23 PM   #4
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National Geographic had a good article on it this month...

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/20...achenbach-text

Pretty pictures.
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:41 PM   #5
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It all looks really exciting. I don't really get it but it looks exciting. Particles crashing into each other at nearly the speed of light. Mini black holes. New dimensions being opened in space...
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:25 PM   #6
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okok. let's all hold hand and pray....

kumbayaaaaa

One of the most irrational of all the conventions of modern society is the one to the effect that religious opinions should be respected....That they should have this immunity is an outrage. There is nothing in religious ideas, as a class, to lift them above other ideas. On the contrary, they are always dubious and often quite silly.
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:33 PM   #7
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The talk surrounding the start of testing for the LHC reminds me of the talk from folks prior to the underwater testing of nuclear bombs in Bikini Atoll (Will it evaporate all of Earth's water? Oh noes!)

Psh, what's the worst that could happen? Let 'er rip.
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Old 03-11-2008, 04:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Micro Black Holes

Although the Standard Model of particle physics predicts that LHC energies are far too low to create black holes, some extensions of the Standard Model posit the existence of extra spatial dimensions, in which it would be possible to create micro black holes at the LHC [23][24][25] at a rate on the order of one per second. According to the standard calculations these are harmless because they would quickly decay by Hawking radiation. The concern is that Hawking radiation (which is still debated[26]) is not yet an experimentally-tested, or naturally observed phenomenon, and so micro black holes might not decay as rapidly as calculated, thereby accumulating inside the earth and 'devouring' it.
Yeah, scary! Hehe. They better find a way to safely test this
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:45 AM   #9
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If the LHC can create micro black holes, so can cosmic rays which regularly arrive in the atmosphere with higher energies. The Earth would therefore have been destroyed long ago.

Go for it, I say. What could possibly go wrong?

"You care for nothing but shooting, dogs and rat-catching, and will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family"
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:33 AM   #10
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Particle collision is tricky business, I don't think it takes place in our atmosphere daily. The electromagnetic force at the atomic level usually let's them get really close but then they fly off away from each other. Neutrinos are a different story since they only interact with matter on the weak force, hence they pass right through normal matter. The Hadron is going to force two particles to actually collide. Should be really exciting.
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:34 AM   #11
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By the way, anyone seen the movie Event Horizon? We're opening up Hell on Earth... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh h
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
zer0 wrote View Post
Particle collision is tricky business, I don't think it takes place in our atmosphere daily.
Well... you're wrong.

Quote:
zer0 wrote
The electromagnetic force at the atomic level usually let's them get really close but then they fly off away from each other.
And what exactly is going to be different in the LHC? The majority of particles will do exactly as you describe (i.e. interact electromagnetically and deflect at a small angle), and only a relative minority will directly collide. This is exactly what happens to ultra-high-energy cosmic rays, though. There isn't some magical force in the LHC that guides the protons with such precision that they strike each other directly when billions of years of higher-energy particles striking the whole mass of the Earth couldn't.

Quote:
zer0 wrote
Neutrinos are a different story since they only interact with matter on the weak force, hence they pass right through normal matter. The Hadron is going to force two particles to actually collide. Should be really exciting.
Sure enough.
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:35 AM   #13
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"They are guided around the accelerator ring by a strong magnetic field, achieved using superconducting electromagnets. These are built from coils of special electric cable that operates in a superconducting state, efficiently conducting electricity without resistance or loss of energy. This requires chilling the magnets to about ‑271°C – a temperature colder than outer space! For this reason, much of the accelerator is connected to a distribution system of liquid helium, which cools the magnets, as well as to other supply services. Thousands of magnets of different varieties and sizes are used to direct the beams around the accelerator. These include 1232 dipole magnets of 15 m length which are used to bend the beams, and 392 quadrupole magnets, each 5–7 m long, to focus the beams. Just prior to collision, another type of magnet is used to 'squeeze' the particles closer together to increase the chances of collisions. The particles are so tiny that the task of making them collide is akin to firing needles from two positions 10 km apart with such precision that they meet halfway!" from http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/LHC/HowLHC-en.html

So there are some "magical" forces that make the experiment much more likely to succeed than it would under normal circumstances. I'm not saying collisions don't ever happen, I was making the point that the LHC is not really conditions that we'd see in space through observation alone.
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:31 AM   #14
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zer0 wrote View Post
I'm not saying collisions don't ever happen, I was making the point that the LHC is not really conditions that we'd see in space through observation alone.
That's wrong. If you want to know why go and look up proton-proton scattering cross sections and the energy distribution of cosmic rays. These events do occur in space, you just can't detect them.

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Old 03-11-2008, 12:41 PM   #15
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Thank you, choobus. It's one thing to be told you're wrong, another to be lead to the truth. I found this paper http://hires.physics.utah.edu/papers/physrev52-16.pdf and if you know some better ones I'd be interested. I will not continue to put my foot in my mouth any more than I already have. Suffice to say, I was wrong. Choob
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