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[lhcountdown]LHC COUNT DOWN  

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At the time of writing the countdown is at: 11 Days 19 Hours 47 minutes 00 Seconds

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300 FEET BELOW MEYRIN, Switzerland — The first thing that gets you is the noise.

Physics, after all, is supposed to be a cerebral pursuit. But this cavern almost measureless to the eye, stuffed as it is with an Eiffel Tower’s worth of metal, eight-story wheels of gold fan-shape boxes, thousands of miles of wire and fat ductlike coils, echoes with the shriek of power tools, the whine of pumps and cranes, beeps and clanks from wrenches, hammers, screwdrivers and the occasional falling bolt. It seems no place for the studious.

The physicists, wearing hardhats, kneepads and safety harnesses, are scrambling like Spiderman over this assembly, appropriately named Atlas, ducking under waterfalls of cables and tubes and crawling into hidden room-size cavities stuffed with electronics.

They are getting ready to see the universe born again.

Again and again and again — 30 million times a second, in fact.
For those of you who don't know what the Large Hadron Collider is

Taken from another OCN post Credit to Opty165:
Quote:
Its been awhile since there has been a thread about the LHC, and the last thread about it seem to generate some interesting discussion. so i thought it would be fitting to start a new thread for the LHC since its getting close to its "red button day" in May of this year. below will be various descriptions of the iner workings of the LHC and what they hope to accomplish with it.

Quote:
The Large Hadron Collider
Our understanding of the Universe is about to change...

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a gigantic scientific instrument near Geneva, where it spans the border between Switzerland and France about 100 m underground. It is a particle accelerator used by physicists to study the smallest known particles – the fundamental building blocks of all things. It will revolutionise our understanding, from the miniscule world deep within atoms to the vastness of the Universe.

Two beams of subatomic particles called 'hadrons' – either protons or lead ions – will travel in opposite directions inside the circular accelerator, gaining energy with every lap. Physicists will use the LHC to recreate the conditions just after the Big Bang, by colliding the two beams head-on at very high energy. Teams of physicists from around the world will analyse the particles created in the collisions using special detectors in a number of experiments dedicated to the LHC.

There are many theories as to what will result from these collisions, but what's for sure is that a brave new world of physics will emerge from the new accelerator, as knowledge in particle physics goes on to describe the workings of the Universe. For decades, the Standard Model of particle physics has served physicists well as a means of understanding the fundamental laws of Nature, but it does not tell the whole story. Only experimental data using the higher energies reached by the LHC can push knowledge forward, challenging those who seek confirmation of established knowledge, and those who dare to dream beyond the paradigm.
The individual LHC detector descriptions.
ALICE(Resident evil!!)
Quote:
ALICE

For the ALICE experiment, the LHC will collide lead ions to recreate the conditions just after the Big Bang under laboratory conditions. The data obtained will allow physicists to study a state of matter known as quark‑gluon plasma, which is believed to have existed soon after the Big Bang.

All ordinary matter in today’s Universe is made up of atoms. Each atom contains 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. This incredibly strong bond means that isolated quarks have never been found.

Collisions in the LHC will generate temperatures more than 100 000 times hotter than the heart of the Sun. Physicists hope that under these conditions, the protons and neutrons will 'melt', freeing the quarks from their bonds with the gluons. This should create a state of matter called quark-gluon plasma, which probably existed just after the Big Bang when the Universe was still extremely hot. The ALICE collaboration plans to study the quark-gluon plasma as it expands and cools, observing how it progressively gives rise to the particles that constitute the matter of our Universe today.

A collaboration of more than 1000 scientists from 94 institutes in 28 countries works on the ALICE experiment (March 2006).
Quote:
ATLAS

ATLAS is one of two general-purpose detectors at the LHC. It will investigate a wide range of physics, including the search for the Higgs boson, extra dimensions, and particles that could make up dark matter.

With the same goals in physics as CMS, ATLAS will record similar sets of measurements on the particles created in the collisions – their paths, energies, and their identities. However, the two experiments have adopted radically different technical solutions and designs for their detectors' magnet systems.

The main feature of the ATLAS detector is its enormous doughnut-shaped magnet system. This consists of eight 25‑m long superconducting magnet coils, arranged to form a cylinder around the beam pipe through the centre of the detector. During operation, the magnetic field is contained within the central cylindrical space defined by the coils.

More than 1700 scientists from 159 institutes in 37 countries work on the ATLAS experiment (March 2006).
Quote:
Compact Muon Solenoid

The CMS experiment uses a general-purpose detector to investigate a wide range of physics, including the search for the Higgs boson, extra dimensions, and particles that could make up dark matter. Although it has the same scientific goals as the ATLAS experiment, it uses different technical solutions and design of its detector magnet system to achieve these.

The CMS detector is built around a huge solenoid magnet. This takes the form of a cylindrical coil of superconducting cable that generates a magnetic field of 4 teslas, about 100 000 times that of the Earth. The magnetic field is confined by a steel 'yoke' that forms the bulk of the detector's weight of 12 500 tonnes. An unusual feature of the CMS detector is that instead of being built in-situ underground, like the other giant detectors of the LHC experiments, it was constructed on the surface, before being lowered underground in 15 sections and reassembled.

More than 2000 scientists collaborate in CMS, coming from 155 institutes in 37 countries (October 2006).
The smaller detecors

LHCb
TOTEM
LHCf

Quote:
The Grid

When the LHC begins operations, it will produce roughly 15 petabytes (15 million gigabytes) of data annually – enough to fill 100 000 DVDs a year!
the grid for the LHC was posted on here a little while ago, so i wont add the entire description.

some related links for the grid....

Grid Cafe
LHC@home

The safety concerns...


Quote:
Safety at the LHC

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) can achieve energies that no other particle accelerators have reached before. The energy of its particle collisions has previously only been found in Nature. And it is only by using such a powerful machine that phyicists can probe deeper into the key mysteries of the Universe. Some people have expressed concerns about the safety of whatever may be created in high-energy particle collisions. However there are no reasons for concern.

Modest by Nature's standards

Accelerators recreate the natural phenomena of cosmic rays under controlled laboratory conditions. Cosmic rays are particles produced in outer space in events such as supernovae or the formation of black holes, during which they can be accelerated to energies far exceeding those of the LHC. Cosmic rays travel throughout the Universe, and have been bombarding the Earth's atmosphere continually since its formation 4.5 billion years ago. Despite the impressive power of the LHC in comparison with other accelerators, the energies produced in its collisions are greatly exceeded by those found in some cosmic rays. Since the much higher-energy collisions provided by Nature for billions of years have not harmed the Earth, there is no reason to think that any phenomenon produced by the LHC will do so.

Cosmic rays also collide with the Moon, Jupiter, the Sun and other astronomical bodies. The total number of these collisions is huge compared to what is expected at the LHC. The fact that planets and stars remain intact strengthens our confidence that LHC collisions are safe. The LHC's energy, although powerful for an accelerator, is modest by Nature's standards.

TGVs and mosquitoes

The total energy in each beam of protons in the LHC is equivalent to a 400 tonne train (like the French TGV) travelling at 150 km/h. However, only an infinitesimal part of this energy is released in each particle collision - roughly equivalent to the energy of a dozen flying mosquitoes. In fact, whenever you try to swat a mosquito by clapping your hands together, you create a collision energy much higher than the protons inside the LHC. The LHC's speciality is its impressive ability to concentrate this collision energy into a minuscule area on a subatomic scale. But even this capability is just a pale shadow of what Nature achieves routinely in cosmic-ray collisions.

During part of its operation, the LHC will collide beams of lead nuclei, which have a greater collision energy, equivalent to just over a thousand mosquitoes. However, this will be much more spread out than the energy produced in the proton collisions, and also presents no risk.

Microscopic black holes will not eat you...

Massive black holes are created in the Universe by the collapse of massive stars, which contain enormous amounts of gravitational energy that pulls in surrounding matter. The gravitational pull of a black hole is related to the amount of matter or energy it contains – the less there is, the weaker the pull. Some physicists suggest that microscopic black holes could be produced in the collisions at the LHC. However, these would only be created with the energies of the colliding particles (equivalent to the energies of mosquitoes), so no microscopic black holes produced inside the LHC could generate a strong enough gravitational force to pull in surrounding matter.

If the LHC can produce microscopic black holes, cosmic rays of much higher energies would already have produced many more. Since the Earth is still here, there is no reason to believe that collisions inside the LHC are harmful.

Black holes lose matter through the emission of energy via a process discovered by Stephen Hawking. Any black hole that cannot attract matter, such as those that might be produced at the LHC, will shrink, evaporate and disappear. The smaller the black hole, the faster it vanishes. If microscopic black holes were to be found at the LHC, they would exist only for a fleeting moment. They would be so short-lived that the only way they could be detected would be by detecting the products of their decay.

...nor will strangelets

Strangelets are hypothetical small pieces of matter whose existence has never been proven. They would be made of 'strange quarks' – heavier and unstable relatives of the basic quarks that make up stable matter. Even if strangelets do exist, they would be unstable. Furthermore, their electromagnetic charge would repel normal matter, and instead of combining with stable substances they would simply decay. If strangelets were produced at the LHC, they would not wreak havoc. If they exist, they would already have been created by high-energy cosmic rays, with no harmful consequences.

Quote:
Facts and figures

The largest machine in the world...

The precise circumference of the LHC accelerator is 26 659 m, with a total of 9300 magnets inside. Not only is the LHC the world’s largest particle accelerator, just one-eighth of its cryogenic distribution system would qualify as the world’s largest fridge. All the magnets will be pre‑cooled to -193.2°C (80 K) using 10 080 tonnes of liquid nitrogen, before they are filled with nearly 60 tonnes of liquid helium to bring them down to -271.3°C (1.9 K).

The fastest racetrack on the planet...

At full power, trillions of protons will race around the LHC accelerator ring 11 245 times a second, travelling at 99.99% the speed of light. Two beams of protons will each travel at a maximum energy of 7 TeV (tera-electronvolt), corresponding to head-to-head collisions of 14 TeV. Altogether some 600 million collisions will take place every second.

The emptiest space in the Solar System...

To avoid colliding with gas molecules inside the accelerator, the beams of particles travel in an ultra-high vacuum – a cavity as empty as interplanetary space. The internal pressure of the LHC is 10-13 atm, ten times less than the pressure on the Moon!
The hottest spots in the galaxy, but even colder than outer space...

The LHC is a machine of extreme hot and cold. When two beams of protons collide, they will generate temperatures more than 100 000 times hotter than the heart of the Sun, concentrated within a minuscule space. By contrast, the 'cryogenic distribution system', which circulates superfluid helium around the accelerator ring, keeps the LHC at a super cool temperature of -271.3°C (1.9 K) – even colder than outer space!

The biggest and most sophisticated detectors ever built...

To sample and record the results of up to 600 million proton collisions per second, physicists and engineers have built gargantuan devices that measure particles with micron precision. The LHC's detectors have sophisticated electronic trigger systems that precisely measure the passage time of a particle to accuracies in the region of a few billionths of a second. The trigger system also registers the location of the particles to millionths of a metre. This incredibly quick and precise response is essential for ensuring that the particle recorded in successive layers of a detector is one and the same.

The most powerful supercomputer system in the world...

The data recorded by each of the big experiments at the LHC will fill around 100 000 dual layer DVDs every year. To allow the thousands of scientists scattered around the globe to collaborate on the analysis over the next 15 years (the estimated lifetime of the LHC), tens of thousands of computers located around the world are being harnessed in a distributed computing network called the Grid.
I hope everyone finds this as good a read as i did. iv been following the LHC project since i first heard about it, some very interesting stuff! especially the safety concerns...

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post #2 of 20
I for one welcome the approaching doomsday. Of all the ways you could shuffle off this mortal coil, there are lamer ways than being killed by the black hole that swallows the Earth, or being converted to strange matter.

But if they end up solving gravity or something, I guess that would be cool too.
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post #3 of 20
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Originally Posted by rabidgnome229 View Post
I for one welcome the approaching doomsday. Of all the ways you could shuffle off this mortal coil, there are lamer ways than being killed by the black hole that swallows the Earth, or being converted to strange matter.
Well since everything is made up of matter, and humans are part of matter. I wonder what it feels like to be Anti-matter?
    
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post #4 of 20
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Originally Posted by gex80 View Post
Well since everything is made up of matter, and humans are part of matter. I wonder what it feels like to be Anti-matter?
Not antimatter, strange matter

Quote:
Last up in the report's list of things not to lose sleep over are strangelets, atoms that, instead of the normal up and down quarks, contain some strange quarks. A strange quark outside of a nucleus has a half life on the order of nanoseconds, but there are some hypothetical strange atoms that might be relatively stable. In a hypothetical once-removed, these might convert other normal atoms to strange matter, setting off a chain reaction.
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post #5 of 20
I'm well prepared for the second impact
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post #6 of 20
Loud Hum of the generators

Bob: Look at those suckers go!
Larry: Just wait until they collide!
Bob: Woot!
Larry: Here we go in 3....2...1

.....ZzzzzzzzzPhffffffffffffff.........

God: ......Idiots.....laugh out loud
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post #7 of 20
Let's find that Higgs!
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post #8 of 20
The LHC countdown site had the date as a few weeks ago before. When that date came, they said they didn't actually know when the collider would fire up and they were just making a date up. Are they doing that again?
    
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post #9 of 20
You know what would be cool... if they found out how to do the slipstream like in Halo with the LHC. Then we could go to other planets and colonize them...
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post #10 of 20


From XKCD
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