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Scientific breakthrough

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Matabele, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    The Large Hadron Collider fired mankind into a "new era of science" yesterday as it finally produced the world's first high-energy particle collision.

    After years of setbacks, the $7 billion machine smashed together protons using three times the speed and energy of previous experiments.

    The achievement, at 11.06am AEDT, meant the world's biggest experiment was finally up and running and scientists could start attempting to unravel the secrets of the universe.

    Even though particle collisions have been achieved before, yesterday marked the first time one had involved enough power to produce meaningful scientific results.

    The first two protons hit each other with a total energy of seven trillion electron volts, sending sub-particles flying in every direction.

    Four detectors positioned along the 27.kilometre underground track picked up these collision "events", providing readings which could rewrite the rules of physics once they have been analysed.

    The successful collision also dispelled fears that the machine could endanger the Earth by creating black holes that were so strong they could suck in planets and stars.

    Dr Lyn Evans, a Welsh scientist who is the LHC project leader, said: "It is quite emotional. We had a few problems but we have resolved them and the beams came into collision beautifully.

    "Today is the end of a very long road. There have been some bumps but it is fantastic to see this today. It is a new era of science."

    The experiment at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), nearly 100 metres below the Franco-Swiss border, aims to recreate the conditions present just after the Big Bang at the beginning of the universe, 13.7 billion years ago.

    This will allow researchers to examine the origin of stars and planets.

    "We're within a billionth of a second of the Big Bang," said James Gillies, a CERN spokesman.

    Scientists at a control room near Geneva broke into applause and popped champagne corks when the first high energy collisions were recorded.

    The collider has been described as a racetrack around which two streams of protons run in opposite directions before smashing into one another and breaking up into their smaller components.

    Reaching 99.99 per cent of the speed of light, each beam packs as much energy as a Eurostar train travelling at 144 km/h.

    Shooting the particle beams at each other over such a distance is the equivalent of firing needles at each other from either side of the Atlantic.

    Some of the theories the LHC research could address include the existence of dark matter and the so-called "God Particle" the Higgs boson, a hypothetical particle that scientists believe gives mass to other particles and thus to all matter in the universe.

    The LHC was launched with great fanfare in September 2008, but it was sidetracked just nine days later when a badly soldered part overheated, causing extensive damage to the large magnets in the collider.

    It cost $49 million to repair and improve the machine before it was started again at the end of November last year.

    Since then, the collider has performed almost flawlessly, giving scientists valuable data in the month before Christmas, though it is still only running at about half power.

    Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer, the director-general of CERN, said it was likely to take months for any scientific discoveries to be made as computers sort through the extensive data produced by the collisions.

    GLOSSARY

    Particle

    An object which is sub-atomic - smaller than an atom - and has a definite mass and charge.

    Hadron

    A particle with mass, made up of smaller units. Protons and neutrons, which together form the nucleus of an atom, are types of hadron.

    Quark

    One of the constituent parts of protons and neutrons, quark particles are thought to be held together by other particles called gluons.

    Particle accelerator


    A machine used to accelerate beams of particles in a defined direction at extremely high velocity, almost the speed of light.

    Collider


    An accelerator in which two beams travelling in opposite directions are steered so as to cause a high-energy collision between the particles in one beam and those in the other.

    Higgs bosun

    A theoretical particle, also known as the "God particle", which is thought to give matter its mass. First proposed by Peter Higgs of the University of Edinburgh in 1964. The LHC should confirm whether or not it exists.

    Dark matter

    Invisible matter that scientists believe makes up some 25 per cent of the universe. The LHC hopes to establish what it is made of.

    Dark energy


    A hypothetical form of energy that has an anti-gravitational action and is believed to be powering the acceleration of the expansion of the universe.
     
  2. The Gronk

    The Gronk Well-Known Member

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    lets find that Higgs boson to annoy the god botherers
     
  3. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    They said that they were producing events the equivalent of one billionth of a second after the Big Bang. I really wish I knew when we might see some results. Dark matter and dark energy are the two most interesting to me to close off our knowledge on how the universe is behaving. Then there might be some move towards finalising the universal theory of everything. I know it cost a packet to build but I am excited at the possible results.
     
  4. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    I think it's fascinating too.
     
  5. ssar

    ssar Well-Known Member

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    Yea, this is great stuff.

    www.cern.ch  for the offical website.

    I watched a fair bit of the webcast last night, and they sure got excited!

    "“With these record-shattering collision energies, the LHC experiments are propelled into a vast region to explore, and the hunt begins for dark matter, new forces, new dimensions and the Higgs boson,” said ATLAS collaboration spokesperson, Fabiola Gianotti."
     
  6. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    I can't see that it would bother anyone with an intelligent faith.  This process helps answer the how. 
     
  7. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Scientists Warn Large Earth Collider May Destroy Earth



    BATAVIA, IL—In October, Fermilab scientists joined a growing number of physicists around the world in warning that the Very Large Earth Collider—a $117 billion electromagnetic particle accelerator built to study astronomical phenomena by colliding Earth into various heavenly bodies—could potentially destroy Earth when it sends the planet careening headlong into Mars, Jupiter, or even the sun.



    "The Large Earth Collider will surely gain us priceless scientific insight by offering a brief glimpse of the universe at the moment of its destruction," Fermilab director Gordon Josephs said. "But because the Collider achieves this by hurling the Earth into another large celestial object, there are some who feel the risks associated with annihilating our world are too high. All I know for certain is that this rigorous debate will only end when we activate the VLEC, make the Earth collide with another planet, and obtain results through firsthand observation."



    "That's just good science," Josephs added.



    Physicists at CERN and Brookhaven National Laboratory, who underwrote the VLEC's construction with donations from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, agree that there are "some troubling variables" whenever attempting to launch Earth through the vacuum of space into a massive body of solid matter. Yet, they insist, the academic benefits of a planetary collision outweigh any risk of annihilating the Earth.



    "When we boil the oceans, tear the tectonic plates from the globe, and peel back the layers of the Earth to expose its molten core, we'll be seeing firsthand what end-times researchers have only theorized about," said Greg Giddings, a planetologist at the University of Michigan. "It might be worth the chance—which, if you ask me, is very small—of destroying the Earth in the process just to see that."



    "There will always be Chicken Little types," theoretical physicist and futurist Michio Kaku said. "When the first nuclear reaction was achieved, there were those who said its very existence made it a weapon of unspeakable power, and there is evidence they may have been right. It's probably worth asking if the Very Large Earth Collider may in fact pose some minute danger to the Earth."



    While the project remains controversial, physicists agreed in late November to reconvene and evaluate the risk factor of the project after a small-scale field test, during which the Very Large Earth Collider will be turned on at 10 percent capacity, catapulting Earth into the moon at only half the speed of light

    [not sure of where the above is from, my son sent it to me, may not be genuine..
     
  8. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    April fools joke for sure. VLEC - very funny  ;D
     
  9. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

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    Looks like that time has arrived MB
     
  10. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    Yeah, tonight some time. Freaking awesome. A new particle but what will it be? Are we heading down the path to Supersymmetry or not? Can't wait, but I'm sure there will be more questions than answers.
     
  11. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

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    Magic of the machine

    The LHC makes use of the vast underground tunnel built for CERN's previous big accelerator, dismantled in 2000. The tunnel was considered the best solution to house the machine because it was cheaper to excavate than acquiring land to build at the surface.

    In addition, the impact on the landscape is minimal, and the Earth's crust provides shielding from cosmic radiation.

    For geological reasons, the tunnel was built at a mean depth of 100 metres and at a slight gradient of 1.4 per cent. Its depth varies from 175 metres under the Jura Mountains to about 50 metres towards Lake Geneva.

    The tunnel's construction demanded extraordinary precision. In fact, when it was excavated, the two ends met up to within one centimetre.

    The cabling also called for high-level precision. Each of the 6400 superconducting filaments of niobium-titanium in the cabling is about 0.007 millimetres thick - about 10 times thinner than a human hair. Added together, the filaments would stretch to the sun and back five times - with enough left over for a trip or two to the moon.

    Constructing the collider needed vast quantities of material. The main magnet system, for instance, contains roughly 10,000 tonnes of iron - more than that in the Eiffel Tower but much less than the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which has about 53,000 tonnes of iron.

    The central part of the accelerator is the world's largest fridge. At a temperature lower than that in deep space, it contains iron, steel and the all-important superconducting coils.

    Meanwhile, the pressure of the ultra-high vacuum in the machine's beam pipes is about 10 times lower than that on the moon.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/bday-for-higgs-20120705-21hy6.html#ixzz1zhXodtIT
     
  12. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    The announcement last night is an astonishing achievement.

    One of the best scientific 'jokes' is the way that people perceive the God particle when they read about it. The Higgs has become known as this because, like God, it is everywhere but hard to find. The origin of the name actually came from the title of a book by Nobel physicist Leon Lederman whose draft title was The Goddamn Particle, to describe the frustrations of trying to find the Higgs. The title was cut back to The God Particle by his publisher, apparently fearful that "Goddamn" would be offensive. :)
     
  13. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    A Higgs boson walks into a church.

    The priest fires up at the 'God particle', claiming blasphemy, heretical scientific nonsense, and demands that it leaves immediately.

    Higgs smirks and says "Sure, I'll go but without me you don't have Mass"
     
  14. globaleagle

    globaleagle Où est mon chapeau Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    lol.

    Great announcement, add me to the list of manly fans who find this area fascinating.


    Edit, I just told that joke to a french lady with a phd in science - and she laughed.

    So top shelf!
     
  15. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Haha nice.
    Lots of research to go on yet at least another 12 months to understand it better.

    What we do know is that it doesnt act on photons which is why they can travel unhindered by it. It's my belief that once we figure out enoughs about it we will figure out how to travel at the speed of light by working out how to tweak or bypass them. Once that happens we should see absolutely massive advances in a number of areas

    A long way of yet but I still think we have found a door, we just need to figure out how to open it
     
  16. globaleagle

    globaleagle Où est mon chapeau Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/nasatv/

    This is live coverage of curiosity's landing on mars.

    Starts in about 10mins.

    goes for about 90mins.

    party on geeks!

    :)
     
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  17. globaleagle

    globaleagle Où est mon chapeau Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/nasatv/

    This is live coverage of curiosity's landing on mars.

    Starts in about 10mins.

    goes for about 90mins.

    party on geeks!

    :)
     
  18. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Whose filming this?
     
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  19. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Whose filming this?
     
  20. globaleagle

    globaleagle Où est mon chapeau Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    marvin the martian!

    It's shots/commentary from inside HQ.
     

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