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November 20, 2009 2:59 PM   Subscribe

CERN has successfully circulated beams in the Large Hadron Collider. This news was announced via Twitter, where they will be accepting questions for an upcoming press conference; in the meantime, check out explanatory videos on their YouTube channel, some lively podcasts, or an overview of particle physics on their website. The home of the Web has done a pretty good job keeping up with technology. (previously)
posted by shii (70 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Large Hard on Collider?
posted by fuq at 3:02 PM on November 20, 2009


Weren't they supposed to coordinate this with the opening of 2012?
posted by mosk at 3:03 PM on November 20, 2009


Congrats to CERN. Nov 20 2009 is a crib for future history textbooks.

(I was gonna make some snarky comment here about time-traveling particles, but I think I'll do it yesterday instead.)
posted by rokusan at 3:03 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


"CERN has successfully circulated beams in the Large Hadron Collider."

When I first read this I interpreted this to mean that they had circulated steel beams in the Large Hadron Collider. My initial reaction was "shit, I didn't know that it was that powerful!" My second reaction was: "Duuuuuuuuuuhhhh..." *forehead smack*
posted by Kattullus at 3:04 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think the mods should "accidentally" delete this post, and then blamitthr deletion on the Higgs-Boson...
posted by hincandenza at 3:05 PM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


What the fuck, iPhone autocorrect?!?!
posted by hincandenza at 3:05 PM on November 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


I can't wait to buy my black hole gun when this technology is further developed.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:06 PM on November 20, 2009


Maybe my spellcheck dictionary was ruined through Large Hashtable Corruption...
posted by hincandenza at 3:07 PM on November 20, 2009


If they had actually successfully crossed the streams, we wouldn't be here to read about it. What's that you say? Circulated the beams? Ah, carry on.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:08 PM on November 20, 2009


You're trying to blame "blamitthr" on your iPhone's dictionary?
posted by boo_radley at 3:09 PM on November 20, 2009


What's your problem, hincandenza?

Blamitthr, sacred nail-clippers of Gimli, son of Gloin.
posted by rokusan at 3:09 PM on November 20, 2009 [15 favorites]


He just wants to point out to all of us that oooooh, he has an iphone. spamsandwich
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:10 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


oh shit, there goes my Porsche-integrated-personal-AI/internet attachment. I tell you, the shenanigans that thing gets me into. I meant hamburger.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:12 PM on November 20, 2009


The Large Hard on Collider?

This NEVER gets old.

Oh wait, it just officially did.
posted by empath at 3:13 PM on November 20, 2009


Is this the same thing as crossing the streams? Because I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to do that.
posted by dead cousin ted at 3:13 PM on November 20, 2009


This may well be the last post on MetaFilter

I may be oversensitive to this, but I think the killer black hole joke is rather old. It's also unfortunate that many people actually believe it's possible.

On the other hand, the LHC is one project that gives me some hope for humanity. I'm glad it's still possible to build a large, expensive experiment whose sole purpose is pure research, with no clear practical benefits. Let's hear it for science!
posted by knave at 3:14 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


So what? I circulate blood all damn day long and I've never had a website dedicated to me.
posted by m0nm0n at 3:14 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


My brother is an electrical engineer at Fermilab (or he was - I think they've finally roped him into management) I'm proud of him for the work he does there, but when he talks about physics or, more likely, the electronics required to capture data for high energy physics, I get lost after about three sentences.

He told me once that his main jealousy of CERN is that they don't have to worry every year about whether the U.S. congress is going to pull the rug out from under them with the next year's budget.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:17 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I may be oversensitive to this, but I think the killer black hole joke is rather old. It's also unfortunate that many people actually believe it's possible.

Hmm, I agree. But what's your opinion on strangelets? Seriously, please, even though I don't understand exactly what they are, they sound very interesting.
posted by Sova at 3:19 PM on November 20, 2009


I'm just glad this didn't open up a black hole OH NO HELP MEEEE help anyone? if you can read this you're too damn close

on preview: sorry, knave
posted by turaho at 3:19 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


blamitthr!
posted by serazin at 3:23 PM on November 20, 2009


Well guys, it's been great hanging out here on the blue. I'll miss each and every one of you, and you're welcome to come join me in my underground bunker where I'll be sending out distress signals to the Battlestar Galactica, begging them to come pick me up before our entire planet melts.
posted by serazin at 3:25 PM on November 20, 2009


Ohhh, so that's why my Internet's been so slow today! Stupid hadrons.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:25 PM on November 20, 2009


Sorry, but I call dibs on Starbuck.
posted by serazin at 3:25 PM on November 20, 2009


On a serious note, I thought this quote was weird: "We’ve still got some way to go before physics can begin, but with this milestone we’re well on the way.” I'm no scientist, but isn't physics going on like, all the time?
posted by serazin at 3:27 PM on November 20, 2009


I may be oversensitive to this, but I think the killer black hole joke is rather old.

It is pretty dark here in Switzerland, though.
posted by effbot at 3:28 PM on November 20, 2009


I like to imagine Europe's lights dimming for a second as they turn this on.
posted by brundlefly at 3:28 PM on November 20, 2009


Blamitthr is a google bomb, only hit is this thread.
posted by idiopath at 3:29 PM on November 20, 2009


serazin: "Sorry, but I call dibs on Starbuck."

Original or remake?
posted by brundlefly at 3:29 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I initially read 'beams' as 'beans.'
posted by inconsequentialist at 3:30 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am pleased but not surprised to still exist.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:31 PM on November 20, 2009


Blamitthr, sacred nail-clippers of Gimli, son of Gloin.

There has to be a word for the feeling of "Hee hee hee that's hilariousOH GOD I'M A NERD."

I bet it's German.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:36 PM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Live video of the collider
posted by grouse at 3:38 PM on November 20, 2009 [7 favorites]


Hah! Take that, future!
posted by EarBucket at 3:39 PM on November 20, 2009


LHCB sees where the antimatters gone, ALICE looks at collisions of lead ions...
posted by Damienmce at 3:41 PM on November 20, 2009


Blami-itr, Norse god glorious bruises. Serious, ask one of those funny Icelandic chaps, he'll tell you.)
posted by Sova at 3:46 PM on November 20, 2009


Original or remake?

The planet is about to disappear into a black hole - can't I have both?
posted by serazin at 3:48 PM on November 20, 2009


You're all overthinking a plate of beams.

If the Large Hardon discovers any new particle that is NOT a Higgs Bosom (physics is so sexy!), it must be named the blamitthr in honor of hincandenza's oPhone. Or we can go to Twitter and Blamitthr Hincan's Denza...

Today has turned into a MeFi Joke Black Hole... nothing can escape...
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:48 PM on November 20, 2009


don't cross the streams!
posted by oonh at 3:52 PM on November 20, 2009


Needs "blamitthr" tag.
posted by mosk at 3:56 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


blamitthr is the new Wendell.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:58 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


it's been there for, like, five minutes.
posted by boo_radley at 3:59 PM on November 20, 2009


Blamitthr is a google bomb, only hit is this thread.

So it's a Google singularity, then?
posted by rokusan at 4:00 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I didn't read the whole thing. Was the planet instantly destroyed by a supermassive black hole, or were a bunch of idiots talking shit about that a while back? Do I still exist?

'Cuz I really, really don't want to go in on Monday and that would be awesome if I didn't exist.
posted by el_lupino at 4:03 PM on November 20, 2009


Oh God, nerds.
(love you)
(incl blamittrh)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 4:05 PM on November 20, 2009


Greetings people of the 21st Century! I come in peace, and to warn you: YOU MUST STOP THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER, BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!
posted by blamittrh at 4:17 PM on November 20, 2009 [12 favorites]


Everybody to the limit
Everybody to the limit!
Everybody come one blamittrh!
posted by Anything at 4:18 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Dammit, I was just gonna do that...
posted by The otter lady at 4:19 PM on November 20, 2009


Related MeFi Project: Colliding Particles - Hunting the Higgs. This is a great documentary series, and there's a new episode out as of ~September.
posted by JohnFredra at 4:20 PM on November 20, 2009


b̥̫̩̽̌ͬ̐̇̀l̡̧̙̖͕ͥͯ̌̅͗̋ͦ̊â͉̗̹̭͊̃ͮ̈́ͬͤ̚m̷͚̻̠͕̮͌̔̍́͌̿̓i̗̤̾ͣ̽͆͜ṫ̢̫̣̅ͬ̃ͮ̾̾̇̾ͅt͔͕̔͑̉h̵̦͚͉̲͋̄͢͞r̴̸̩̤͕ͮ̎͌͗͒
posted by brundlefly at 4:27 PM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


[malmsteen]
In days of old when men were bold...
Bla-mitTHRRR
and sought to tame the hadron cold...
Bla-mitTHRRR
From beyond all time beyond all space...
Bla-mitTHRRR
what came to end the human race...
Bla-mitTHRRR

[/malmsteen]

Translated from the original Klingon, by me. My Klingon is a tad rusty so ymmv.

This email I have here from Titor sez Blamitthr / Blamittrh / Blamthir is the original elvish for the black hole at the center of the planet which, being an inverse black hole, emits warming radiation and provides the dwellers in the world inside the world with their energy source.
posted by mwhybark at 4:33 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


blamittrh -- can there be typos in "blamitthr?" or is this simply a practicum in a sort of uncertainty principle?
posted by mwhybark at 4:37 PM on November 20, 2009


Was the planet instantly destroyed by a supermassive black hole, or were a bunch of idiots talking shit about that a while back?

So, the thing about the black hole is that the same theory that predicts that a blackhole might form also predicts that it would evaporate almost instantly through hawking radiation.
posted by empath at 4:38 PM on November 20, 2009


Photos from the CERN control center during restart
posted by prinado at 4:41 PM on November 20, 2009


Ooh, strangelets. Now that's more interesting than nano black holes, if only because that is a slightly more plausible way the LHC can DESTROY THE EARTH™. Still only infinitesimally plausible because basically over the 4.5 billion years the Earth has been around, high energy cosmic rays have done every possible experiment the LHC can do*. Only with the LHC, we're actually watching this time.

So, particle physics 101. All normal matter (such as that computer you're typing on) is made up of electrons and quarks. There are 6 types (or "flavours") of quark, but normal matter only contains two of them: the up and down flavours. The most common alternative is called "strange". (Particle physicists often give things whimsical names.)

Normally quarks are bound together in twos or threes: a proton is up-up-down, while a neutron is up-down-down. When a strange quark is included, the particles are unstable and quickly decay back into the up and down configurations.

However it has been suggested that a situation could arise where a whole bunch of quarks bind together in a much bigger particle of equal parts up, down and strange, called a strangelet.

Since a strangelet would have a lower energy state than a proton or neutron, it could start a chain reaction transforming normal matter particles into more strangelets, eventually leading to an entire star or planet being made of strange matter. The fact that the Solar System is not made of strange matter is strong evidence that it cannot happen through any process even at maximum cosmic ray energies.

*The theoretical upper limit of cosmic ray energy is determined by the GZK limit, but even so particles of greater energy have been seen. The maximum centre of mass energy of the LHC will be 14TeV, the GZK limit (proton v proton) is roughly equivalent to 500TeV in the centre of mass frame so we've not got anything to worry about.
posted by Electric Dragon at 4:41 PM on November 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


any process available to Sun-like stars. It could still happen to a supernova or something but that won't affect the Sun which is way too small to go supernova.
posted by Electric Dragon at 4:44 PM on November 20, 2009


CERN and hincandenza have discovered the perfect nickname for user 100,000 - blamitthr!
posted by Cranberry at 4:55 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Supposedly since strangelets that might hit earth from cosmic rays would be positively charged, they would be repulsed by atomic nuclei. But the strangelets created by the LHC would not be positively charged, and so might be able to do more damage.
posted by empath at 5:14 PM on November 20, 2009


"We’ve still got some way to go before physics Deathball can begin, but with this milestone we’re well on the way.”

FTFY.
posted by azuresunday at 5:34 PM on November 20, 2009


I think the mods should "accidentally" delete this post, and then blamitthr deletion on the Higgs-Boson...
--
What the fuck, iPhone autocorrect?!?!

It's cool, hincandenza, we know you're in there.
posted by heeeraldo at 5:50 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


To any saboteurs reading this:

Since you're from the future, I would love to know the results of the upcoming Super Bowl, World Series or any other major sporting event.

kthx

Seriously though, this is really cool. I'm excited...
...sexually
posted by purephase at 6:34 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I know that the LHC is not going to destroy us all. It's not going to make a black hole that spaghettifies the planet. That doesn't mean I can't dream.
posted by crataegus at 7:57 PM on November 20, 2009


I know that the LHC is not going to destroy us all. It's not going to make a black hole that spaghettifies the planet. That doesn't mean I can't dream.

It's a big investment and will probably be in operation for decades to come. That's plenty of time for an evil genius bent on wholesale galactic implosion to come along and fiddle with the settings. If it's too late for you, maybe your children can be inspired.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:17 PM on November 20, 2009


Dont forget to check out the new gallery at Big Picture
posted by jmnugent at 9:40 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Blamitthr, sacred nail-clippers of Gimli, son of Gloin.

There has to be a word for the feeling of "Hee hee hee that's hilariousOH GOD I'M A NERD."

I bet it's German.


I pronounce it "bla-MIT-ther"
posted by Jilder at 11:20 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have been accused of being a strangelet.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 7:22 AM on November 21, 2009


This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a blamitthr.

posted by NMcCoy at 10:30 AM on November 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


There's a surprising amount of completely live data about the LHC operation available online, spread throughout the CERN websites, available without passwords.
Some enterprising civilian decided to collect links to all those pages on a single site: http://www.lhcportal.com/
posted by Catfry at 8:16 AM on November 22, 2009


That website is great, Catfry, it deserves its own post to the front page.
posted by Kattullus at 10:46 AM on November 22, 2009


You are welcome.
posted by Catfry at 11:29 AM on November 22, 2009


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