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Livestream of protonstream
March 30, 2010 3:22 AM   Subscribe

The Large Hadron Collider is attempting to collide protons at 14 TeV today, and they're livestreaming and tweeting about it. They've had some delays, and mostly you hear people milling about, (press conference from Japan right now) but it's ramping up as we speak, so go check it out! If it's not a dud, it could be historical.
posted by monocultured (113 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Don't cross the streams!

Some numbers and graphs that are too weird for me.

Or a much more calming Flash app.
posted by Jimbob at 3:27 AM on March 30, 2010


And a direct link to lives stream.
posted by monocultured at 3:31 AM on March 30, 2010


Infuriatingly the first question asked during the livestream interview was about black holes. FFS!
posted by howfar at 3:32 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


3.32 TeV! She's gonna blow, cap'tn!
posted by Jimbob at 3:34 AM on March 30, 2010


If it's not a dud, it could be historical.

What do they expect to find at this energy level?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:42 AM on March 30, 2010


Well, I for one am going to be keeping a sharp eye out for time travelers. Not that I'll be able to see them from inside the black hole.
posted by sexyrobot at 3:42 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Okay, am I having trouble accessing the stream because of heavy traffic, or did Switzerland just collapse into a singularity?
posted by RavinDave at 3:44 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Don't expect any "OMG OMG we found the Higgs!" releases today. As I understand things, today is the first day they try to collide the beams for the pilot physics run. However it's still at low intensity. Over the coming weeks/months they will be ramping up the luminosity (increasing number of protons per bunch, squeezing size of bunch) and calibrating the detectors with the pilot runs before they start looking for Higgs/SUSY in anger. Even then it will take a while to collect enough data to be certain of anything.

Even so this is still a milestone for LHC: it's the first time bunches will be collided.

(Full energy in this case is still only 7 TeV. Ramp up to the design energy of 14 TeV will not take place for at least a couple of years, I believe.)
posted by Electric Dragon at 3:47 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Right. They've got 3.5TeV at flattop, which they've done before. I suspect that they're going to ramp twice -- first, inject particles at 450GeV, ramp up from 450GeV to 3.5TeV, then from there to 7TeV.

That's energy in each beam -- they get 14TeV from collisions because they collide two beams turning in opposite directions.

The Tevatron at Fermilab inject at 150GeV, then ramps to 980GeV (in Collider Mode) or 1.05TeV (fixed target.) The TeV plays a card that LHC doesn't -- they collide protons and antiprotons, which means you get annihilation energy, as well as collision energy, but making and storing pbars is a huge probem, and the LHC just brute-forces protons.
posted by eriko at 3:48 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Where will they be colliding the beams? In ATLAS? I want to know what status page I should be looking at to see something change.
posted by Jimbob at 3:52 AM on March 30, 2010


"# The ramp is successfully completed! Beams are now accelerated to 3.5 TeV, the highest energy! Preparing for collisions now!! 6 minutes ago via web"

Maybe I've seen too many movies but when scientists start ending sentences with multiple exclamation points it gets my attention.
posted by vapidave at 3:53 AM on March 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


Ah, they're going to run at 7 TeV (centre of mass; 3.5 TeV per beam) until they've accumulated 1 fb-1 or end 2011, whichever is first. Then there'll be a year long shutdown to upgrade and retrofit the rest of the machine, before resuming in 2012 or possibly 2013 and ramp up to 14 TeV. (source)
posted by Electric Dragon at 3:57 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe I've seen too many movies but when scientists start ending sentences with multiple exclamation points it gets my attention.

Yeah, that's what I get out of this. Excited scientists using curse-words in all manner or accents. I came for the numbers, stayed for the drama.
posted by monocultured at 3:58 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Put it like this (hooray, it's dodgy analogy time!): it's the first time they're driving a new racing car. They've tested the engine and the transmission and everything else (and the first time they tried to test the engine, one of the cylinders blew up), but this is the first time they're taking the handbrake off. However, they're still only going to drive it to the end of the pit lane and back, and they're not taking it out of first gear.

Over the next few weeks/months, they have to fiddle with the gears, tune the engine, and set up the aerodynamics before they try to put in a racing lap. They won't be fitting the turbo for a couple of years though, but still might break the lap record in the meantime.
posted by Electric Dragon at 4:03 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Collisions at 7TeV - a world record (this now on Twitter)
posted by WPW at 4:06 AM on March 30, 2010


"The young people cannot refrain from jumping." says the ATLAS lady.

I fucking love people in Europe.
posted by Jimbob at 4:07 AM on March 30, 2010 [14 favorites]


Jesus you can see the collisions, this is crazy.
posted by afu at 4:07 AM on March 30, 2010


Colissions in ATLAS! Captured from webcast.
posted by Jimbob at 4:09 AM on March 30, 2010


Yeah! From twitter - @caitlinmoran: There's going to be a lot of drunken nerd-sex tonight.
posted by handee at 4:12 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Holy crap, I just blacked out and saw six months into the future.
posted by bwg at 4:17 AM on March 30, 2010 [10 favorites]


What happens when you cross the streams?

Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously, and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
posted by chillmost at 4:28 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


My prediction: it's turtles all the way down.
posted by mondo dentro at 4:29 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm concerned that when the first reports of shadow creatures materialising and sucking the consciousness out of helpless onlookers emerge, we'll all assume it's just an early, Wellesian April Fools prank.
posted by RokkitNite at 4:30 AM on March 30, 2010


Uh oh...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:35 AM on March 30, 2010 [42 favorites]


Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously, and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
posted by chillmost at 4:28 AM on March 3


Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, chillmost.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:36 AM on March 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


So this is what stable colliding beams-first time ever at this energy! look like.
I have no idea what I'm looking at from all of these feeds. But it's exciting!!
posted by tellurian at 4:38 AM on March 30, 2010


So...so what does all this mean? What's been accomplished?

/barely passed Physics in high school.
posted by magstheaxe at 4:39 AM on March 30, 2010


So this is what stable colliding beams-first time ever at this energy! look like.
I have no idea what I'm looking at from all of these feeds. But it's exciting!!


DooD. The height of that Beam 1 was sick!
posted by jeremias at 4:49 AM on March 30, 2010


so what does all this mean? What's been accomplished?

Banging some very small rocks together, faster than has ever been done before.

Hopefully that's still a winning move.
posted by flabdablet at 4:53 AM on March 30, 2010


14 TeV

GREAT SCOTT!
posted by DU at 4:55 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Paging gravelshoes. We need some explanations/insight.
posted by tellurian at 5:05 AM on March 30, 2010


So what are the military applications?

I keed, I keed.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:31 AM on March 30, 2010


You know, a black hole will be good for repossessing airplanes.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:35 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Explanations/insight available right here
posted by kcds at 5:37 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


From further down in the link provided by Electric Dragon above
"...In the end the decision is to operate the LHC at 3.5 TeV on 3.5 TeV (7 TeV collision energy, 3.5 times that of the Tevatron) and accumulate a substantial amount of physics-quality data: 1 inverse femtobarn, or stop by the end f 2011, whichever comes first. This corresponds to something like ten trillion proton-proton collisions, of which only a small fraction will yield events interesting enough to record for later analysis by the experiments, and of these, only a tiny fraction yielding data relevant for physics.
After a one to one-and-a-half year shutdown in 2012 to retrofit the rest of the machine and make other preparations, the LHC will attempt to double the energy, to 14 TeV in the center of mass, in 2013 and accumulate substantial physics data. My best guess is that if the Higgs boson is to be discovered, it will be at high energy with this large sample of 14 TeV data. We might be able to rule it out at 95% confidence in certain mass ranges if it’s not there, but we ought not be able to do that if it is, right?"
Reading the article is seems they got excited and broke it in 2008 so they are being careful now. The bulk of the data and excitement will come in a few years.
posted by vapidave at 5:37 AM on March 30, 2010


Right. They've got 3.5TeV at flattop, which they've done before. I suspect that they're going to ramp twice -- first, inject particles at 450GeV, ramp up from 450GeV to 3.5TeV, then from there to 7TeV.

It's too bad this is only a video feed... now I have to add the audio track in my head.

Partial transcript:

Very good. We'll take it from here. Power to stage 1 emitters in 3,2,1... I'm seeing predictable phase arrays. Stage 2 emitters activating...now.

Overhead capacitors to one oh five percent. Uh, it's probably not a problem, probably, but I'm showing a small discrepancy in... well, no, it's well within acceptable bounds again. Sustaining sequence.

Oh dear!
Gordon, get away from the--
Shutting down--no, attempted shutdown. It's not--it's not, it's not shutting down!

posted by Mayor West at 5:43 AM on March 30, 2010 [12 favorites]


The last time we talked about this, someone observed that each proton, at these speeds, will carry about as much kinetic energy as a baseball at 100mph (ie, a fastball). Considering how big those are in comparison, and how they'll knock you on your ass, I think it would be a very bad idea to have body parts anywhere near the stream.

This is one of the most powerful machines that humanity has ever built, and I'm immensely proud of us for doing it as basic research. Go Europe!
posted by Malor at 5:46 AM on March 30, 2010


From Brian Cox's Twitter page: "If anyone else says "black hole" today I'm going to come round and chin em"
posted by creeky at 5:50 AM on March 30, 2010


You know, a black hole will be good for repossessing airplanes.

Yes... repossessing airplanes forever! AH HA HA HA HA HAAAA!!!
posted by No-sword at 5:51 AM on March 30, 2010


Interesting to look at the Cern press releases from the Twitter linked stream and see: Large Hadron Collider is presented to CERN Council - when they decided on the programmes/finance to be undertaken in 1993. SCIENCE! – It takes ages.
posted by tellurian at 5:52 AM on March 30, 2010


@CERN : Experiments have already recorded thousands of events! We had more than 1 hour of stable and colliding beams

I was a math and science nerd 20 years ago, but dropped out of college well before I got deep into physics. My imagination always reached outwards, to space, to the larger, and 'visible'. I cannot quite understand this research. Can someone explain it in a non-snarky way?

What do we gain out of this (this is NOT meant as snark. I don't understand what the outcomes of physics research at this level can be)? How does it change science text books (In places that are not Texas)?

I like being amazed. I hate being flummoxed.
posted by DigDoug at 6:01 AM on March 30, 2010


The typo we've all been waiting for. For your grade school humor pleasure.
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 6:03 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


DigDoug, the CERN site has some good clear overviews in plain english of its mission:

Physics: The Standard Model

The Missing Higgs
The LHC

And loads more on the CERN site.

(I'm just looking for gags but it's still fascinating!)
posted by Erasmouse at 6:22 AM on March 30, 2010


My prediction: it's turtles all the way down.

Pardon?
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:31 AM on March 30, 2010 [8 favorites]


Oh my god, Oh my god, Oh my god.
posted by Vamier at 6:32 AM on March 30, 2010


I was going to say that this is way more exciting than it has any right to be. But then I realized this is exactly as exciting as it should be.

I think I've been hanging out amongst disinterested parties far too much lately. Another step closer to the Higgs and the mysteries of the universe! Every single one of these moments should be a 'holy shit!' moment.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 6:44 AM on March 30, 2010


WHATTUP PROTONS
posted by contessa at 6:48 AM on March 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


I will be severely disappointed if no one thought to cackle manically when this happened.
posted by The Whelk at 7:11 AM on March 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


I work in the Physics department at the University of Florida, which I'm told is the largest American University contingent associated with the LHC. They built the Compact Muon Solenoid. They also have this kickass Command Center with a bunch of giant TVs that looks like a mini-NASA control center.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:17 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is fun, thanks for posting!
posted by carter at 7:32 AM on March 30, 2010


...In the end the decision is to operate the LHC at 3.5 TeV on 3.5 TeV (7 TeV collision energy, 3.5 times that of the Tevatron) and accumulate a substantial amount of physics-quality data: 1 inverse femtobarn, or stop by the end f 2011, whichever comes first.

So basically what we're seeing here is some hot 3.5 TeV on 3.5 TeV action?
posted by delmoi at 7:33 AM on March 30, 2010


*sigh* I love the LHC, but then I think about what could have been...
posted by kmz at 7:38 AM on March 30, 2010


Watching the livestream. Swear that Faraday from Lost just walked by.
posted by the_royal_we at 7:45 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Super-duct-work activity?
posted by blue_beetle at 7:52 AM on March 30, 2010


Super-conduit activity
(thank you Bloom County)
posted by djrock3k at 8:01 AM on March 30, 2010


All the people predicting black holes are deluded. The four corner structure of time requires that this be happening in reverse anti-matter time at another part of the universe simultaneously. Their collider(s) is(are) the one(s) that form(s) a singularity. At the exact same moment (due to the required symmetry of four corner mirror time) our collider will form a plurality. In that moment our plurality will connect to a recursive set of singularities and form the energy outlet to each of the other three corners that are then out of symmetry. When this happens the three other corners of those universes will drain through the singularity to plurality connection into our universe corner. The result is a four way Klein bottle universe with each of the corners perpetually draining and filling each other in perfect symmetry. It's all perfectly obvious if you just think it through.
posted by Babblesort at 8:04 AM on March 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


This is one of the most powerful machines that humanity has ever built

Uh...everyone in the control room has drinks in their hands and bottles can be seen stacked up against the wall.
Is that a good thing?
chillmost?

posted by buzzv at 8:08 AM on March 30, 2010


This is so exciting!! Thanks so much for posting.
posted by bluefly at 8:10 AM on March 30, 2010


Malor, I don't think your baseball comparison is accurate. I'd love to be proven wrong, because it's a really cool comparison, but by my calculation, the momentum of a 149-gram baseball moving at 100 mph is 1.86 × 109 TeV.
posted by shponglespore at 8:32 AM on March 30, 2010


so, in the many worlds theory, some universes just got extincted by this experiment?
posted by Ironmouth at 8:39 AM on March 30, 2010


Liberate tutemet ex Infernis...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:45 AM on March 30, 2010


My God, it's full of stars!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:46 AM on March 30, 2010


It blows my mind how much the production/videography/commentary of this video feed reminds me of Tour de France coverage.

This is the World Cup for nerds, isn't it?
posted by GameDesignerBen at 8:52 AM on March 30, 2010


This is the World Cup for nerds, isn't it?

GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:59 AM on March 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


The result is a four way Klein bottle universe with each of the corners perpetually draining and filling each other in perfect symmetry.

You mean like this?
posted by TimeTravelSpeed at 9:01 AM on March 30, 2010


This is one of the most powerful machines that humanity has ever built,

Yeah, how is it I never get credit for that thing I did when I combined the 351-Cleavland with the toaster and the Lite-Bright?

Well, I don't need the accolades. Just know this; I've added a colander/ satellite dish, and deployed it in my back yard. This should keep us all safe from LHC originated black holes.

You are all welcome.
posted by quin at 9:03 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Malor, I don't think your baseball comparison is accurate. I'd love to be proven wrong, because it's a really cool comparison, but by my calculation, the momentum of a 149-gram baseball moving at 100 mph is 1.86 × 109 TeV.

I'm getting almost 1021 eV, or 109 TeV. (more specifically 9.292631*108 TeV)
posted by delmoi at 9:09 AM on March 30, 2010


You mean like this?

What is the appeal of a beer bong? Why not just drink vodka or something?
posted by delmoi at 9:10 AM on March 30, 2010


What is the appeal of a beer bong? Why not just drink vodka or something?

But...dude! CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG CHUG!
posted by contessa at 9:15 AM on March 30, 2010


shponglespore is right. A baseball at 100mph will have WAY more kinetic energy than a proton in this collision.

A better way to put it would be that it has the kinetic energy of a flying insect (I've heard mosquito at 1TeV, so scale it up a bit for 7). That might not sound like a lot, but cram all that energy into a single proton and now you're cooking with gas.
posted by chimaera at 9:26 AM on March 30, 2010


I like it when we do SCIENCE!
posted by never used baby shoes at 9:27 AM on March 30, 2010


Malor's reference to a baseball flying at 100mph is probably referring to the fact that some cosmic rays can get that energetic [cite].

If these energies caused black holes that would eat up planets, Earth would've been doomed a long time ago by the comic rays.
posted by chimaera at 9:30 AM on March 30, 2010


If this is another European moment of zen like the Huygens probe touchdown, the agency will avoid showing the unwashed masses anything of substance until the VIPs get their chance to marvel in a private setting. Then we'll all be fed some dribs and drabs of low-quality stuff.
posted by crapmatic at 9:33 AM on March 30, 2010


A TeV is about the kinetic energy of a mosquito. You can give someone a TeV by gingerly dropping a penny into their hand.

Also, unlike a penny or a fastball, a TeV proton would not stop in a target as thin as a person, so only a small part of the energy would be deposited.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 9:38 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


If these energies caused black holes that would eat up planets, Earth would've been doomed a long time ago by the comic rays.
<pedant> But high-energy cosmic ray collisions with the atmosphere would produce exotic particles with lots of momentum relative to the earth. The LHC will produce exotica that are approximately in the earth's rest frame. This makes the risk analysis a little more complicated. </pedant>
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 9:41 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


This makes the risk analysis a little more complicated.

I concede that, but only a little. When we're talking about the frequency of cosmic ray strikes and the statistical likelihood that, over billions of years, one or more of these strikes (if such energies were really that dangerous) would cause a problem, it starts to weigh heavily in the favor of "if it were a problem, it would have been a problem many times over by now."
posted by chimaera at 9:47 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yo dawg, I herd you like particles...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 9:50 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


I saw Star Trek: The Movie! I know how black holes work! All it takes is one speck of mater from CERN to fall out, and suddenly, BAM, our childhoods are rewritten!
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:53 AM on March 30, 2010


From vapidave's quote above: "...accumulate a substantial amount of physics-quality data: 1 inverse femtobarn, or stop by the end f 2011, whichever comes first."

femtobarn? C'mon. They're just making shit up now. These scientists are just cracking up right now. "Can you believe they're paying us to measure femtobarns? Har har, snicker. Hold on while I roll around in this big pile of grant money I got to build a doohickie!"

Actually, Wikipedia talks about femtobarns here, if anyone else was as taken with that word as I was. The "barn" units go from "megabarn" to "barn" all the way down to "shed."

I shit you not.
posted by marxchivist at 10:24 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


is this why my internet service is so slow today?
posted by bonsai forest at 10:47 AM on March 30, 2010


There's an old guy with crazy hair and a young kid in a down vest standing next to a Delorian, just staring at the thing and cackling.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:56 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


The "barn" units go from "megabarn"

From the link:

"Barn (unit) ... Originally used in nuclear physics for expressing the cross sectional area of nuclei and nuclear reactions,"


I am hugely disappointed to find out that this term comes from someone saying that a uranium nucleus was as "big as a barn, and not what it should have come from: how many barns would be destroyed nuclear-test style from the energy released.
posted by quin at 11:08 AM on March 30, 2010


One key question about the LHC: Is the collider large, or are the hadrons large?
posted by Mister_A at 11:15 AM on March 30, 2010


Not just femtobarns, but inverse-femtobarns.
posted by phliar at 11:16 AM on March 30, 2010


I'm not worried. Earth has enough cows to neutralize any amount of black holes.
posted by flabdablet at 11:29 AM on March 30, 2010


"This, I believe, is our civilizations answer to the pyramids of Egypt. But much better. Because it's not only big but it's a monument to curiosity as opposed to superstition. It was built by cooperation rather than by command. And, perhaps most important, it's not just big for the sake of vanity; it's big because it has to be to do what it's meant to do."

Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek speaking about CERN
posted by Riemann at 11:48 AM on March 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


One key answer about the LHC: the collider is large, and the hadrons are very small.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 12:22 PM on March 30, 2010


Shit. Never trust pigeons I tell you. Fucking poop should have broken it yesterday. Now I need to find a grasshopper to jump into the thing or something.

I mean, there are no particles from the future, please carry on.
posted by Higgs Boson at 12:23 PM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


This event makes me proud to be a nerd.
posted by elmono at 12:55 PM on March 30, 2010


Past the room that contained their machines and up two levels, he made his way to another room... where he had stored what I will refer to from here on as the Failsafe Machine.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:17 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just got back from an LHC talk, so I should probably correct my earlier comment. UF is the largest American public university group working on the CMS. Also, UF helped design and build the CMS (they didn't do it all themselves).

I didn't really understand the physics.
posted by dirigibleman at 2:09 PM on March 30, 2010


Oh, and the LHC produces enough data that the data connection from Fermilab (which gets the data directly from CERN) to the university operates continuously at about 200 Mb/sec, filling up the ~425 Terabyte storage in about 2 - 3 weeks. This data represents a small fraction of a percent of the number of events the instrument actually detects.
posted by dirigibleman at 2:15 PM on March 30, 2010


A TeV is about the kinetic energy of a mosquito. You can give someone a TeV by gingerly dropping a penny into their hand.

Also, unlike a penny or a fastball, a TeV proton would not stop in a target as thin as a person, so only a small part of the energy would be deposited.


The beam isn't one proton. If you want to understand the total energies that are involved, google around and read up on the design of the "beam dump". If you suddenly need to turn the LHC off, you have to do something with the beam -- so you diffuse the normally thin beam out to play across the 1-meter face of the beam dump. At that point the beam is something like 100000x more diffuse than the original thin beam. The dump itself is something like 7 cubic meters of graphite, encased in a further several hundred tons of concrete. And water cooled.
posted by madmethods at 2:31 PM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


where he had stored what I will refer to from here on as the Failsafe Machine.

no no no, that room is simply called "Plan B".
posted by The Whelk at 2:34 PM on March 30, 2010


posted by madmethods
heh.
posted by qvantamon at 2:48 PM on March 30, 2010


Thanks, madmethods, I was wondering about that. As I've been following their work over the last week or so, they do frequently "lose the beam", at which point I think "Lose it? Where did it go?" So what happens to the graphite as it's bombarded with these billions of protons?
posted by Jimbob at 2:59 PM on March 30, 2010


ExitPursuedByBear - Excellent find. I haven't laughed so hard in weeks.
posted by empatterson at 2:59 PM on March 30, 2010


I don't believe it!
There she goes again!
She's tidied up, and I can't find anything!
All my tubes and wires
And careful notes
And antiquated notions
posted by bwg at 5:10 PM on March 30, 2010


When the LHC eventually reaches the limits of its design, the stored energy of the beam will be 350 megajoules. That's when they've reached 7 TeV per proton and orders of magnitudes more protons than they have at the moment and for the next little while.

ONE megajoule is approximately the kinetic energy of a one-ton vehicle moving at 160 km/h (100 mph).

When the beam is dumped all that kinetic energy is converted to various forms of radiation, in the end mostly infrared (heat).
I'd guess the graphite will heat up several 1000 degrees, and the surrounding iron and cement 100s og degrees, heat that will be transported away to the athmosphere through a heat exchanger somewhere.
posted by Catfry at 4:09 AM on March 31, 2010


I'm a bit confused now. (This is probably understandable.)
From Prof Brian Cox's twitter feed:

For those that asked, a cup of black coffee has about 10^23 electron Volts of energy - that's 3 kcalories. LHC at the moment is 7 x 10^12 eV

That means that each LHC collision has 10,000,000,000 times less energy than a cup of black coffee - tell that to the black hole nobbers :)

posted by handee at 5:00 AM on March 31, 2010


The beam in the LHC consists of billions of protons, but each collision only takes place between two protons. on the other hand many many collisions take place every second. Most of them are not even that high energy since they can be glancing blows rather than head on collisions.
So one collision between two protons is very little energy, but there are many many of them and even more that just wizz by without colliding.
posted by Catfry at 5:18 AM on March 31, 2010


The LHC is a factory for producing particle collisions. The reason you want a factory and not just a handful of collisions is that the creation of interesting sub particles is very very difficult and a lot of factors need to be just right for us to be able to do so. There is no way to control subatomic particles to the degree necessary to intentionally create those conditions every time so instead the approach is one of creating collisions as many times as possible, and try to look out for when something interesting actually happens.
It's a game of statistics more than anything.
posted by Catfry at 5:29 AM on March 31, 2010


The beam isn't one proton. ... The [beam] dump itself is something like 7 cubic meters of graphite.
How big was the beam dump at Protvino? Bugorski was a thin target and only absorbed a small part of the beam energy. Of course a "small part" of a lot of energy can still be a lot of energy, and Burgorski didn't fare terribly well, and the LHC is a much more powerful machine.

The answer to the implied question about body parts in the beam is that a cauterized tunnel would quickly develop through the exposed body part, but what happens next is not really obvious.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 6:47 AM on March 31, 2010


I really wanted to see Higgs Boson comment in this thread.

Also: I really want someone to comment on what this means for the Series Finale of Lost.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:55 AM on March 31, 2010


Not really pertinent to the current conversation, but I'd just like to add that my Fundamentalist Christian cousin just updated his Facebook status with an article about this stating that he thought that a free copy of Genesis was a better investment than this for uncovering the story of the Creation of the universe. One of his friends added that he thought the "Europeans are idiots" for trying to use "science like this to prove evolution" and added the jab, "It's called intelligent design for a reason morons!"

Sorry for the derail. Just thought you'd all enjoy that one.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:57 AM on March 31, 2010


I read an interview in Vanity Fair, in which the scientists said they had never considered what would happen if you were to stand in the colider while it was on. Funny, that's the first thing that comes to mind.
posted by 3rdrate at 2:58 PM on March 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


No, Pollomacho. I did not enjoy that at all. Although I am thankful, on a daily basis, that I don't have any people like that on my Facebook.
posted by Jimbob at 3:54 PM on March 31, 2010


I really wanted to see Higgs Boson comment in this thread.

I just went back in time and posted a comment right here.

I mean, the comment was there before, you just hadn't noticed it. There's no such thing as time travel.

Also: I really want someone to comment on what this means for the Series Finale of Lost.

You mean the original ending? Everyone gets off the island and the universe is destroyed. Then I go back in time and send a bird to poop on Hurley so that doesn't happen.
posted by Higgs Boson at 6:53 PM on March 31, 2010


No, Pollomacho. I did not enjoy that at all. Although I am thankful, on a daily basis, that I don't have any people like that on my Facebook.

Yeah, he's a cousin, what are you going to do? I suppose "enjoy" wasn't the best term.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:51 AM on April 1, 2010


Yeah, he's a cousin, what are you going to do? I suppose "enjoy" wasn't the best term.
posted by Pollomacho


Defriend and block him thanks in advance
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:04 AM on April 1, 2010


But then I wouldn't have gems like this to pass on. Plus, how am I going to know what sort of Obama/9-11 conspiracy or other inanity to expect at the next family event? You can't expect me to keep up with the rantings of Fox News after-hours (when it really gets frothy) when I've got the executive summary right there for me!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:35 PM on April 1, 2010


Wouldn't it be a great April Fools' prank if they came out today and said "Oh. Turns out we did create a black hole. We were wrong about that. Our bad."
posted by qvantamon at 1:10 PM on April 1, 2010


no, that would suck
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 1:14 PM on April 1, 2010


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