CERN to measure Higgs boson this August

Forums Cult Sci Fi Series Lexx CERN to measure Higgs boson this August

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  • #41101

    Flamegrape
    Member

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9473392

    [quote]All Things Considered, April 9, 2007 · The cows grazing by the roads outside Geneva, Switzerland, have witnessed some pretty strange things these past few years: Trucks roll by carrying big, superconducting magnets that look like missiles, and other brightly colored pieces of scientific equipment. The pieces are all taken to warehouse-sized buildings, where they disappear down shafts that reach 300 feet into the earth.

    The work is all part of an $8 billion project at the international physics laboratory called CERN. At its heart will be an enormously powerful particle accelerator capable of smashing subatomic particles together, reproducing the energies that existed a fraction of a second after the big bang. What comes out may solve some fundamental mysteries about how the universe is put together.

    But that’s if everything works. Physicists hope to begin operation this summer of what is arguably the largest and most complex science experiment ever constructed.[/quote]

    [quote] CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is scheduled to begin operation this summer. When fully operational, it will smash protons together at energies that were present just after the big bang. The collisions will occur 600 million times every second, producing a spray of subatomic debris. Physicists hope somewhere in that haystack they will find the following needles:

    [b]The Higgs Particle[/b] (Named after physicist Peter Higgs)

    What does it do? It gives things mass. The Higgs particle would be a companion to an (also hypothetical) Higgs “field.” The field would pervade the universe and act like cosmic molasses, making everything hard to move. That’s what we call mass.

    Why do we need it? Without the Higgs particle, electrons would have no mass and atoms wouldn’t stick together. We would fall apart into piles of atomic nuclei.

    Likelihood it’s real? High. Physicists generally agree the Higgs or something like it must exist.

    How hard would it be to find? It depends on the Higgs particle’s characteristics. The Higgs doesn’t live long and quickly decays into other particles. Depending on what those are, physicists might be able to pick out Higgs fingerprints quickly, or it could take years of sifting through data.[/quote]

    #77460

    Hollydays
    Moderator

    cool – I learned something!

    sounds like something Headge would salivate over…

    #77461

    hishadow
    Participant

    [quote]All Things Considered, April 9, 2007 · The cows grazing by the roads outside Geneva, Switzerland, have witnessed some pretty strange things these past few years: Trucks roll by carrying big, superconducting magnets that look like missiles, and other brightly colored pieces of scientific equipment. The pieces are all taken to warehouse-sized buildings, where they disappear down shafts that reach 300 feet into the earth.
    [/quote]

    [img]http://cosmicvariance.com/wp-images/katrin.jpg[/img]
    “Giant metal—thingy coming through!”

    from [url]http://cosmicvariance.com/2007/01/01/i-for-one-welcome-our-neutrino-overloads/[/url]

    #77464

    MuadDib
    Participant

    They had some problems with the LHC earlier this month; the supports for the primary accelerator had a structural failure. Essentially when the magnets in the accelerator were powered up for a test, they created a massive amount of force which the supports couldn’t take. According to engineering documents published for the unit; the Fermi lab (their biggest rival in the search for the Higgs particle; from where CERN bought the equipment) engineers who designed the unit didn’t take into account, or foresee as a problem the asymmetric loading that occurred. They should have it fixed by June.

    Various Clickies:

    [url=http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?alias=bursting-magnets-may-dela]SciAm article on the Incident[/url]
    [url=http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=B93B465E-E7F2-99DF-3C70A591C8AE7E1E&sc=I100322]SciAm article on the causes[/url]
    [url=http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/03/magnets_give_way/]And the El Reg article on it[/url]

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