There's been a lot of talk about the Large Hadron Collider this past week since the device was switched on. And besides the scientists getting death threats and various debates about whether or not the power of the collisions produced could cause a black hole, one thing is for certain: not many people understand just what this 17-mile long machine is meant to do.
Even though some apprehension led up to the device's launch, the Large Hadron Collider was switched on today and it successfully fired protons around a 17-mile tunnel. Physicists celebrated all over the world as the "white blips" flashed across the control screens, indicating the protons had successfully completed their journey.
The Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland is all ready to be switched on September 10th, and while it could bring scientific breakthroughs, like proof of dark matter and other particles, some scientists and spectators are concerned that the device spells doomsday.
On launch day, the device will be turned on and the first proton will shoot down the collider. And even with the machine running at 450 GeV, which is under a tenth of the collider's full capacity, and with no collisions expected (the protons are only being fired in one direction), some scientists are receiving threatening emails, death threats and concerned phone calls from people wanting the project shut down. The reason? Why, it will cause the end of the world, of course.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is back in action today, firing proton beams around its 27-kilometer track. The LHC has been out of active commission for two years for upgrades, maintenance, and consolidation. The most recent delay was due to a short-circuit. Its repairs didn't take as long as originally anticipated, but were tedious because the parts in need of repair operate at temperatures near absolute zero. So, the device had to be slowly thawed and then painstakingly re-frozen before it could begin operation again.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is preparing for its second run in Switzerland, but it has it some snags along the way. This second round of collisions will use particle beams operating at 6.5 TeV, which is much higher energy than the collider's first run. Although seven out of eight machine sectors are considered ready to go, one sector has encountered a problem which will need to be repaired before any further preparation for the collider's next run. The necessary corrections could delay the LHC's second run by a few weeks.
Apple has released a new video celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Mac, filmed entirely on iPhones by a team of people in locations around the world. The Cupertino company - which was rumored in some quarters to have a big budget Super Bowl commercial, something which obviously failed to transpire - used a total of 100 iPhones in total, operated by fifteen different crews.
Scientists François Englert and Peter W. Higgs have jointly won the Nobel Prize in Physics 2013 for predicting the Higgs Boson, the particle - and its connected mechanism - which underlines the way all mass works in the universe. The pair took the award "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles," the Nobel Prize committee announced today, "and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider."
The U.S. Department of Energy, with the help of researchers at Stanford University and other public and private institutions, have demonstrated the ability of a chip no larger than a grain of rice to accelerate particles 10 times faster than a conventional particle accelerator can do alone. The chip, which is specially nano-fabricated of fused silica, has the potential to drastically scale down the machinery necessary for particle research, security scanners, medical devices and other technology. The global effect of this advance could be just as revolutionary as silicon was.
This week a new report has been published on the possibilities surrounding antimatter using clues provided by the Large Hadron Collider* at CERN. Within LHCb, one of seven such particle physics detector experiments at the Large Hadron Collider, decays of Bs mesons have been observed for the first time in history showing more matter particles than antimatter. This is significant because it may, eventually, lead science to understand the reason for our universe preferring matter as dominant over antimatter here in our present-day post-big-bang environment.
This week those responsible for working to find the elusive subatomic big of matter known as the Higgs boson have confirmed that they have, indeed, been able to confirm its existence. Of course as these scientists at CERN are, indeed, scientists, most have been just as cautious about saying they're sure of their findings as their post would indicate: the data "strongly indicates that it is a Higgs boson" - is what they've announced today. This is indeed a proud day for the $10 billion dollar Large Hadron Collider one way or another.