Most Powerful Particle Collisions Yet

Large Hadron Collider smashes protons, record

The Large Hadron Collider in Geneva succeeded early Tuesday in colliding subatomic particles at three times the highest energy levels previously recorded.

Scientists gathered in a room at Caltech and in similar groups around the globe witnessed the achievement at 3:58 PDT.

“There were cheers in all the control rooms,” said Caltech physicist Harvey Newman. “As soon as we get the data, we’re analyzing it. … It’s been a long time coming.”

Researchers were waiting for the promised flood of data that would come as protons from two particle beams from the 17-mile-circumference collider smashed into each other.

Several experiments using the particle accelerator could help test for smaller particles, dark matter, other dimensions, supersymmetry and other theories in particle physics, researchers said.

“We’re pretty happy because we’ve been waiting all night,” said Andy Yen, 21, a senior who had worked on experiments related to the collider for most of his undergraduate career. “Some people have been waiting 15, 20 years. it’s late, but it’s worth it.”

Earlier that night, two previous attempts to ramp up the accelerator had been cut short, and the researchers, who at peak attendance numbered two-dozen-plus, were running low on pizza and energy. The buzz of conversation between professors and doctoral candidates died down each time the two beams were spun in preparation for the planned collision.

See also:
Cern LHC sees high-energy success
LHC experiments run at highest energy level yet
LHC Turns on, Powers up to Record-Shattering 7 TeV Collision
LHC achieves record collisions, starts gathering data
Large Hadron Collider Finally Smashing Properly
Large Hadron Collider a smashing success: Don’t panic!
Large Hadron Collider – Live!
Watch the Large Hadron Collider Experiments Live

/well, we’re all still here, no earth-engulfing black holes were created, and that’s a good thing

Watch Out For Black Holes!

Large Hadron Collider in process of restarting

Scientists are in the process of restarting a giant particle collider built to reproduce the conditions of the big bang, Europe’s CERN physics research center said Friday.

After a year’s delay, the scientists hope to have beams of protons circulating all the way through the Large Hadron Collider’s 17-mile-wide (27-kilometer-wide) underground ring in both directions by early Saturday, and then accelerate them this weekend, CERN spokesman James Gillies said.

“At the moment they’re putting beams down in the Large Hadron Collider, and as the night goes on they’ll take the beams through and start circulating them,” he told Reuters. CERN reported that beams were fully circulating in the clockwise direction, and that preparations were being made to send beams counterclockwise as well.

The experiment will not be properly under way until January when the LHC is operating at a higher level, Gillies said.

Technical problems forced CERN to shut down the $10 billion collider just nine days after it was started for the first time in September 2008.

The problem was a faulty splice in the super-conducting cable connecting two cooling magnets in the underground ring, which smashes particles at a temperature of just above absolute zero to re-create conditions believed to exist at the start of the universe 13.7 billion years ago.

As the particles smash into each other at nearly the speed of light — once the collider is operating at full throttle, which will take several weeks — they will explode in a burst of energy which scientists will monitor for new or previously unseen particles which they predict could help explain the nature of mass and the origins of the universe.

CERN said last year’s accident never posed any danger. The Geneva-based institution has had to rebuff suggestions that the experiment would create millions of black holes that would suck in the Earth.

See also:
Large Hadron Collider fully armed and operational
Large Hadron Collider fires up after $40M repairs
Proton Beams Are on Track at Collider
Large Hadron Collider restarts after 14 months of repairs
Beam sent around Large Hadron Collider
In pictures: Cern Large Hadron Collider restarts
Large Hadron Collider ready to restart
Science: Large Hadron Collider ready to restart
The Large Hadron Collider
Large Hadron Collider
Higgs boson
Saw This In a Movie Once, Pretty Sure It’ll Work

Okay, so the object of this exercise is to produce a particle collision with enough energy to produce previously theoretical sub-particles, most notably the infamous Higgs boson. Now, my question is, if these sub-particles are, by definition, smaller than anything currently known to man, capable of moving through mass unimpeded, what’s going to contain them as they fly off at the speed of light?

/pardon me if I don’t volunteer to stand next to this thing while it’s operating