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dave1978

The large hadron collider?

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I'm just gobsmacked by the scale of the experiment and the engineering involved in building the LHC - it's real cutting edge exciting stuff.

Whatever they discover (or not) it will enable the theorists to get one or two steps closer to binding quantum physics and relativistic physics together to reach the holy grail of a unified theory for everything.

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if it [removed word] up all our theories we have been given, do we have to go back to school to learn everything again, this time the right version??

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What I want to know as a taxpayer and a layman is.........Will the LHC tell us why the FIA really punished Hamilton? :mrgreen:

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Hmm, why did I go to uni.

err... girls and booze?!

YEP that is it.

Have a look at this.

SOUND NEEDED !!

video is no longer available.

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Hmm, why did I go to uni.

err... girls and booze?!

YEP that is it.

Have a look at this.

SOUND NEEDED !!

video is no longer available.

I have just watched it ???

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The LHC wishlist is every particle they've been looking for in the last 25 years (since I was a PhD physicist myself!). Higgs, SUSY particles etc, along with the remote possibility of mini black holes, strangelets etc. The latter has always been the nightmare scenario as it would destroy the planet - it's not considered a threat but you never know...

If they find the Higgs then Peter Higgs will presumably get a Nobel Prize, if they make a black hole then Hawking will get one, and if they find supersymmetric particles there are quite a few people who'd be owed one. And if they don't find any of those things then they'll all have to start lobbying for an even bigger machine.

What's the use of it? As Benjamin Franklin once said, "What's the use of a newborn baby?"

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acey, i am a physicist in training myself...I've never heard of strangelets...can u explain?

I am not entirely sure that a bigger machine is practical, since acceleraing charge round a loop causes a loss of energy (EM) getting so large that you then cant sustain the velocity. A different kind of accelerator is required.

I havent done any in depth particle physics, but would like a detailed description of the higgs boson if thats possible

Cheers

Paul

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The LHC wishlist is every particle they've been looking for in the last 25 years (since I was a PhD physicist myself!). Higgs, SUSY particles etc, along with the remote possibility of mini black holes, strangelets etc. The latter has always been the nightmare scenario as it would destroy the planet - it's not considered a threat but you never know...

If they find the Higgs then Peter Higgs will presumably get a Nobel Prize, if they make a black hole then Hawking will get one, and if they find supersymmetric particles there are quite a few people who'd be owed one. And if they don't find any of those things then they'll all have to start lobbying for an even bigger machine.

What's the use of it? As Benjamin Franklin once said, "What's the use of a newborn baby?"

I see your point!!

Apart from proving it exist, How are they going to use this info and put to good use?

An awful lot of money for maybe nothing :clouds2:

explanations welcome.

Jeff.

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I'm not a physicist but it is possible that nothing of any practical use will emerge from the LHC. As with much of astronomy, this may simply prove to be curiosity-driven research. IMO nothing wrong with this - scientific exploration of this sort, together with the arts (which also cost money and have no practical use), is one of the happier features that distinguish humans from other animals.

However, as the quote from Franklin implies, it is always difficult to see what a line of investigation might ultimately yield, sometimes the most abstract seeming research leads to discoveries of huge practical or commercial importance. To give an example from the science of Genetics, the technique commonly called DNA fingerprinting - one of the greatest of all advances in forensic science - arose from a study of the evolution of globin genes (ie genes responsible for oxygen-carrying proteins such as haemoglobin), starting with those of the seal. Perhaps discoveries from the LHC will have implications years down the line that, at the moment, we simply cannot foresee. Whatever happens it will be interesting (as long as the world doesn't end, but I've already bet someone a pint of beer that it wont and as I see it I'm in a win-win situation, either way I don't have to pay out :clouds2: ).

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The use of a newborn baby depends on the circumstances. People who have enough children don't see the point of another one, cannot afford another one or are not physically able to have another one.

Equally well, one might say, let the next generation discover what lies beyond 1 TeV.

I'm just playing devil's advocate, you realize. The question whether to spend money on this or that is ultimately political and, it follows, endlessly arguable.

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I'm not a physicist but it is possible that nothing of any practical use will emerge from the LHC. As with much of astronomy, this may simply prove to be curiosity-driven research. IMO nothing wrong with this - scientific exploration of this sort, together with the arts (which also cost money and have no practical use), is one of the happier features that distinguish humans from other animals.

However, as the quote from Franklin implies, it is always difficult to see what a line of investigation might ultimately yield, sometimes the most abstract seeming research leads to discoveries of huge practical or commercial importance. To give an example from the science of Genetics, the technique commonly called DNA fingerprinting - one of the greatest of all advances in forensic science - arose from a study of the evolution of globin genes (ie genes responsible for oxygen-carrying proteins such as haemoglobin), starting with those of the seal. Perhaps discoveries from the LHC will have implications years down the line that, at the moment, we simply cannot foresee. Whatever happens it will be interesting (as long as the world doesn't end, but I've already bet someone a pint of beer that it wont and as I see it I'm in a win-win situation, either way I don't have to pay out :) ).

A spin off will no doubt come of it in the future i dare say, Extra high speed Internet? :clouds2:

Jeff.

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I just hope they find Shatners Boson so we can have another series . . . .

Nice one! It's a small feelings kidney whichever way you look at it.

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OT - I've had an interesting debate on a different message board about the point of the LHC and the costs involved. It's interesting to see how media sensationalism has clouded the judgement of so many.

As ever Hawking came to the rescue...

"Both the LHC, and the space program, are vital if the human race is not to stultify, and eventually die out. Together they cost less than one tenth of a percent of world GDP. If the human race cannot afford that, it doesn't deserve the epithet, human,"

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acey, i am a physicist in training myself...I've never heard of strangelets...can u explain?

There's a nice article here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strangelet

I havent done any in depth particle physics, but would like a detailed description of the higgs boson if thats possible

Back in the days of Margaret Thatcher, William Waldegrave asked if anyone could do that, leading to the following explanation:

Imagine a roomful of people. You can walk through them fairly easily, but if you happen to be a celebrity then everyone will cluster round you and make it harder to move. The Higgs field is the roomful of people, and the celebrity is a particle that acquires mass (i.e. inertia) through interacting with the field.

This idea actually goes back to J.J. Thompson, discoverer of the electron. For him, the roomful of people was the ether, and the electrical interaction of the electron with the ether was what gave the particle mass. A lot of work was done in the late 19th and early 20th cent on this idea that all mass was really electromagnetic in origin, but it fell away when the ether was disproved. It resurfaced in a different way in quantum field theory.

To think of what the Higgs field is, start with the familiar gravitational and electromagnetic fields. An electromagnetic wave is transverse, like a wave on a vibrating string: the quantum excitation of this kind of wave is said to have spin 1 (never mind why). It means that a radio aerial can be a long straight line: EM waves make electrons dance up and down. Gravity waves act differently, in two orthogonal directions: think of the way the water round the Earth is stretched and squeezed into an ellipsoid by the Moon. Gravity waves act like tidal forces, stretching in one direction and squeezing in another. The quantum excitation of this kind of field (the graviton) would have spin 2. To detect gravity waves, you can't use a one-dimensional aerial, you need a 2-dimensional detector (an L-shaped rod, which would get longer along one axis and shorter on the other if a big enough wave went by).

The Higgs field is "scalar", meaning its particle has spin zero. An everyday example of this kind of field is temperature: at every point the value of temperature is a number, with no direction. By interacting with certain particles, the Higgs alters their mass.

That's the best I can do for now. Long time since I studied this stuff!

Andrew

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cheers andrew, its the interaction with the higgs field that creates mass...

i liked the description of the fields and the particles spin that it produces...very good

Best Wishes

Paul

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yes very helpful, physics always make my head spin.

but that was nice and clear and simple.

you got a physics background ace?

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OT - I've had an interesting debate on a different message board about the point of the LHC and the costs involved. It's interesting to see how media sensationalism has clouded the judgement of so many.

I'm currently in one on the off-topic section of a boxing forum trying to convince people we arn't going to get sucked in to black hole in a couple of days!! Even the people who favour the experiment seem to think they are just going to switch it on, take a picture and the job is done!!!

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OT - I've had an interesting debate on a different message board about the point of the LHC and the costs involved. It's interesting to see how media sensationalism has clouded the judgement of so many.

I'm currently in one on the off-topic section of a boxing forum trying to convince people we arn't going to get sucked in to black hole in a couple of days!! Even the people who favour the experiment seem to think they are just going to switch it on, take a picture and the job is done!!!

Gaz

I've got my digital compact camera ready if they need it :clouds2:

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