back to article LHC rushed back into service at 50% max power

International boffinry alliance CERN has announced plans to rush its damaged but still unprecedentedly puissant particle-punisher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), into service at half its planned maximum power. It's hoped that this will avoid the mighty machine being beaten by a rival US atomsmasher in the race to find the so- …


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  1. Filippo Silver badge

    This is sooo the opening of a disaster flick

    I can already see it:

    Boffin 1: "Sir, we're now at 50%. Everything seems to be running fine."

    Admin Guy: "Well done. See, Boffin 2? I told you you were worrying too much. Now crank it up!"

    Boffin 1: "60%, all green."

    Boffin 2: "What? Sir, we can't... the connectors' quality hasn't been tested. We agreed for a 50%, you've got it - Boffin 1, stop!"

    Admin Guy: "Boffin 1, if you stop now, you can say goodbye to your career."

    Boffin 1: "Uh... 80% now, all clear."

    *cut to a copper bit beginning to melt*

    Boffin 1: "90% now, though there's a small blip over the..."

    *Boffin 2 and Admin Guy are busy yelling at each other, and ignore Boffin 1*

    You can figure out where it goes from there.

  2. Jelliphiish

    illiterative much?

    that is all.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Real men aren't afraid of working on live electrical circuits, and thus could replace those bus bars while the system's running.

    A few kilovolts never did anybody any harm, did they?

  4. AndrewH


    Disaster Flick?!?

    Isn't it how Half Life starts? (give or take)

  5. Paul 4


    In a film, a big bang. In real life, probably a very small but very expensive fire.

  6. Georgees

    More like..

    Beancounter1: Energy costs just peaked at 25% more after russia yawned

    Beancounter2: I have a cunning plan....

    *Cut to the control center*

    Boffin 1: You want me to what?

  7. AlgernonFlowers4
    Paris Hilton

    Knobs bigger than the Yanks!

    If the Americans are only 1 TeV and ours is 7TeV surely our knobs are bigger than the yanks!

    And just to stop them from catching up, ours should go up to 11!

    Paris for obvious reasons..........

  8. Dr. Mouse


    "It differs from London's M25, however, in that the opposing streams of traffic move"

    Was there any need forthe rest? :P

  9. Gene Cash Silver badge

    World's Toughest Fixes

    It made a pretty good episode of "World's Toughest Fixes" on Nat'l Geographic Channel. It's very large and very fragile. The two properties don't mix well.

  10. jsp
    Thumb Up

    Behemoth boson botherer

    "unprecedentedly puissant particle-punisher"


  11. Anonymous Coward

    pah screw that particle rubbish...

    ...let's chuck some watermelons in. If your going to detroy the world by chuking a teeny particle about, we may as well try to take out the local galaxy as well.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    They're waiting for you, Gordon. In the Test Chamber.

    Boffin 1: Why wouldn't they listen?

    Boffin 2: We tried to warn them!

    Boffin 1: I never thought I'd see a resonance cascade, let alone create one.

  13. Rafael Moslin

    Oh goody, so now they understand how it works...

    Ye gods, am I the only one worried by:

    "The LHC is a much better understood machine than it was a year ago," says CERN chief Rolf Heuer.

    So does this mean that they built this thing and then someone went routing amongst the polystyrene at the bottom of the box for the manual?!

  14. MinionZero


    Cut to Boffin 3, who was excluded from the work after being called a heretic for daring to say it may create something dangerous, even maybe a black hole.

    Boffin 3: "Great only 50%, although I would prefer they started at 10%, but still at least now they will have time to see if it runs safely before rushing to full power and risking creating something nasty inside it. Now hopefully they will be able to see some warning signs"

    Boffin 4: "But we need 120% power now!, I have a Nobel prize acceptance speech already written!. I must have that prize!. I MUST! ... FULL POWER NOW!!"

    Boffin 3: "We are doomed ... doom I tell you ... DOOMMEED!!!!"

    Cut to outside view of LHC, showing a growing scifi blue glow.

    and, roll credits, The End.

  15. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    God is a Particular and Peculiar Concept

    "... resolving the long-running boffinry deathmatch between Professor Higgs, proposer of the boson's existence, and his eminent rival, renowned wheelchair robovoice brainbox Stephen Hawking." Oh surely Progress to the next Levels of Confusion haven't been on hold to massage the egos of galactic minnows?

    Nah, that would be patently ridiculous. No one is that stupid.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Car analogy

    So is this the same as smashing two cars together at close to their full speed and assuming both drivers have wallets in their pockets two chips embedded in a debit card in each drivers wallet will collide and so something? Not going to happen.

  17. Ray0x6

    Maximum Poke

    Coz it fires two beams in opposite directions, maximum poke is actually 14 TeV. Don't wanna be picky or nuffin. I'll shut up now.

    Beer coz it's Friday.

  18. Robin Szemeti

    As a general rule

    Sound advice: never, ever let techies paint a red line on your knob.

    I'll get me coat .. is the one with the packet of bosons in the pocket.

  19. Lionel Baden

    @dr mouse

    Well said Sir

  20. Anonymous Coward

    This is Lewis...

    ...Page at his altogether alliterative, metaphorical and linguistic gymnastics best.

    A beer for you...

  21. BOBSta
    Thumb Up

    History today?

    "... resolving the long-running boffinry deathmatch between Professor Higgs, proposer of the boson's existence, and his eminent rival, renowned wheelchair robovoice brainbox Stephen Hawking."

    Please, please, please, let's see an "History Today" style Playmobile recreation of this argument...

    Higgs: With me today is my renowned colleague, Emiratus Professor Stephen Hawking, as we discuss the existence of the God particle.

    Hawking: See that puddle of scum on the floor?

    Higgs: I'm aware of it's presence.

    Hawking: That's you, that is. That's your doctoral thesis...

    etc. etc.

  22. Carrie


    did anyone else read that as "unprecedentedly pussy particle-punisher" ? hehehehe

  23. Tim Parker


    "it would nonetheless be a boffinry bitchslap of such proportions as to leave CERN's corporate cheek aflame more or less forever"

    You never *really* need to double-check the name of the author once you start reading a Lewis Page article, but even by his high standards this is absolutely marvellous. More beers for you Sir.

  24. Si 1


    I have such fond memories of the Mary Whitehouse Experience, it's good to see I'm not the only one who remembers it.

    Lovely, milky, milky.

  25. Tony Paulazzo


    There was nothing - then it exploded... paraphrased Pratchet.

  26. ThinkingOutLoud

    Opposite theories.

    OK, I read all the arguments from opposite sides of the fence.

    What about Paris "taking" our arguments up both ends? While she might enjoy it, the LHC needs a final response to work to.

    (I'm opening another beer. Are you? Wait, you still care? Bless.)

  27. Paul Vail

    Big Bang or 4004 BC?

    And once again, the cycle repeats... a species gets just a little too full of itself and in 15 billion years (a billion here, a billion there ... pretty soon we're talking real time) some pondscum that thinks too much of itself will be inventing all new mythologies to explain how its universe came into existance. Little will they know...

  28. E 2

    Fuck that HL shit.

    No better than 50% they find the Higgs boson. If they don't it is a disaster for everything after the standard model, and also for Big Physics. There is a real story here concerning the current state of physics, the past 30-odd years of same and what happens if the LHC does not produce the desired goods.

    You wankers have nothing better to do than jerk off with HL alternate story lines? You might as well be wanking on string theory - at least there are an infinite number of them, whereas HL has a limited number of story forks.

    And, except for my post, what the fuck does Mary Whitehouse have to do with anything here?

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Quark star

    LHC: 'So you're telling me that my semantic is feeding me false information, and that I really can't go to full power?'

    Boffin: 'That's right, your OWL is all you know.. its all you can know'

    LHC: 'So in that case, only I exist and all my sensory ELMB inputs are lying...' 'In the Beginning was the LHC.... and the LHC said: LET THERE BE LIGHT!!'

    fade to distant earth-going-phut picture, Rolf Heuer riding on a big blue tube into the farthest reaches of the galaxy...

  30. Anonymous Coward


    Surely you mean

    Admin Guy: "Boffin 1, if you stop now, you can say goodbye to your career."

    Boffin 1: "Uh... 80% now, all clear."

    *cut to a copper bit beginning to melt*

    Boffin 1: "90% now, though I'm seeing a small discrepancy in the..."

    *Admin Guy looks at Boffin1 in a career-ending way*

    Boffin 1: "No, well, it's well within acceptable limits. Sustaining sequence."

    *Boffin 2 and Admin Guy are busy yelling at each other, and ignore Boffin 1*

    "Fail" because it's not... it's not shutting down! AAAAARRGH!

  31. Anonymous Coward

    We know how this goes...

    As foretold by ancient prophesy, et cetera et cetera!

    (Cheesy fan trailer but all I could find. Attention internets, I demand China Syndrome clipz! )

  32. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    I guess ...

    ... this means they'll have to settle for the demigod particle for now.

  33. Lunatik
    Thumb Up

    Hats off to Mr Lewis Page

    The funniest Reg article I've seen in years - "Topflight particle-wranglers" being a particular triumph.

    More, please.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Any fule can see ...

    This machine is nothing more than a jump-starter for the Master's Tardis. He needs to charge up his local Eye of Harmony and then he'll turn it into a Paradox Generator ™

    We'll all be sorry then.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Too much energy

    boffin: But if we can only use half the energy, what can we do with the rest of it?

    boffinette: Call me crazy, but I've an idea...

    (zoom onto wall in cern main office block...

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