back to article LHC back after temporary unexistence

The Large Hadron Collider - mightiest particle-smasher ever built, and possible portal to other dimensions - came back online late last night following a power cut which not only shut down the Collider but also caused it to vanish off the internet for a time. Amateur LHC-watchers, observing the great machine either for …


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  1. M7S

    Ramming by an aircraft carrier

    Just so that we understand clearly, with or without a functioning fixed-wing Fleet Air Arm?

    It would so help to know.

  2. chrullrich

    Energy Release

    It's obvious that the amount of energy required to propel an aircraft carrier to Geneva at ramming speed is too much for a measly 18 kV line. They must have gotten their figures wrong again.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      1 electron-volt is not the same as 1 volt. (

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Energy release

      Firstly, the power you can get from a supply at a given voltage depends on the current, so unless you know that, you don't know how much power there is.

      Secondly, there is a lot of energy STORED in the LHC, which can be released rather abrupltly if the magnets quench.

      So, well, the sums are quite easy to do.

      The energy stored in the LHC's magnets when operating is approximately 10GJ or 10e9 J. A QE2-class aircraft carrier is meant to displace around 65,000 tonnes, or 65e6 kg. Let's say it can do 35 knots: a knot is around 0.5 m/s. So the energy in an aircraft carrier is around (65e6 * (35/2)^2)/2. Which is 9.95e9 J.

      So yes, the energy stored in the LHC's magnets is quite accurately equivalent to an aircraft carrier doing 35 knots (especially surprising since I got the figures above from Wikipedia, apart from the 35 knots which I guessed).

      Clearly this suggests some new units for energy: one ACR (aircraft-carrier ram) is equivalent to one LHCQ (LHC Quench). I'll leave it as an exercise to compute these in terms of Hiroshimas (they're a fair bit less).

  3. lukewarmdog

    Is this

    A new unit of measurement?

    "like being rammed by three aircraft carriers"

    I suppose the real question is whether it is unladen or not.

  4. Dave 64 Silver badge

    Units, you nit!

    "equivalent to the facility being rammed by an aircraft carrier"

    Not a standard unit of measurement - how much is that in London Buses?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    And just to add. What type of aircraft carrier? How fast is it going? and probably most importantly how did it get to Switzerland in the first place?

    1. Anonymous John


      Possibly through the wormhole. Switzerland may not be landlocked at the other end.

  6. Dale Richards

    Horror Documentary

    I demand that this be made into a horror film called The Soupening.

  7. Moss Icely Spaceport

    Yeah yeah but when... we get to see the 9-headed Zlork-beasts from the mega-quark planet Xblatt7 ?

    Surely, there's going to be some dangerous alien life forms out of all of this!

    Otherwise, why bother?

  8. Luc Le Blanc

    Like being rammed by an aircraft carrier?

    So if the pipe went uncooled and the beam hit the tube wall, everything would be blown up? Really?

  9. Simon Brown

    @Dave 64

    Maybe aircraft carriers are measured in football pitches. Or possibly blue whales.... not sure....

  10. ThomasF
    Big Brother

    Luis Sancho Portal X-Dimension postponed

    Its the 3rd Dec 2009 and it was the day we would open the Pandora Box X-Dimension

    But due to "The Butterfly effect" on the Space Station we have been saved for another day.

    Luis is out there trying to round up another Aircraft carrier with an even younger Kirk Douglas in command to try and ram it again. But it seems their is a finite number of Kirk Douglas/Aircraft Carriers in the known Universes so we are doomed it seems.

    But on the bright side maybe we are in the Universe that survives.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Backup generators?

    I think this is about the first time I've ever heard of backup generators actually doing their job.

  12. Curt Eckhart

    "like being rammed by three aircraft carriers"

    What kind of aircraft carriers, African or European?

    Mine's the one with the dead Parrot in the pocket. ("eee's not dead, eee's sleeping'")

  13. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    A Bigger Atlas, please, for All the Worlds we Find in the Space of Black Holes ... TIA* Zones

    :-) Is everyone commenting on this thread, taking strong medication? Or just flexing collective imagination with transparent steganography playing with and edutaining leading researchers in what are most definitely, Future Fields.

    * Total Information Awareness

  14. Secretgeek

    @Thomas F

    We're definitely always in the universe that survived.

    Until we're not of course.

  15. luis sancho


    According to Einstein’s realistic vision of the Universe, for Holes to exist beyond its mathematical description, they should be made of an ultra-dense substance, able to act as gravitational vortices that absorb one or other type of fundamental energy, depending on the speed at which they turn. This ultra-dense substance, called an ‘Einstein-Bose Condensate’, found after Einstein’s death, happens only with 2 kinds of atomic masses: lighter atoms, which attract each other with the ‘electro-weak’ force; and heavier quarks, which display a force 100 times stronger than the ‘electro-weak’ force, called ‘strong’ force. For that reason, atomic condensates turn much slower, absorbing only sound. While quark condensates turn, thanks to their strong force, 1003 times faster than sound, at light speed, as a black hole will do. Unfortunately, when the quark factory was designed, physicists didn’t know quarks could form Einstein’s condensates, locking their ‘color’ in triads to become stable, before they formed those super fluid, liquid condensates. They thought quarks were unstable, repulsive ‘fermions’ that would become a ‘gas’ - an explosive, hot, quark gluon-plasma. So when we found they form instead, a cold, attractive super fluid, such discovery was labeled as a ‘perfect surprise’ by all the physicists involved2.

    Thus Haifa scientists used the laws of 'Bose-Einstein’ to densely pack atoms into an ‘Einstein condensate', creating a supersonic hole that absorbed sound waves. Then they waited to see the Hawking radiation, expecting that the black hole would emit the sound equivalent of photons - phonons - in a burst of noises that a good microphone could easily pick up. In the process the tiny dumb hole would evaporate… Thus CERN would be declared safe and start producing Quark Holes, under the same laws of Einstein condensates this Christmas.

    And so a mike was put to the 'dumb' hole to detect, not a glare of light as the Fermi was supposed to observe in the cosmos, but a symphony of sounds.

    Unfortunately the worst possible scenario happened. On one hand sound holes were produced with a Bose-Condensate, which means the LHC will produce black holes with quark condensates without the need for ‘extra-dimensions’ postulated by CERN.

    On the other, the dumb hole did not produce any sound at all, any Hawking radiation. So CERN’s super fluid quark holes won’t evaporate, either. Instead they should fall to the center of the planet and accrete the Earth.

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