back to article Boffins: Large Hadron Collider NOW movin', we're getting down and crush groovin'

The world's mightiest particle accelerator was resurrected this morning, following a two-year shutdown to upgrade the proton-shattering Large Hadron Collider. The LHC, which is based at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, was brought back into operation earlier today. Scientists said that two proton beams were circulated in opposite …

  1. Efros

    Freud a GoGo

    The Beeb amongst others headlined Hardon Collider Restart today.

    http://i.gyazo.com/fb2f992994aebb13d54816b4c614e878.png

    1. andy k O'Croydon

      Re: Freud a GoGo

      That's because the engineer there has his hat hard on.

      Sorry, I meant his hat hard on... I said it again!

  2. Mallorn
    Boffin

    ATLAS Pictures

    This is the first experiment I have ever worked on where I find myself learning updates in the press before colleagues...mind you I'm in Western Canada and have only just got up and checked the web before email. If you are interested there are picture of it hitting the ATLAS detector here:

    https://twiki.cern.ch/twiki/bin/view/AtlasPublic/EventDisplayRun2Start

    but the beam is only at the injection energy of 450 GeV from the SPS. The real test will be when they accelerate the beams to 6.5TeV each which requires the full 11kA current in the magnets. That's when we will learn if the 2 years of repairs worked and the magnets can handle the current...so fingers crossed with a little luck this time our understanding of the universe will break before the machine!

    1. Andy Davies

      Re: "we will learn if the 2 years of repairs worked ,,"

      I don't remember actually being told they'd broken their toy the last time they used it!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ATLAS Pictures

      "so fingers crossed"

      Great to know all our boffins have a precise clue as to exactly what they are doing and the exact risks to the planet....not.

  3. x 7

    "That's when we will learn if the 2 years of repairs worked and the magnets can handle the current.."

    and if they can't? Are we all doomed?

    1. frank ly

      "and if they can't? Are we all doomed?"

      Mallorn will reverse the polarity of the magnetron flux and save us all.

      1. Robert Helpmann??
        Childcatcher

        Reverse the Polarity

        So I should assume that I'm not the only one who looks at pics of the collider and sees something from Star Trek? How efficient would something like a particle accelerator be at propulsion?

        1. ~mico
          Boffin

          Re: Reverse the Polarity

          IF you make the beam rotate while it circles and IF the calculations on general relativity are correct, it might produce a reactionless gravity-like thrust along its major axis, due to unbalanced frame dragging in rotating spinning torus. This impulse drive is the closest you can get to star trek technology. If it works.

          Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitoelectromagnetism#Higher-order_effects

    2. harmjschoonhoven

      Re: Are we all doomed?

      @X 7

      On april 30 1937 Westinghouse celebrated the completion of the huge structure of the 200" Hale telescope. At the occasion Albert Einstein asked Rein Kroon, the chief egineer, What happens if somebody makes a mistake in manufacturing?. Kroon answered We build it over again. Whereupon Einstein said My work is much simpler. When I make a mistake I just tear up the paper I wrote on.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Are we all doomed?

        That would mean mathematical consistency of Einstein's theory is a necessary and sufficient condition for Einstein being sure not having made mistakes. Wrong on both counts:

        Mathematical consistency of the theory might exist (insofar as one can be sure about that), but it might be totally useless in physics, describing a world that is not this one (e.g. a 2D+1 spacetime).

        Mathematical consistency or even soundness of the theory might be missing but it might well be very useful in physics (most of physics is dirty tricks, fast haxx and formulae that look good for unfathomable reasons)

        You need that telescope.

        1. ratfox
          Coat

          Re: Are we all doomed?

          Mathematical consistency of the theory might exist (insofar as one can be sure about that), but it might be totally useless in physics, describing a world that is not this one (e.g. a 2D+1 spacetime).

          I think you mean a 2D6+1 spacetime.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Are we all doomed?

        'the 200" Hale telescope....We build it over again'

        Which was still a lot simpler than what happens if you make a mistake in manufacturing the Hubble mirror.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      and if they can't? Are we all doomed?

      There is a Scottish* engineer whose sole job is to wait around for the day when the chief engineer announces that the magnets cannot handle the current, so he can suddenly appear and announce "Dinna fash yersel, me and the boys ken weel what tae do, we can lash this rig with tow an' she'll hold jist fine".

      Just because it's a cliché overworked to death and beyond in every vaguely engineering related TV show and far too much science fiction, doesn't mean it isn't the way the world really works.

      *Or Northern Irish, I'm not prejudiced when it comes to clichés.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: and if they can't? Are we all doomed?

        Or,

        cue some Queen Music and the words that were spoken by Brian Blessed

        "Flash, he's the saviour of the Universe"

        Then the smoke clears over the ruins of the Collider and out of it appears Brian May playing his guitar.

    4. hplasm
      Happy

      Pffzt!

      Pop. Bip.

      Bzzert!

      Tentacles everywhere.

      Excellent!

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Oh no, not more sushi !

  4. Scott Broukell
    Meh

    Just Keep Banging Those (very, very, very small) Rocks Together Guys

    <see above>

  5. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Coat

    My theory

    is that in honour of the date, they're really trying to smash Cadbury's Creme Eggs together at 95% of the speed of light, to see how far the splatter goes.

    1. Alistair
      Coat

      Re: My theory

      @NB

      You are Anne Elk. I claim $5

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: My theory

      Ofcourse it's not creme eggs.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cec-iy_gf4A

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I know I'll get shouted at for this but...

    I'd love to see the sort of money we've collectively thrown at particle physics thrown at something like fusion power which, if we can make it work, will have a huge pay-off for the whole of humanity. I think it's great that we've found the Higgs but actually doing anything with that knowledge that will affect the average person is 100 years away probably. The physicists working on these problems have been wildly successful and the standard model is a thing of beauty but it feels to me like it's become the pop star of science sucking up the funding to the detriment of other worthy areas.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Not at all. The sucking sound of funding is in the multitrillion wars (that's factors of 1000s above what we are talking here). Fusion is doing quite well with its own Big Item projects.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
        WTF?

        A few costs

        According to a quick wiki(and its no reliable guide), the LHC has cost about $10 billion

        The US defence budget at the same time was about $660 billion.

        Or put it another way... the US defence budget would buy you 30 LHCs with enough left over to build 10 ITER fusion research projects....... EVERY YEAR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        1. Ian Michael Gumby
          WTF?

          Huh? Re: A few costs

          Apples to oranges.

          But the question was why not concentrate on developing fusion power. Well for that matter why not develop safe 4th+ gen reactors that don't create weapons grade materials as an output and are light years safer than the first gen plant at Fukishima?

          That's a lot cheaper than the LHC.

          Could the US had built something the size of the LHC? Yes, but at the time.. they thought it better to let the EU do it and to not have competing projects. IMHO, this is a bit foolish because with two... you can do twice the experiments or check and verify the results from the other LHC.

          But w.r.t fusion energy, yes we need it.

          Especially if you want something that could be used to create cheap reliable power without giving the country access to fissionable material and potential WMD.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        LHC - about $9 billion USD total

        James Webb Space Telescope - projected $8 billion USD

        ITER prototype fusion reactor - projected $20 billion USD

        F-35 next generation fighter - projected $1.2 trillion USD and climbing ( see Lewis Page's articles on the F-35)

        ($1 trillion = $1000 billion)

        The great scientific achievements of mankind are basically a thin cream on top of a quart/liter of sour milk.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      sucking up the funding

      CERN costs peanuts compared to the money wasted on the things that kill people - I think we know this anyway - but the spinoff from CERN is advances in engineering and physics which will be made by people who worked on projects there for maybe a few years and gained knowledge and skills before going on to other things.

      We've been reading a lot in recent years about how gaining skills requires thousands of hours of work on things that are slightly too difficult from what you can manage right now. CERN is a giant incubator for that sort of thing. Having a goal - the Higgs, disproving the Standard Model, detecting dark matter or some evidence for loop gravity - is important because human beings need goals to get out of bed in the morning. But it's the getting there that matters.

      It is no good simply throwing money at things like fusion because these are extremely hard problems that may even not have a solution. People have to come up with ideas and they have to be tested, and this takes time. Spending more money won't necessarily speed things up. The Manhattan project is not a good example because compared to the LHC or a workable fusion reactor the problems involved were trivial - they could be solved by a small number of physicists and engineers using nothing more advanced than single function punch card machines, and much of the cost was simply building lots and lots of plant to extract the uranium and breed the plutonium. Currently it has been realised that the optimistic idea of using D+D->He won't work in any believable scenario and things are back to making what is basically a very slow H-bomb; D - T fusion with the nasty byproduct "absorbed" by a uranium blanket which gets hot instead of going bang. Spending a lot more money won't cause the universe to come up with some convenient new isotopes.

      1. Duffy Moon

        Re: sucking up the funding

        Any idea what happened to the Skunk Works supposed fusion reactor?

        1. Striped Lungi

          Re: sucking up the funding

          It stank.

      2. nijam Silver badge

        Re: sucking up the funding

        > CERN costs peanuts compared to the money wasted on the things that kill people ...

        ... or even on the 2012 Olympics. Still, at least we got a legacy from that. (Smirk.)

    3. Sureo

      "I'd love to see the sort of money we've collectively thrown at particle physics thrown at something like fusion power..."

      What makes you think they're not developing fusion power?

      1. Yes Me Silver badge

        "What makes you think they're not developing fusion power?"

        Yeah, right. I remember being very excited as a little boy to read about the Zeta experiment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZETA_%28fusion_reactor%29) and how we'd have free electricity in a year or five. Still waiting. It's just damn' hard to do.

        The more we understand fundamental physics, the better our chances of getting that free electricity. That's worth the price of a few beers per citizen per year, which is all that CERN costs.

    4. Salts

      CERN Return on Investment...

      Does that WWW thing employe anyone or is it a waste of space? We have CERN to thank for Google, Amazon, Facebook etc, Hmmm second thoughts I demand that CERN is shut down now as it is already responsible for aiding crimes against humanity :-)

  7. MrT

    The musical theme continues...

    ... this time the headline's from the Beastie Boys - unlike the Divinyls one on the Apple Watch piece, I didn't buy any of their stuff. Same writer on Kelly Fiveash/Team Register articles of late? Good stuff, keep it up!

  8. Little Mouse Silver badge
    Mushroom

    The last time they fired this up I was one of the unlucky ones that didn't have a vision of their future self.

    What a total Bummer.

  9. wyatt

    Wow. Science at its best, discovering and developing ideas. Funds are needed in all areas of life, what if we stopped/reduced funding somewhere and missed a life-changing discovery?

  10. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
  11. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Joke

    Ah, this explains the....

    ...great weather we had today. One of the black holes escaped and sucked away all the clouds!

    1. David Pollard

      Re: Ah, this explains the....

      You've been watching Stephen Fry again.

  12. Striped Lungi

    Does this count?

    I made a smasher at home myself.. I tied two stones to two string (one string one stone). I had one guy spin that one way and another guy spun it the other way.. slowly we adjusted the height/plane of the spin such that the stones collided.. and smashed.. and a piece went and hit my brother in law in his buttocks and he had quite a visible "Black" bruise.. Does that count as dark matter? Or do I need to apply for a bazillion $$ grant and write some incomprehensible paper to prove that it was indeed dark and it quited mattered (to him).. Thanks

    p.s If magnets and electricity are must have "qualifications" we are open to the idea.. but for now it was the first successful run of our smasher.

  13. boba1l0s2k9

    Has the LHC destroyed the Earth?

    Latest news: No.

    http://www.hasthelhcdestroyedtheearth.com/

    That is all.

    1. x 7

      Re: Has the LHC destroyed the Earth?

      How do they know?

      1. boba1l0s2k9

        Re: Has the LHC destroyed the Earth?

        For http://hasthelargehadroncolliderdestroyedtheworldyet.com/ It relies on the little known "worldHasEnded" JavaScript type. Those Netscape chaps were forward-thinking -- view source on the site to see for yourself.

        For http://www.hasthelhcdestroyedtheearth.com/

        "Every 250 ms, a private satellite fleet measures gravitational distortion at 24 equally spaced points in LEO. This distortion map is compared with the one computed by the Iridium constellation 1 hour prior. If they are equal, the system goes back to sleep for another 250 ms. If they are not equal, the system enters an alert state and takes several more confirmation readings at 50 ms intervals. If after 5 seconds (100 readings) the configuration has not returned to within 1% of normal, the system enters the "armed" state; otherwise, it returns to baseline. If we have entered the "armed" state, it is likely that an extreme gravitational distortion event has occurred. The network then localizes the event with respect to an Earth Centered Earth Fixed map. If the distortion is centered on the LHC, we enter the "active" state; otherwise, the event is logged, the system is put to sleep for 5 seconds (or longer, with a back-off algorithm), and returned to baseline. If we have entered the "active" state, all satellites attempt to initiate a downlink to the nearest base station and set a flag. This flag triggers a stored procedure which updates the web site."

        Or in other words: they're just a bit of fun. :)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Possibly a gate to another universe will open

    and large monsters will visit our world. We're doomed!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Possibly a gate to another universe will open

      HL3?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Science: Eleventy Billion

    Religion: Still hasn't thrown a 6 to start yet

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