back to article Boffins gently wake the Large Hadron Collider from annual hibernation

CERN says the restart process for the Large Hadron Collider is complete and the proton-smasher is ready to start its 2017 science program. Alas, Vulture South's favourite mental image of an Igor saying “Yeth, marthter” and hauling on suitably Big Red Switch doesn't match reality: the restart process is a carefully-managed …

  1. Winkypop Silver badge
    Boffin

    Time to Paaaaarticle

    + one for amazing boffins and boffinesses!

  2. Cynical Observer
    Trollface

    Accuracy of the highest order

    Recognising the need for an El Reg unit but

    A barn is a unit of area equal to 10−28 m2

    Don't feel so bad now when someone says I couldn't hit a barn door

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Accuracy of the highest order

      Yes, but an inverse femtobarn is a measure of beam brightness* and is actually a pretty honking great unit. The inverse of something very small is pretty big.

      *Yes, I do know that is a gross oversimplification.

      1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: Accuracy of the highest order

        In this matter gross oversimplification is good, at least for me. YMMV

    2. Munchausen's proxy
      Pint

      Re: Accuracy of the highest order

      And IIRC, a megalightyear-barn is near enough to a cubic centimeter for back of the envelope.

  3. Adam Wynne 1

    Let us not forget the shed.

    That is all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let us not forget the shed.

      Calamity Cameron's shed?

      I wonder how many more inverse femtobarns you could get for 25k

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Let us not forget the shed.

      And the outhouse. You can't go for long without the outhouse.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Let us not forget the shed.

      And here with all the discussion of barns, I have a mental image of a cow-barn.. with the cows moving closer and closer to light speed.

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    Beam stability

    DON'T cross the beams!

    CERN is the leading edge of science, even when I don't know what they're talking about I''m impressed.

    1. wyatt
      Happy

      Re: Beam stability

      They're literally making it up as they go along!

    2. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Beam stability

      Surely its DO CROSS the BEAMS (at a point of our chosing). Otherwise no interesting collisions...

  5. dukwon

    Hold your horses

    There are 5 weeks planned of 'recommissioning with beam' and 1 week of 'scrubbing' before we get to the physics programme, currently scheduled to start on 12th June.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the machine approach the maximum number of bunches per beam (in principle 2808, in practice a bit less). The operators are already teasing us by uploading a candidate 2760 bunch scheme.

  6. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Excellent

    Another step on the way to smashing a hole in reality.

    OK, I admit it. I only said that to put the willies up any paranoid loons who happen to be hanging around. Now, please excuse me while I go visit the Mail and the Telegraph.

    1. Chemist

      Re: Excellent

      "Another step on the way to smashing a hole in reality."

      Plenty of those already, don't need megawatts just a few politicians (sigh)

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Excellent

        "Plenty of those already"

        Reality has a habit of punching back.

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Excellent

      Quote "Another step on the way to smashing a hole in reality."

      Well that explains where trump came from.....

      Just have to account now for t.may and various other assorted loonies in the house of commons....

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Excellent

        "Just have to account now for t.may and various other assorted loonies in the house of commons...."

        No real mystery there. The Palace of Westminster looks like a stereotypical Gothic insane asylum: https://freedfromtime.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/westminster-1.jpg

        Form does follow function.

  7. Alister Silver badge
    Coat

    Winter upgrade boosted 'inverse femtobarns'

    Um, is this another way of saying they "reversed the polarity of the neutron flow"?

    Just asking...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Winter upgrade boosted 'inverse femtobarns'

      "Um, is this another way of saying they "reversed the polarity of the neutron flow"?"

      Extending my previous post, as I understand it inverse femtobarns are pretty easy to understand.

      A barn is a measure of nuclear cross-section for an interaction with another particle. Because nuclei aren't just little hard edged balls but have all sorts of interesting behaviour like charge, their apparent cross section differs for different colliding particles. But a barn is comparable to the effective cross section of the nucleus.

      A femtobarn is 1/1015 barns.

      An inverse femtobarn is a measure of the "brightness" of a beam, so 1 inverse femtobarn for a collision is equivalent to 1015 collisions - a nucleus of cross section 1 barn would have that many collisions. As you can see, it's an awful lot of tiny things hitting another tiny thing. More inverse femtobarns, more collisions, more chance of something interesting happening.

      You could have a similar unit for the Battle of Crécy - the unit of arrow density from the English archers could be inverse knights, for instance. More inverse knights, more chance of a dead knight.

      I apologise to real physicists who are by now gritting their teeth, but I did give them a few hours before jumping in.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: inverse knights

        A most splendid unit!

        I guess another would be drink-related in terms of shots chucked in the general direction of one's mount?

      2. Adam 1

        Re: Winter upgrade boosted 'inverse femtobarns'

        I agree we need a better unit for density. Inverse Knights would seem an excellent candidate.

        Make it so El Reg!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Winter upgrade boosted 'inverse femtobarns'

          -->I agree we need a better unit for density. Inverse Knights would seem an excellent candidate.

          No, sorry, Kt-1 is an arrow count, and has the dimensions of L-2 whereas density is ML-3. The unit of density is, as is well known, fucktons per hogshead.

          1. Ben Bonsall

            Re: Winter upgrade boosted 'inverse femtobarns'

            metric or imperial fucktons?

  8. Valerion

    Super Proton Synchrotron

    I don't know what that is, but I want one!

  9. Alistair Silver badge
    Coat

    Stable Beams.

    From the perspective of standing in the barn, you'd want them beams stable.

    (3 hours sleep on an 18 hour day... thats about all I can get out of it right now, till I get more coffee. I'll bet they have *really really* good coffee at the LHC)

    /the one with the 'the 8 year old tapes we have this backed up on may not be readable' email in the pocket

    1. Uffish

      Re: Stable Beams.

      Surely that should be strong, stable beams?

      1. Louis Schreurs BEng Bronze badge

        Re: Stable Beams.

        Does Trump have a white hole or a brown hole or a brown nose?

  10. Kaltern

    Still waiting for the black hole.

    1. Gobhicks

      "we can inject more particles per bunch and more bunches, hence more collisions" and a greater probability of something highly unlikely happening, like a black hole for example?

      1. MD Rackham

        Sure, like a black hole.

        Or Brexit. Or President Trump.

        (Please, just bring on the Earth-devouring black hole rather than more of that.)

      2. Grikath

        Whelp.. At the energy they let those nuclei crash into each other I wouldn't be surprised if they do create singularity-state instances regularly. In fact... that's the general idea of the whole exercise...

        Thing is, the lifetime of a singularity of that mass is so short that it's probably impossible to even measure. If I remember correctly, a singularity with Earths' mass would have a lifetime of several femtoseconds before evaporating, with an event horizon smaller than the nucleus of your average atom. Not really world-gobbling material... And the mass of what's zipping about in the LHC is, mildly put, several orders of magnitude smaller than our planet.

  11. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Is it barbecued weasel season already?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3566156/The-Large-Hadron-Collider-shuts-WEASEL-Furry-creature-stalls-world-s-powerful-atom-smasher.html

  12. Shady

    ...installing a new beam dump in the Super Proton Synchrotron...

    As an IT guy, I just call it "going for a download". Particle physicists have way cooler scatology.

    1. quxinot Silver badge

      Re: ...installing a new beam dump in the Super Proton Synchrotron...

      Isn't normally downloading considered to be receipt of something? I certainly hope you are uploading in that instance instead.

  13. DylanH333

    "Getting his moment of nominative determinism, Igor-in-chief Steerenberg explains here that the best way to increase luminousity is to steer the beams more accurately." - the funniest thing I've read all day

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is still so cool.

    No comment required.

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