Author Topic: Bet you were wondering about CERN. now wern't you?  (Read 3166 times)

Croghan27

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Bet you were wondering about CERN. now wern't you?
« on: November 07, 2007, 03:54:40 PM »
I contemplated putting this in either one of the philosophical threads or in a theology discussion. CERN( Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) has begun to lower the temperature on the huge LHC.

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Geneva, 7 November 2007. At a brief ceremony deep under the French countryside today, CERN1 Director General Robert Aymar sealed the last interconnect in the world’s largest cryogenic system, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This is the latest milestone in commissioning the LHC, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator.


The confusion of whether this is science/philosophy or theology is because this LHC, Large Hadron Collider. is looking for what is called the 'God Particle'. At this stage of the game there is not really a lot of difference between the three. A Hadron is the smallest group of particles imaginable - made up of Quarks, and it is (posited) that one type of Quark controls all the others: the God particle.

This is the start of the big one ... this is the Newton's apple falling and Darwin looking at a new type of lizard and saying: "Hmmmm I wonder if ....", this is the Trinity explosion in 1945.

As for the startup - I am eating my heart out here ..... this is what I do (did) for 25 years ... and would happily give up several body parts to do again in Switzerland/France.  :yay:
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Croghan27

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Re: Bet you were wondering about CERN. now weren't you?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2008, 07:31:03 AM »
Speaking of WIMPs, (I know you were  :D ) there is a search going on for them in Chicago - using 19Th century technology. Everybody's good friend Einstein, in equating matter and energy, put the scientific world into something of a tizzy, because the matter of the universe falls more than a tad short of accounting for all the energy: in fact computations show there should be 85% (or perhaps 23%) more matter kicking around, somewhere.  :shock: They (we) just cannot find all this matter.

Now science deals with 'stuff' that is measurable and quantifiable - and this extra 'stuff' is measurable in the way it's forces (gravity and particle spin) occasionally interacts with the known material of the universe - but it does not seem to have a position. So, they have some up with a name of the unknown - if it is off in some unenlightened sphere of knowledge, it must be 'Dark Matter'.

Jonathan Feng recently observed:
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"Recently there has been a proliferation of novel candidates for dark matter,” says Jonathan Feng at the University of California at Irvine, who has come up with a few himself."

The latest candidate is (are  :roll: ) WIMPs: Weakly Interacting Massive Particles The way they are being looked for is using the old technology of a bubble chamber. The theory is simple enough - in a known mass of material, in this case a firefighting liquid (that crogh has worked with) called iodotrifluoromethane, even if I called it CF3. The dark matter interacts with the liquid and changes the proprieties of it. This causes a bubble in the liquid and the proprieties of the resulting bubble(s) are studied.
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WIMPs, if they exist, rarely interact with ordinary matter. COUPP uses a glass jar filled with about a litre of iodotrifluoromethane, a fire-extinguishing liquid known as CF3I, to detect a particle as it hits a nucleus, triggering evaporation of a small amount of CF3I. The resulting bubble initially is too small to see but it grows. Using digital cameras, COUPP* scientists study the pictures of bubbles once they reach a millimeter in size.  They look for statistical variations between photographs that signal whether bubbles were caused by background radiation or by dark matter.
*COUPP: The Chicagoland Observatory for Underground Particle Physics

The whole article is available here- as well as links to all manner of ongoing investigations. It is wondrous to watch how theses supposed 'geeks', limited in scope of interest to the ever-so-tiny  the oh-so-large or mostly the incredibly esoteric come up with whimsical titles like WIMPs and Dark Matter.  :lol:
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

radiorahim

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Re: Bet you were wondering about CERN. now wern't you?
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2008, 08:24:32 AM »
But do they run Windows on the computers at CERN?   Nope!

They run Linux!

In fact they've even put out their own "distro" (version) called "Scientific Linux".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_Linux
Free software, Free society

Mandos

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Re: Bet you were wondering about CERN. now wern't you?
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2008, 08:36:49 AM »
But alas I suspect that their administrative staff is using Windoze.

skdadl

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Re: Bet you were wondering about CERN. now wern't you?
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2008, 08:55:26 AM »
My (very dear) step-daughter did a two-year stint at CERN. I don't understand a thing about her work, but she is a moral and intellectual rock.

Croghan27

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Re: Bet you were wondering about CERN. now wern't you?
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2008, 09:45:28 AM »
That particularly investigation is not at CERN -but in Chicago. They are in direct competition with the Italians who seem to be getting different results through a different method.

CERN is looking for God (among other things).....

despite a slight cock-up (actually from some bad construction material imported from the 'fermilab' in Chicago) they have begun to charge their machine successfully. Full operation by spring.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Croghan27

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Re: Bet you were wondering about CERN. now wern't you?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2008, 05:13:46 PM »
Sometime I think I should post things about CERN in the spiritual thread. One of it's purposes is to:
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answer a number of fundamental questions, such as the origin of mass or the nature of the so-called “dark matter”
One way of expressing it is that the LHC at CERN will work on the question of why the universe is, rather than is not.

If anyone is doing nothing next 6 April, it is opening to the public.
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On 6 April 2008, CERN(1) will open its doors to the public, offering a unique chance to visit its newest and largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), before it goes into operation later this year. This scientific instrument, the largest and most complex in the world, is installed in a 27km tunnel, 100 metres underground in the Swiss canton of Geneva and neighbouring France. CERN will open all access points around the ring for visits underground, to the tunnel and the experiment caverns.

Betcha Arty Clarke would have loved to be there.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Croghan27

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Re: Bet you were wondering about CERN. now wern't you?
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2009, 09:44:39 PM »
The headline says:

CERN atom-smasher restarts after 14-month hiatus: official

Even if it from CERN it is incorrect as evidenced by the first sentence in the story: "The first tests of injecting sub-atomic particles began around 1600 (1500 GMT)," CERN spokesman James Gillies told AFP. The LHC (Large Hadron Collider) shoots Hadrons, made of atomic bits rather then whole atoms, at each other at speeds approaching that of light, and studies what result from the collisions.

One, but not the only, purpose of the whole exercise is to find what has been dubbed (not by physicists) the GOD PARTICLE *, Higgs Boson. This boson is predicted by the Standard Model ** to be the cause of mass in the universe.

The first collisions are likely to start in several weeks, but only next year will the LHC be cranked up to its full capacity of 14 teraelectronvolts - a massive amount of energy.....   As expected there are two pathways about the 27 km circular LHC - they have begun circulating the hadrons in both as of this week. The flow, of course, is in opposite directions, so they then can be directed to smash into each other.  

* interesting enough ...when physics gets this esoteric they tend to use spiritual descriptions. The search for the Higgs (named after Peter Higgs) is often called the Holy Grail of particle physics.

** The standard model plus Einstein's relativity is physic's explanation of .... everything.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Mandos

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Re: Bet you were wondering about CERN. now wern't you?
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2009, 10:01:24 PM »
I actually think that as long as you abstract away from the statistics, the Standard Model is not esoteric or particularly complicated.  Things bounce off each other and become other things in the process.

But actually I thought that the LHC was going to be colliding lead ions as well, so the title may not be that inaccurate.

Anyway, things will really start cooking when they work out the statistics of the graviton, even though there is no possibility of ever detecting it...

Croghan27

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Re: Bet you were wondering about CERN. now wern't you?
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2009, 07:06:51 AM »
Quote from: Mandos
I actually think that as long as you abstract away from the statistics, the Standard Model is not esoteric or particularly complicated.  Things bounce off each other and become other things in the process.
snip

This is all sorts of correct - but when you consider that crogy occasionally gets confused by long division, things become more complicated. I saw an article yesterday that said the Standard Model's mathematical exposition is not that complicated and laid out the math skill needed for comprehension. (Naturally I cannot find it now  :annoyed: )

The devil, as is famously known, lies in the details and in the forces involved. It appears the ultimate building block of .... of .... well, everything is the quark in its' various editions. There are a half dozen quarks - rather whimsically called: up, down, charm, strange, top and bottom. Now it appears that to make the explanation of everything complete there must be an anti-quark for each of these.  

Most explanations I have seen say the Standard Model is not the final answer  :oops: , but is the best we have now. * The big problem with the Model is that we must step outside it to explain gravity. Einstein did this by positing that gravity is a distortion of time/space - but he never did come up with his own explanation for the strong and weak nuclear forces and electromagnetism.

The photon is something of a sticky wicket in here as it definitely exists, but apparently it has no mass and is always in motion. (at the speed of light - it what we know as light ferchrissakes!  :whis: **,). Ah Ha! now it is easy to say that the photon is not a thing, it is a bundle of force(s) - but no, we cannot say that because it does engage in some particle like interactions with other particles. This is called the wave-particle duality.

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But actually I thought that the LHC was going to be colliding lead ions as well, so the title may not be that inaccurate.

According to CERN that is a sometimes thing: Two beams of subatomic particles called 'hadrons' – either protons or lead ions – will travel in opposite directions inside the circular accelerator, gaining energy with every lap. What directs the decision to use one or the other is not mentioned although I would suggest it depends upon what even littler bits they expect to be generated from the mashing.  

I believe that I have mentioned before that the opportunity to aid in this quest is available to anyone who wishes to join. There will be, literally, trillions of collisions all generating .... something. Only a small few will display any evidence of the Higgs Boson - so huge computing capability is needed to note these occurrences. Toward this end they have asked that personal computers be tied into their network to ease the load on their machines and quicken the process.

 
* Unless you want to go off into string theory which has not been experimentally demonstrated and possibly never will be.

** Newton's first law works here ..... left alone (as in within a vacuum) a photon will zip along at light speed, but as it interacts with other particles its' speed will be effected.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Toedancer

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Re: Bet you were wondering about CERN. now wern't you?
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2009, 11:34:06 AM »
I've been reading about the CERN and man am I confused. The Strangelets only survive for billionths of a second then die or disappear. How do they know this? Where do they disappear to?

And how on Earth do they know that strangelets distort reality when they only have billionths of second to observe what it does?

The weather went wacky all over the place last time, so I'm looking at the worldwide weather after this 'experiment' of looking for a theory from a theory.

ETA - if you love maps (and I do) go HERE Scroll down to earthquakes/volcanos and click READ and another map of that area comes up.
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Holly Stick

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Re: Bet you were wondering about CERN. now wern't you?
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2009, 12:17:43 PM »
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...Two beams of subatomic particles called 'hadrons' – either protons or lead ions – will travel in opposite directions inside the circular accelerator, gaining energy with every lap...

thesis + antithesis = synthesis? :geezera:
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

Croghan27

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Re: Bet you were wondering about CERN. now wern't you?
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2009, 12:31:45 PM »
Quote from: Toedancer
I've been reading about the CERN and man am I confused. The Strangelets only survive for billionths of a second then die or disappear. How do they know this? Where do they disappear to?

And how on Earth do they know that strangelets distort reality when they only have billionths of second to observe what it does?
snip

The LHC is attempting to recreate the circumstances that were about in the first trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. Everything was created in that bang - but not necessarily in the conditions we know it today. The first recognizable products were hydrogen, helium and some lithium. There were no heavy metals. (Not even rock&roll :whis: ) These came later, formed in the interior of stars.

If you turn on your TV you can see a bit of this big bang thang! 1% or so of the little dots on the screen where there is no channel, are remnants of this creation of the universe; microwaves translated into the visible spectrum. Otherwise it is Law and Order or CSI from somewhere in the cosmos. (At least it is not Seinfeld.)

At the micro level everything quickly came together - to form the above three ..... at a macro level, as in the cosmos in general, everything is still flying apart. Not only that, but it is flying apart faster and faster, this is why the idea of 'dark energy' came about: to explain the force that is driving distant galaxies even farther away. (Newton's first law still works at this level - something has to be pushing them away.)

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thesis + antithesis = synthesis?

Syllogisms are all over the place .... perhaps quark + anti-quark = Boson is more appropriate, but the idea remains.  :popcorn
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Mandos

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Re: Bet you were wondering about CERN. now wern't you?
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2009, 12:10:53 AM »
The strangelet doesn't actually disappear---it still continues to exist, but in a different form that is not a strangelet.  In this context, this is called "decay", when a fermion or a particle composed of fermions is converted into other particles, often sloughing off bosons.  A hadron consists of quarks, which are fermions (electrons are fermions too---they belong to the lepton family of fermion rather than the quark family).  Strangelets are hypothetical extreme cases of hadrons that involve "strange" quarks.

There's another almost reverse form of this called materialization, where a boson---e.g. a photon---is converted into fermions.   IIRC, a photon can materialize an electron and a positron-neutrino.

Lots of particles decay really quickly, like the strangelets.  If they were to detect it, they would detect the products of the decay rather than the strangelet itself.  The theory would predict specific forms of the strangelet decay products that *would* last long enough to be seen *if* strangelets occurred as a significant part of nature.

It turns out that experiments already run suggest that the strangelet is not really a significant part of nature in that it was not detected.  The LHC is even less likely to produce a strangelet than those previous experiments.  There is some possibility that we might detect a a giant piece of strange matter---a quark star---from among what we think are neutron stars, but this is not promising.  Strangelets may well be predicted by the theory and yet never occur...

[edited to avoid positing a "neutrino star" :) ]

Croghan27

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Re: Bet you were wondering about CERN. now wern't you?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2009, 08:44:05 AM »
While the search for the God particle, Higg's Boson, (with a name like that, no wonder  :shock: ) grabs all the headlines, (there is a suggestion it is more like a field, behaving all the world like molasses than a particle) there are a half dozen experiments going on at the LHC.

When the hadrons smash together they will break apart. This is a process that happens in 'atom smashers' all over the world. The largest right now is at the Fermilab in Chicago, that cooperated in the building of the LHC. Whereas these 'bits' are kept together by the strongest force we know of in the universe, the strong force that keeps atoms together, the more energy that is put into the smashing process the more fundamental the 'atomic bits' that fly off.* When these 'bits' fly off they form what is called a quark-gluon plasma, which probably existed just after the Big Bang when the Universe was still extremely hot.

There are four detectors about the circuit, named after the 'experiments' they are intended to detect:

ALICE: For the ALICE experiment, the LHC will collide lead ions to recreate the conditions just after the Big Bang under laboratory conditions. The data obtained will allow physicists to study a state of matter known as quark‑gluon plasma, which is believed to have existed soon after the Big Bang.

ATLAS: ATLAS is one of two general-purpose detectors at the LHC. It will investigate a wide range of physics, including the search for the Higgs boson, extra dimensions, and particles that could make up dark matter.

CMS: The CMS experiment uses a general-purpose detector to investigate a wide range of physics, including the search for the Higgs boson, extra dimensions, and particles that could make up dark matter. Although it has the same scientific goals as the ATLAS experiment, it uses different technical solutions and design of its detector magnet system to achieve these.

LHCb: The LHCb experiment will help us to understand why we live in a Universe that appears to be composed almost entirely of matter, but no antimatter.

It specialises in investigating the slight differences between matter and antimatter by studying a type of particle called the 'beauty quark', or 'b quark'.


While there are four detectors positioned near the impact points, there are six experiments going on - there are sub-detectors placed near the other equipment for the main experiments.

TOTEM: The TOTEM experiment studies forward particles to focus on physics that is not accessible to the general-purpose experiments. Among a range of studies, it will measure, in effect, the size of the proton and also monitor accurately the LHC's luminosity

and the

LHCf: The LHCf experiment uses forward particles created inside the LHC as a source to simulate cosmic rays in laboratory conditions.

Not bad for $10 billion or so ......  :shock:






* You may know that I am less than a fan of President Reagan. Yet he is called 'the great communicator' with reason. Bob MacDonald from the CBC Quirks and Quarks, occasionally plays a quip from Reagan when he makes a decision to go ahead with construction of a Superconducting Supercollider in Texas. (Which would have been even larger than the one at CERN.) The project was later cancelled for budget reasons.

In confirming the decision Reagan, allegedly,said: "Some times you have got to throw long."

"Throw long..."
Not bad Ronnie, it does not excuse the slaughter(s) you instigated in South America, but you did good work here.  :highfive
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

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Re: Bet you were wondering about CERN. now wern't you?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2009, 08:44:05 AM »

 

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