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back to article Hadron Collider switches to heavy ions, tinfoilers wet pants again

Particle-punishing boffins at the Large Hadron Collider - the most outrageously powerful matter-rending apparatus and largest machine of any kind assembled by the human race - have switched ammunition. The colossal superconductor massdriver cannons of the LHC are now firing "fully stripped" ultrahypervelocity lead projectiles …

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"boffinry desk, particle-molestation subdivision"

Dammit, I want a job title like that...

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Joke

Will anyone think of the particles?

save them from the particlephiliacs

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Paris Hilton

Attention to detail...

Let's hope it's a bit better when it comes to the aftermath of pressing a _real_ big red emergency button...

"...are you ready to _tke_ a trip..."

Ooops.

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lead-ions

"In any event, the transition to shooting lead rather than protons at the LHC ...."

The ammunition is now lead-ions, not solid lumps of lead, just wanted to make that clear.

Collisions of such particles may yield a quark-gloun plasma, not too dissimilar to the material in the Grand Unification phase of the universe, at approx. 10 −37 seconds after the arrival of a bemused blue whale and a bowl of petunias.

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Eeek...

...Oh no, not again!

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A fully stripped lead ion

Is actually more solid (and denser) than a solid lead bullet (which is mostly vacuum, as discovered by Rutherford)

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coffee machine

More important is the coffee in the machine. We don't want anyone falling asleep at their desk while the real red lamp is flashing away in the background.

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Boffin

But even more importantly...

Is the machine capable of brewing a really hot cup of tea...

... for the improbability experiments .. natch.

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Coat

coffee

We got our coffee in the form of "Double Ristrette" when I slaved away at antimatter in the 80's.

No matter what late nite experiments, a couple of swiss ristrettes - similar to an italian expresso but with less liquid and higher density ions - would allow the cern brains to wake up and do fizziks. I never saw the synchrotrons actually make the stuff, but I admit they could have piped it in from the Prévessin site. probably

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You will probably get

A cup filled with a liquid which is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

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Not at the speed of light

Only massless particles (i.e. light photons) can travel, indeed are compelled to travel, at the speed of light.

The lead ions will be travelling at 99.99% the speed of light.

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Anonymous Coward

Not to be a pedant

but 99.999% = 100%

http://mathforum.org/dr/math/faq/faq.0.9999.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/0.999...

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Big Brother

not to be another pedant.

Bollocks, who am I kidding. Pedantry ahoy.

99.99% is not the same as 0.9999...

99.99% of 10,000 is 9999

0.9999... * 10,000 is 10,000

Probably.

(picture because, um, I like the moustache?)

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Anonymous Coward

Not at the speed of light ?????

If the Lead Ions are traveling at 99.99% of the Speed of Light and they are crashing into each other...

Does that not make the Approtch to the impact at x1,99.98% the speed of light?

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FAIL

Untrue, I'm afraid, in this context

Pure Maths proof doesn't really translate to subatomic particle collisions.

Besides, you were talking about 99.99... (an infinite number of 9s after the decimal), where I was talking about 99.99 (only 2 9s)

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Velocities do not add

If particles U and V are moving at velocities u and v relative to the detector, then the velocity (w) of U relative to V is not u-v (the particles are going in opposite directions, so one out of u and v is negative). The correct formula is:

w = u - v / (1 - uv / c^2) where c = 299792458m/s

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science says:

I posed this question to a PHD Physics student (my sister) and got:

"The beams are going in opposite directions so one will have negative velocity. The 'closing speed' your talking about I think would be in terms of the energy of the final interaction but it's relativistic so it's all gets a bit complicated from there on."

So I take that as a maybe.

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Coat

Relativity ....

I'm sorry to dissapoint you, but at those speeds velocities, don't add.

Energies do.

From the PoV fo one of the ions, the one in collision course never is faster than c, mainly because it's time is slower than for the inertial observer.

Mine is the one with the Relativity for Dummies in the pocket.

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FAIL

Far be it from me to diss anyone's sister, but...

Physics whizz though she may be, she gets 1 out of 3 for apostrophe usage. Anyway, nuff pedantry, let's get down to more important matters. This sister of yours, is she hot? Look good in a lab coat? How would you describe her morals? Loose? Variable? Negotiable maybe? Enquiring minds need to know.

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FAIL

Err no...

99.999...% would = 100%, the "..." is important in that statement! Perhaps you should re-read your links?

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Boffin

@Harvey Trowell

You forgot the most important bit: does she wear glasses?

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Welcome

... our teleporting, rubmling juggernaut-spheroid overlords...

"...sadly from a news viewpoint it appears that the juggernaut-men would be so minuscule and exist so briefly as only to be apparent to mighty detector instruments."

So, due to a tragic miscalculation of scale, the entire invasion fleet was eaten by a small dog?

(Need a 2nd icon for a coat, mine's the one with the towel).

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Stop

"At speed of light"

No, not quite. "Close to the speed of light" maybe - but the two aren't the same (and differ in energy by a factor of infinity...)

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can we have a new measure of speed please

speed of light, appears to be overcooked, with granular variations leading to e-peen contests between the eggheads.

May I offer a more general measure of speed.

How about a Politician Backpedal, I mean in nature, nothing is faster.

So speed of light, is around 30% of a political backpedal.

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new measure of speed

>How about a Politician Backpedal, I mean in nature, nothing is faster.

Nope, I would have to disagree here. I propose that we should use the Cypriot nano-second, which is that infinitesimal period between when the traffic lights turn green and the guy behind bips his horn. Fractionally slower than the speed of light (after all the guy behind has to have seen the light change) but not by much.

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Pirate

no, no

the REAL measure of absolute speed is the less than infintesimal amount of time that passes between our BES going down and the CEO appearing at my door, Blackberry in hand.

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"I mean in nature, nothing is faster."

According to "The Hitchhiker's Guide..." nothing travels faster than light EXCEPT bad news.

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Already named - a New York minute

That smallest measurable unit of time, where the guy behind you blows his auto horn after the light turns green, is known as a "New York minute".

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New measure of speed...

How about the Backward Leap/Ohno-Second? (BL/OnS)

Backward leap: The distance a suddenly very focussed person can jump given an unexpected, negative stimulus.

Ohno-second: The time between the realisation that something has gone wrong, and the imminent, inevitable consequence.

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@ Chemist

My observations are that the fastest thing in existence is stupidity.

It takes practice and discipline to at least appear smart, but even the brightest mind can be abysmally stupid in an instant!

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Joke

To continue the HItchhikers theme...

... how about the time between one monarch dying, and the next one becoming king/queen?

It was in fact posited that 'royal-ness' was transmitted by massless particles called 'Kingons', and that faster than light communication could, in fact, be achieved by the carefully modulated torture of a small king.

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Ah but ..

The follow-on to nothing traveling faster than bad news was that a certain race developed faster-than-light travel in ships powered by bad news but eventually gave up visiting other star systems because they were always unpopular when they arrived.

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Don't press the red button!

rumbling juggernaut-spheroid creatures from the fourth estate, more like.

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Pirate

Man Up

looks like you are a bit tintin-foiled too-today lewis, man up kid and don't worry 'the unexamined life is not worth living'

Or enjoy this other sage to calm down yourself:

‘Yesterday is Gone, Tomorrow is not, there is only today’ Book of Dead, Egypt, beginning of the Bronze Age.

24 hours to collisions in this 'god-like production':

http://video.godlikeproductions.com/video/Final_Weapon_8_Strangelets?id=0426bbdb1412a954a3a

regarding your comment about my farewell article, as usual you misrepresent it. This resumes it all:

Even if we survive 11/9, the fact that the experiment is carried on without the slightest control and opposition, only means we humans will keep searching for higher forms of mass and energy, till definitely we cross the barrier of stability of strangelets, black holes and other forms of dark matter that will devour us. Make no mistake, the end of the race for higher energy in accelerators should be an event, which creates a stable black hole or strangelet that devour us - NOT an intelligent commission of politicians and citizens, who decides to stop this disguised arm race. And since the industry will keep pushing further upgrades and plans to reach always new energies, sooner than latter the planet will blow up, with the indifference and acquiescence of our political and judiciary institutions.

Hence your quote, 'days (if the ions do us all) or decades (if we need further upgrades to 'reach the goal', our encounter with Kali )

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Man Up

Hello AC. Why would you anonymise yourself and then refer to 'my farewell article'? Just wondering.

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Welcome

I, for one,

look forward to the forthcoming series "when Lewis met Louis".

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Alert

Re AC ... Man Up

This is worrying. Why has manfrommars gone AC? What does he know that I don't? And why hasn't Lewis Page won a Pulitzer yet? Is Sarah Bee real? I don't have any Tin Foil - the stuff I got is made from aluminum - I mean aluminium. It started snowing here around the time the LHC switched to plumbum. Will my post be upvoted? This isn't SlashDot?

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Alien

@Man Up

What a revelation! The LHC has only just started doing some REAL stuff, and it already revealed that aManFromMars is Luis Sancho!

Revelations! Revelations! Revelations!

What next? Andrew Orlowski's real identity revealed?

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FAIL

my farewell article

I think that is a brilliant demonstration of the man's attention span.

With such a mind, it is not wonder that True Science inspires irrational fear in him.

He must be the reincarnation of a Spanish Inquisitor - minus the power.

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Welcome

I for one...

... welcome our new juggernaught overlords from the Fifth Dimension!

(They can't be any worse than the current lot!)

I also want to see NSFW pictures of these "fully stripped" ions.

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Title goes where?

There is a theory which states that if ever the true purpose of the universe is discovered, it will instantly vanish and be replaced by one even more bizarre and inexplicable.

There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

(Mine's the one with the towel in the pocket)

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Coat

So...

Have they found anything of interest yet?

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Re So.....

Yes!

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Go

Yes...

...that El Reg boffinry desk (particle molestation sub-division) journalists just can't resist pushing tempting red buttons.

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Flame

Re: So...

Among other things, they've found it's a rather involved way to make piping hot custard with rhubarb crumble, and then only teeny tiny quantities thereof.

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Megaphone

That big red button...

I pressed it too :D

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Grenade

Follow ups

It would be interesting to see some interviews with some of those who have been shrillest in pointing out the planet destroying potential in CERN, such as Walter Wagner.

I don't think they'll be likely to talk to you though ;)

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Black Helicopters

now, now...

"the LHC does not and never will present any type of planet- or universe-destroying mishap risk"

They would say that, wouldn't they?

Damn, can't use the Black Chopper and the Joke icon at the same time...

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Joke

with apologies to Greg Bear

It's not the "invasion of planet Earth by teleporting, rumbling juggernaut-spheroid creatures from the Fifth Dimension", you want to worry about, it's the Jarts and Descendant Command..... </eon mode>

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Paris Hilton

Hell, I have big emergency buttons all over the house

ideal for stress relief at any time of day.

Paris, as she's frequently both used for stress relief and fully-stripped

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