back to article CERN: LHC to fire first proton-smash ray next month

Scientists operating from a hollowed-out lair deep beneath the Franco-Swiss border have announced that their enormous, unprecedentedly powerful 27-kilometre proton cannon will shortly be ready to open fire. To be precise, "first beam" is scheduled for 10 September. Uncharacteristically, perhaps, the boffins made their …

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  1. Mark
    Stop

    I'm ready for Armageddon...

    The day before it's switched on, I'm going a GTA IV style rampage, seeing as the world is going to end the next day, when it's all sucked into the black hole...

  2. Hugo

    Chris Morris, Kevin Eldon & Simon Munnery at CERN

    Chris Morris recently popped down to CERN to have a look round.

    As did Kevin Eldon and Simon Munnery.

    Podcasts and articles here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/jun/30/cern.particle.physics2

    http://www.cernpodcast.com/?p=43

    http://www.cernpodcast.com/?p=14

  3. Xander
    Heart

    A title goes here

    <----- And an icon goes there

  4. cookieMonster

    Fantastic

    Well done Lewis, a great read . I'm looking forward to your report on what happens when this thing is actually fired up and the results are out.

  5. Dave
    Boffin

    Learning Experience

    What ever happens, we will learn something from this, if only that when two un-stoppable forces collide _nothing happens_

  6. The March Hare
    Go

    Press the button! press the button!

    and then a Delorean with Emmett Brown inside will appear inside the tunnel & ask for directions.....

    Green for Go icon - just for the hell of it..

  7. Angus Wood
    Happy

    And perhaps a Nobel Prize for Prof Hawking

    If memory serves me, should the existence of the Higgs Boson be proven by the LHC then Prof Hawking may be up for a nobel prize, which is nice.

    Excellent article, BTW, Lewis. I'm left wondering if this has anything to do with the "Henchmen Wanted" craigslist job ad from a few days ago.

  8. Pavlovs well trained dog
    Pirate

    credit card bills

    So, I shouldn't bother to pay my credit card bills, mortgage, car finance, etc at the end of the month then?

    schweeeet

  9. Sam

    @cookiemonster

    The report is already out, it got blasted back through time.

    It's charred at the edges, and it says "Oh shit!"

  10. Martin
    Thumb Up

    Magnetic Monopoles

    Can I be the Racing Car?

  11. Brian Morrison
    Alert

    Result storage...

    Analysing the data should prove interesting, apparently the LHC's experiments will be generating in excess of 700MB/s of data, so just getting it transported to where it will be analysed will be a feat in itself.

    Seagate stock will shortly be a buy I think

  12. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Boffin

    Numbers of the beast, and then some...

    According to my (admittedly feeble) arithmetic, and assuming they'll want these things moving around somewhere close to the speed of light, that comes out at...

    666,666.666 rpm!

  13. Rik Silver badge

    Protocol dictates

    that not only they announce their plans by grabbing all broadcast channels at once, but also that they do so with a white Angora cat sitting on their lap. This seems not to have been the case either.

  14. Andy Taylor
    Coat

    Rents in the fabric of the Universe

    Aren't these something that Doctor Who fixes? I suggest that the LHC is checked for small blue wooden boxes immediately before firing starts.

    Mine's the one with the sonic screwdriver in the pocket.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have my plan...

    I-I-I'd have an, an Apache attack helicopter.

    I'd gan back to school. But first I'd take out the labs and then I'd type into the attack computer 'Mr Cragg, chemistry teacher'. Blow 'im to bits.

    And then I'd go looking for Tom Donaldson. I'd be hovering just down the road from his house, there. And he'd see us, but I'd duck down behind the trees, and he thinks he's safe, right? And he's just about to put the key in his front door, and I come up from behind the hedge, 'Hello, you bastard.' He panics, right? And he goes in the house, so I get the 30-millimetre canon and I take out the fish pond, coy carp in there couple of rounds each, right? And then I just tilt the helicopter over to one side and the machine-gun bullets is chewing up the drive, right? He comes out. 'Oh no! Not me Triumph Stag! I've just had it resprayed!' I cut it right in half, right? And then he goes, 'Ahhh!' He runs up on to the garage roof. I say, 'Right. This is for you, Tom.' He goes, 'No, no!' He's begging us, he's begging us man, 'No, please don't!' And then I fly off to Cornwall and I just smash in the sea in a big ball of flames.

  16. Mark

    "essentially incomprehensible machines"

    I find that statement essentially incomprehensible.

    The machines are entirely comprehensible:

    Charged particles.

    Accelerator ring.

    Lots of energy.

    Been producing these machines for decades. Nothing incomprehensible about the machines.

    Now if they don't produce a Higgs Boson but do produce items that have the scientists think "Huh. That's odd...", this will be unknown but not incomprehensible (unless God really is going to turn up and spell "Sorry for the inconvenience" for no reason.

    Strangelets may be essentially incomprehensibe and so may be micro black holes (because they are smaller than the smallest particle that science can tell us anything about). But they probably won't even turn up. Partly because they *are* incomprehensible and hence unlikely to exist in a universe that we have so far had great success in comprehending. Failing to comprehend *just right now* would be a little odd.

  17. Nick

    Re: Result storage...

    Brian Morrison wrote:

    "Analysing the data should prove interesting, apparently the LHC's experiments will be generating in excess of 700MB/s of data, so just getting it transported to where it will be analysed will be a feat in itself."

    Already taken care of:

    http://lcg.web.cern.ch/LCG/

  18. Richard Gadsden
    Boffin

    666,666 rpm

    Anyone want to check my maths? 300,000,000 m/s (c) / 27,000 m (circumference) =

    11,111 + 1/9. rps

    * 60 = 666,666 +2/3 rpm

    I'm sure Lewis can amuse us all with that one.

  19. Gianni Straniero
    Go

    You've done this one

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/24/lhc_safe/

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/28/lhc_cern_hawaiian_botanist_lawsuit/

    Although this version has That Friday Feeling about it. As you were.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @brian

    they've got the grid for that. and it is quite a feat, but it's been tested and seems to work. Of course, getting the physicists to actually analyse the results might take a bit longer (given that I spend all day reading el reg and all).

    <--just in case it rains on the way back from the pub

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alternative Universes?

    Terrible, terrible possibility! Imagine Earth catapulted to a dimension where politicians are honest, people are paid for the work they actually do and motorists are curteous and understanding with each other ......

    Hmmmm. OK, so when can we flash this thing up again?!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @http://lcg.web.cern.ch/LCG/

    Oooh, can we run Halo 3 on that?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Number of the beast is 616

    Sorry to spoil the fun (really), it would have been much more interesting if it were true.

    Mines the white one with Gordon Freeman stitched above the breast pocket.

  24. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Other tech needed

    I hope there's a big lever involved and one of those jacob's ladder machines that goes bbbbzzZZT! bbbbzzZZT! in the background of Frankenstein movies.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Cheif scientist interviewed

    When to justify the experiment, he replied, "This is my ultimate victory!"

  26. Dangermouse
    Happy

    @Mark

    I'll be spending the day in bed with my girlfriend doing naughty stuff, but each to their own I suppose.

  27. James Tankersley Jr
    Alert

    Safety Rebuttal

    A number of PHD level theoretical scientists have questions about LHC Safety and are concern about more than just a few "theories" being destroyed.

    The most notable is Professor Dr. Otto E. Rossler, founder of Endophysics and most famous for his contributions to Chaos theory.

    Dr. Rossler refutes CERN's safety arguments and proposes that if micro black holes are created (some say the odds are 1 in 1000, others say the odds are closer to 1 in 2) they would grow large enough to threaten Earth in 50 months to 50 years.

    Got LHCFacts.org?

  28. DrStrangeLug
    Happy

    We have to send an agent from MI6

    Just so that the head scientist can claim that he's been expecting them .

  29. Ree

    boffinboffinboffinboffinboffinboffinboffinboffinoffinboffinboffinboffinboffinbo

    Could you use the word "boffin" one more time, please? Better yet, why don't you write the whole article in stoopid 5th-grade pseudo-jargon? Too cute by far.

  30. dervheid
    Happy

    all the shite jobs...

    now on the 'back burner' until late September then!

  31. Darren Sandford
    Boffin

    What's the worst that could happen?

    They're waiting for you Gordon...

    ...in the test chamber...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    well

    never have such clever people done something so monumentally stupid!

    i commend it!

    Paris as she also agrees its safe to switch on.

  33. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    @ Ree

    Boffin.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Nothing useful ...

    ... ever came out of CERN.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    This could be it

    If they set it off at exactly five past eight and 43.21 seconds you would have a very ominous sequence of numbers-

    10.9.8 7:65 (five past eight):43.21

    Be afraid.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Has no one else spotted a countdown?

    They're planning on hiting the switch on: -

    10 / 09 / 08

    If they choose to do it around 5 past 7 in the morning there is simply no help for us.

  37. pctechxp

    right

    I shant pay any off my bills at the end of this month then and when asked why will reply 'because I thought the world was going to end'

  38. archie lukas
    Coat

    Would a paper bag over my head help me?

    ...and should I hide under the table?

    We need to know these things!

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Spelling checkers

    Isn't there just sooo much possibility of fun in respectable newspapers when spelling checkers get hold of hadron...

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Stranger Than Fiction

    Firstly, @ Sarah Bee ........ LOL!

    Secondly, there's a great book by James P. Hogan, "Thrice Upon a Time", which sounds a bit like this. Warning: Spoiler follows .....

    ..

    ..

    A large collider creates micro black holes that orbit the Earth's centre of gravity ... right through the Earth and a few orbiting objects! Earth is doomed. But, in a twist of fate, a simultaneously developed experimental time machine allows a warning to be sent to save the Earth, but with tragic side consequences.

  41. Pete
    Heart

    When worlds collide

    Hey, I'm just along the road in Lausanne at the moment. Does anyone know if I can visit CERN and see the boffins at work for myself (i.e. with my own eyes, they don't need to work for me)? It's a pretty momentous experiment and I'd love to be in there at the start before it all goes horribly wrong, some marvellous scientific breakthrough is made or it just whimpers out with a wee bang. Can I? Please? Pretty please? I'll stand in the corner and not say anything, honest.

  42. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Spelling checkers

    Yes indeed, especially at publications who've seen fit to get rid of all their subs. I should start a scrapbook.

  43. n
    Linux

    No doubt...

    ...they will be held up by environMENTALISTS chaining themselves up in front of the beam complaining about the carbon footprint of the energy used.......

    Who will then be catapulted back in time by the beam to a hunter gatherer existance, where ironically, they will be pecked to death by endangered penguins due to a lack of boltcutters.

  44. James Monnett
    Alien

    a worse possibility

    Terrible, terrible possibility! Imagine Earth catapulted to a dimension where politicians are honest, people are paid for the work they actually do and motorists are curteous and understanding with each other ......

    Hmmmm. OK, so when can we flash this thing up again?!

    worse yet,

    What if we were transported into a alternate dimension filled with millions of Paris Hilton and Hillary Clinton Clones......................

    /shudders

    take your pick, dumb and vain or ugly and manipulative

    Alien, cause this one is right bloody out there

  45. Dave Newbold
    Go

    @Pete

    > Does anyone know if I can visit CERN and see the boffins at work for myself

    Yup.

    http://outreach.web.cern.ch/outreach/en/Visits/Intro-en.html

    Do drop in.

  46. Ian Moseley

    Cosmic Rays, anyone?

    Apparently the particles produced will be less powerful than cosmic rays that already reach Earth from the rest of the universe.

    Was it not CERN that invented the Web?

  47. Red Bren
    Dead Vulture

    Strangelet Soup

    I'm sure that's what comes out of the vending machine in my office.

  48. Rob

    @ Pete

    You missed the open day in April I'm afraid, unless you're a physicist I suspect it was the only time you would have been allowed inside.

    ps. I was there

    /boasts

  49. djw

    Life

    You should do a bit of reading on the subject.

  50. Michael
    Boffin

    @ AC: Stranger Than Fiction

    Sounds like the film version of the Time Machine. Where you can't change the past, because if you do, you remove your reason for building the time machine, hence creating a paradox.

    This leads me to my theory of reverse causality. I have a theory that events in the future can actually cause events in the past. For example, your wife dies, so you invent a time machine to go back and save her. But if you save her, then she wouldn't have died, and therefore no time machine would have been built.

    Theories regarding time travel generally suggest that there is one past timeline, and an infinite number of possible future timelines - one for every permutation of every choice that any entity makes. I would suggest that there are also infinite past timelines that we are unable to observe. By using a time machine to go into the past, one may be going into _this_ past, or possibly some _other_ past. But in all the possible pasts, the wife still dies, because the act of going back in time to save her actually causes her death to be unavoidable. Reverse causality.

    I have no idea if the math can even work, but it's an interesting thought experiment.

  51. Chris

    @AC re:Nothing useful...

    ...ever came out of CERN

    mmmm, really? How about the WWW?

    Then again, it's responsible for you posting that comment so maybe not...

  52. John D Mcelhaney

    LHC will not destroy Earth

    I know I am writiong this to the super brain scientist and I say that with respect to their fields of expertise, but I am a Christian and so I have the luxury of knowing from my faith in God's Word, the LHC will certainly not destroy the Earth, I for one am very interested in seeing what it reveals, I think my faith can certainly handle it. Dr. John David McElhaney PhD

  53. Craig Roberts
    Joke

    Frankie Boyle Got It Right...

    "Scientists have just built the world's biggest supercollider, and they're doing experiments to see what makes up protons. I hope that if the experiment's successful, the whole of our reality will dissolve, and a big sign will up come that says: Level Two."

    :)

  54. Craig Vaughton
    Paris Hilton

    What is it?

    So the super what ever is going to create a rift in space time?

    Does this mean we'll get a bright shaft of light appear with lots of little stars floating in it?

    "What is it?"

    "Its a rift in the space time continuum"

    "What is it?"

    "Its a magic door into a parallel universe"

    "Why didn't you say that in the first place?"

    (With apologies to Red Dwarf fans everywhere)

    Paris, because there's no icon for an android with a head shaped like a rubber on top of a pencil.

  55. Richard Mitchell
    Alien

    Mars Attacks

    Just a thought for Friday afternoon...

    Say the LGM did arrive one evening and threatened to blow our little blue planet out of existence, how long would it take to modify the LHC to fire the particle beam at them and blow them back to Mars?

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Numbers of the beast.

    Comments: 202-456-1111

    Switchboard: 202-456-1414

    FAX: 202-456-2461

    Generally you don't get the beast personally, but the secretaries of the beast.

  57. Pete
    Heart

    @ Dave & Rob

    Thanks for your replies! Obviously it would have been excellent to get down to the underground caverns where the bleeding edge drips with excited hadrons but the visit looks fun and informative anyway (it must be a pretty amazing tour as the four yellow-helmeted individuals on the CERN page look insanely happy). I'd been talking to my host about wanting to pop along to CERN for my birthday so now I can sort something out. There aren't many things that make me feel like a big kid these days but I reckon I'm going to have a ball. Cheers!

    P.S. I've just noticed that the form says that 3-4 months' notice is advisable. Wow. I suppose name badges take a while to print these days. That will no doubt scupper my plans as I'm only here for another couple of weeks but what the heck, like a particle at the speed of light I'm not going to let a lot get in my way, and I'll apply anyway and see how it goes.

  58. Michael

    @John D Mcelhaney

    Yes, the bible says the earth will end at a time and place of God's choosing. It did not, however, say that anyone would be alive to witness it.

    And who are we to say that the LHC isn't God's method of choice?

  59. Mark
    Happy

    @Dangermouse

    Yeah, but I'd figured you'd not let me get in bed with your girlfriend.

    Just a wild stab in the dark...

  60. Dave

    Looking forward to it

    If the nutters are correct, I won't have to worry about meeting the deadline at work, seeing as it's after that date. Bring it on!

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Here's a thought ...

    Can you use it to light a really big fart?

    @ Dangermouse: Howcome your skylarking over here? Shouldn't you be hanging out at FF.org?

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Perfect Collision

    I assume to get a perfect collision they will be letting the women drive it? Does the control panel have a rear view mirror over it?

    <waits for Sarah's rant @ me!>

  63. Skullfoot
    Coat

    You never thought...

    But what if the Vogons detect our signal because of this...

    Hat coat ... babble fish please.. the orange one.. hey.. its Nemo!

  64. Mark

    Sorry, but...

    In fact, the mighty particle accelerator, officially named the Large Hadron Collider, is not designed as a doomsday weapon. [Citation Needed]

  65. JimC Silver badge

    > Ian Bonham

    No mate, women only have irritating collisions at slow speed where noone gets hurt. This bit of kit is definitely a bodies strewn down the moronway* full on bash, and that takes a man to do properly...

    *i was about to correct that typo, but thought better of it:-)

  66. Dalen
    Go

    Doctor Freeman, to the test chamber...

    Stat!

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    tera-electron-volt, Armageddon, Hawking, "essentially incomprehensible machines" and @archie lukas

    1. Would these be "war on tera" electron-volts?

    2. To quote the immortal Private Eye cover from the week after 9/11, showing that aide informing GWB of the unfolding events while he struggled to read a primary school children's story:

    "It's armageddon, sir"

    "Arm-a-geddon out of here!"

    3. If the existence of the Higgs' boson is proven by LHC, Hawking gets a prize? That seems a bit unfair, doesn't Higgs deserve it more? Or does he get a nobel when some experiment proves the existence of Hawking radiation?

    4. @Mark re: "essentially incomprehensible machines"

    >"I find that statement essentially incomprehensible."

    Perhaps you should try to comprehend it again, only this time engage your sense of humour first. Please don't make them have to get out the "JOKE" tags again!

    5. @archie lukas, re: bag on your head-

    BARMAN: Are you serious sir? I mean, do you really think the world’s going to end this afternoon?

    FORD PREFECT: Yes. In just over one minute-and-thirty-five seconds.

    BARMAN: Well isn’t there anything we can do?

    FORD PREFECT: No, nothing.

    BARMAN: Well I always thought we were meant to lie down and put a paper bag over our head or something.

    FORD PREFECT: If you’d like, yes.

    BARMAN: Well will that help?

    FORD PREFECT: No.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I can't believe I haven't seen this yet

    But i can't resist: peckish man-eating dinosaurs

    So, those dinos will be calling Paris for a few hints on how best to polish off a few?

  69. Steve

    @Pete

    Definitely worth trying to get there. It's a publicly-funded facility and so the public has a right to visit. I have some great photos showing big info screens labelled "MAGNET TEMPERATURE(K) 1.9". Brrrrr.

    If you can get a suitable techy group together and have CERN stand you lunch, so much the better, the restaurant isn't half bad. I've had much worse lunches from paying customers...

  70. Cavehomme
    Pirate

    Ou est mon velo?!

    Pardonez-moi, I live just down the road from there. Wondered what ze f*** was happening when all ze cutlery went flying down ze road at supersonic speed when they were testing ze super cooled super magnets last week!

    Funnily enough, my car went missing too - thought it was nicked by some retard immigrant kid - but now I reckon its perched on top of the magnet with my cutlery! I will go on my bike tomorrow and check it out.......f*** me, someone has nicked my bike as well, or....????!!!!

    Looking forward to experiencing the "mini" black-holes next month. Should be great fun! Wey hey!!!! Beam me up Scottie - off this mad planet !

  71. John F***ing Stepp

    So, who else has a boner. . .

    For the large hardon collider.

    (and now we see John F Stepp running for cover being pelted by anyone out there who has any brains left.)

    (Hah, think the two of you can hit me? Ouch!)

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Eat this, you outer-space octopus!

    A reminder to all Black Mesa personnel: Regular radiation and biohazard screenings are a requirement of continued employment in the Black Mesa Research Facility. Missing a scheduled urinalisys or radiation check-up is grounds for immediate termination. If you feel you have been exposed to radioactive or other hazardous materials in the course of your duties, contact your radiation safety officer immediately. Work safe, work smart. Your future depends on it.

  73. James Butler
    Alert

    "The goggles do nothing!"

    Tim Berners-Lee was working at CERN when he published the first HTML DTD.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Large hard on collider

    It's only gay if the balls touch.

  75. Nick
    Stop

    @Chrus Re: Re: Nothing Useful

    I have a feeling you might need to recalibrate your irony detector

  76. Svantevid
    Boffin

    Maybe Robert R.Sawyer got it right

    One of possible LHC scenarios: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flashforward_(novel)

    Boffin, for obvious reasons.

  77. MolecularMonkey
    Coat

    What I want to know is....

    What will happen if we collide two sheep in this thing, especially near the upper limiting speed for a sheep in vacuo, as determined by reg scientists?

    Will they fragment into more fundamental sub-sheep creatures, or what?

  78. Martin Lyne
    Boffin

    I for one..

    ..welcome our new man-munching, alternate-universe-dwelling reptillioid overlords.

    Alternatively, I welcome our bespectacled, lab-coated, flop-sweat-generating, poindexter overlords.

    (No, I actually read New Scientist and love scientists, so I am well aware they make scientists in the sexy female model nowadays, too.)

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Welcome

    I for one welcome our high energy particle overlords...

  80. Robert I. Marsh II
    Alert

    CERN LHC/ALICE/ATLAS - Public Opinion Debate & Poll Forum

    Everyone is invited to attend a CERN LHC/ALICE/ATLAS Debate & Poll Forum Invitational, at the web-link below. I am THE FIFTH KNIGHT, and I will be your host.

    http://thefifthknight.blogspot.com/

    Remember: Follow the 'White Rabbit'!

  81. Spider
    Go

    Have I missed an NRA warning?

    giant steerable beam of doom, massive computer managing to convince boffins it's not sentient (yeah, right), and they're going to hit the big red button and let it loose.

    someone make sure the bunker keys are handy

  82. b166er

    Clear something up for me

    When that guy says only 'force majeure' will stop the first firing, I'm reassured. That is until I think, what happens if that 'force majeure' occurs during firing?

    Will sub-particular sheep escape into the atmosphere? Choplets if you like!

  83. James Tankersley Jr
    Stop

    High energy collissions are still several weeks away

    Physicists who may not have studied LHC Safety arguments in any detail proclaim that more powerful cosmic rays hit Earth regularly and Earth is still here. Why is this argument nonsense?

    A micro black hole created by a cosmic ray collision with Earth would travel through Earth at nearly the speed of light, leaving the Earth unharmed. CERN’s LHC Safety Assessment Group acknowledged this in a March 2008 email.

    Abstract from Dr. Rosslers plea to the world, copy available on LHCFacts.org.

    A nightmarish situation, that can still be hoped to be averted in time through communication within the scientific community, is drawn attention to. Only a few weeks remain to find out whether the danger is real or nothing but a mirage. After this time window is closed, it will take years until we know whether or not we are doomed. The story line has all the features of a best-selling novel. The reader is asked to contribute constructively.

    Quote from Dr. Otto E. Rossler, Professor Theoretical Biochemist, visiting Professor of Theoretical Physics, inventor of the Rossler Attractor, founder of Endophysics, winner of the 2003 Chaos Award of the University of Liege and the 2003 Rene Descartes Award.

  84. Nexox Enigma

    Wheeee

    Neil Stephenson's new novel mentions something about how scientists got all their big toys taken away when some unknown, but probably scientist-caused events sort of destroyed most of life on the planet. I'd really hate to see that come true before the franchise capitalism America from Snowcrash!

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do we get...

    ...a four-minute warning? As much as I have faith in boffinry in general, I think in this case I'm going to duck and cover as a precaution.

  86. Mike Flugennock
    Go

    Walter Wagner...? Oh, yeah; I remember him...

    ...I first read about him in El Reg, in fact. Wasn't he supposed to be "certifiable" or something?

    Yeah, he thinks a particle accelerator is going to rip the fabric of space-time, or some shit, and throw us back into some kind of parallel-universe Stone Age, directed by Spielberg, where we're all eaten by dinosaurs or something. Dumbass.

    Is there any way we can accelerate Walter Wagner to near-lightspeed and see what kind of particles are busted loose when he slams into something? No?

    D'ahh, too bad. I'd have paid actual money to see that.

  87. im not givin my name to a machine
    Flame

    black mesa

    any of u played half life 1 and 2 this is prob wats goin 2 happen so im goin to hide behind gordon freeman yes i like half life basically this is also like sumthin from stargate that i also watch a lot its one where earth nearly gets f*****ed up by a blck hole well were all dead so im goin 2 finally meet that girl i like but scared to ask her out kiss her then prepare for getting riped apart by a black hole

  88. Max
    Thumb Up

    Be part of the team!

    http://lcg.web.cern.ch/LCG/jobs.html

    Looks like they are in need of some skills you might find on this board. I'm unfortunately unavailable but would absolutely love to join the team that will make the analysis possible.

  89. Mark

    @James Tankersley Jr

    And how do you or he know that the collision will be EXACTLY inelastic 100% and absolutely NO energy left over?

    Now, how much of the energy of collision would be needed to get this particle to the 11kps that is the escape velocity of this pretty damn small lump of rock? A billionth? A billionth of a billionth?

  90. Graham Orr

    Banging rocks

    Strange. 3,000,000 years ago (I wiki'd it so it MUST be true) scientists banged rocks together and we got cutting edge technology. 3 million years later and the rocks are still being banged together.

  91. Andraž Levstik

    @Thrice Upon a Time

    Each time a story about LHC came up this is the book I remembered. Good read... but as I recall there was not a time machine but ability to send messages back into the past and it was severely limited in that regard...

  92. Steven Raith
    Dead Vulture

    RE: MolecularMonkey - sheep

    I suspect if you accelerated two sheep together at astonishing speed, rather then sheeplets, you'd get a gooey red mess.

    Experience with a mates Vauxhall Cavalier SRi impacting a sheep at 50ish mph suggests that they'll need a pressure hose to stop the think honking up the place the next time they try to turn it on, too.

    Dead vulture, because after a few weeks the smell off the Cavaliers heater matrix and the dead vulture would be pretty similar. *retch*

    Steven R

    PS: Bring on the apocolypse.

  93. William Towle
    Thumb Up

    Re: Frankie Boyle Got It Right...

    Craig Roberts> "Scientists have just built the world's biggest supercollider, and they're doing experiments to see what makes up protons. I hope that if the experiment's successful, the whole of our reality will dissolve, and a big sign will up come that says: Level Two."

    There is another theory which states this has already happened.

    (I don't need to quote it all, do I?)

  94. Mark

    Re: Banging rocks

    But now they are VERY SMALL ROCKS!!!

  95. David Pollard

    @ MolecularMonkey @ Steven Raith

    "What will happen if we collide two sheep in this thing, especially near the upper limiting speed for a sheep in vacuo, as determined by reg scientists?" -- "you'd get a gooey red mess."

    Though this is a typical consequence when using the Vauxhall and similar apparatus, the aim is that CERN's sheep will transmute into the HIggs Bison as a result of their special alchemy. The bison is a bit like a unicorn: everyone believes in them but no one has one as a pet.

    Unlike unicorns, Higgs Bisons are very very big and come from the dark side of the universe; which is why some people are worried about releasing them. We must hope that Buffy the Vampire Slayer has gone on one of those 'skills for life' retraining courses that the government promotes.

  96. Rik Silver badge
    Boffin

    @Mike Flugennock

    The experiment you propose, while having merit, will cause the release of massive quantities of Bogons and Stupons. Failure to contain these will have pretty disastrous effects.

  97. Phil Hare
    Unhappy

    So they're going to fire it up...

    ...on my birthday. People, the way my luck is going we should all be very, very afraid...

  98. Graham Orr

    @mike 10:01 and @Phil Hare 11:15 @David Pollard 10:18

    Mike: Yep but they are going very, very fast and what I really want to know is whether they are going for an 'in-off' the neutron or a cannon.....I mean any poor player can just go for the hole......

    Phil: It's the day AFTER my birthday so the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything was out by a decade.....the wrong way out by the way

    David: It is a well established fact that the fastest thing in the universe is a 17 year old pizza delivery person driving a white Vauxhall Astra Diesel Estate......

    Now here's a thing. The Ancients (some would have it we are the ancients and they are the Beginnerers) considered there to be celestial music of the spheres. You know what happens if you run your wetted finger round and round the top of a glass.....is this to be result of the experiment? The biggest musical instrument in the World? The first indication might be every dog in the world simultaneously howling.......no, wait, that's a portent of doom is it not?

  99. Graham Orr

    Oh and I just thought of a alternative experiment.....

    ....you take two 17 year old pizza delivery persons in two similar (white) Vauxhall Astra Diesel Estates, two tanks full of fuel and start them off going in opposite directions around the M25. After a few laps to ramp up the accelleration and at an appropriate moment, to be decided by the boffins of CERN cos they are good at that sort of thing, the crash barriers in the middle are taken away and we see if they will somehow graviate towards each other at horrendeous speed......

    Of course we would have to shut the M25 for the duration of the experiment and the cost of that would probably exceed the cost of the CERN infrastructure for their experiment......so we're quids in then, the Boffins at CERN are cheap as chips really.....

    According to the LHC website (http://lhc-machine-outreach.web.cern.ch/lhc-machine-outreach/) the aim of the experiment is to:

    '......smash protons moving at 99.999999% of the speed of light into each other and so recreate conditions a fraction of a second after the big bang. The LHC experiments try and work out what happened.'

    Hmmm. Me, that's what happened. And you of course. And the Earth and all those other rocks and stuff. And did it occur to them that 0.000001% of the speed of light might be 0.000001% too late to draw any conclusion other than the one I just put forward? Cosmic innit?

    But return the alternative experiment which suddenly appears that much more attractive. Speed of light = 1,079,252,848.80 kph so 0.000001% of that is 10.79 kph. Now given the speeds that a 17 year old in a white Vauxhall Astra Diesel Estate can attain I think we can safely offer this alternative as a means of 'bridging the gap' that the CERN experiment will leave.........

  100. BioTube
    Flame

    I predict a big boom

    And then we'll just have another Superconducting Super Collider(more casually known as a big fraggin hole).

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no doubt somone will be making a fortune on Ebay

    ....selling "The end of the world is nigh" sandwich boards.

  102. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    that's the the way the world goes

    not with a bang, but a >kzert<

  103. Brandon
    Paris Hilton

    you're all gonna be jealous...

    The world has mocked the US for being a bunch of gun-totin-morons for years... but when head-crabs start teleporting out of thin air, you're all gonna wish 2 things. One, that the stupid collider was built in the US (the mother of all the world's man-made disasters), and Two, that you all hadn't been quite as zealous about gun control.

    Mines the one with "Kimber Custom II" written on it...

  104. Kevin Kitts
    Flame

    Interesting...

    58 years and one month to the day of the Nagasaki nuclear explosion. Oh well, all in the name of science...

    Fire, because if something goes wrong, it'll go really, REALLY, wrong.

    10/9/8 and all that.

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    gnib gnab

    Welcome ladies and gentlemen of the press to this historic switching on of the large hadron collider. You've enjoyed the tour and filled on sarnies and now the time has come to flick the big read switch ... hctiws daer gib eht kcilf ot emoc sah emit eht won dna seinras no dellif dna ruot eht deyojne v'uoY ...

  106. Michael Noonan
    Paris Hilton

    Rewriting Reality

    For the Large Hadron Collider to work it is required to assume that time has no dimension. Reality is a series of sequential unrelated reference frames. Otherwise CERN is a time machine more than capable of rewriting reality.

    Now to look at the proton just in points of simultaneity lets assume all the beam paths away from the directing, kicking and focus magnets are not subject to anything other than relative difference in velocity. It is your Einstein classic train in the tunnel relativity conundrum in micro scale.

    Take the bulk of the beam path not subject to stress and divide it into paper thin sections. From the point of view of the along side the accelerator observer the option is to capture the proton between the paper thin section between the front of the sheet and the back of the sheet. Once the proton is in the page you can close the book and reopen before the proton leaves the page. Just as in the larger example of the train in the tunnel the gates of the tunnel so for our proton the closed book happens at different points of simultaneity.

    So it can't be proven that the proton is different over the three quarter hour mark before impact or in the ten hour user time before dumping the entire beam into a carbon sink. But one can use the already accepted rules for matter for relativistic behavior at each point along the experiment and state that simultaneity does not exist for the protons in use. It is a leap of logic to therefore extend the concept to the entire windup and wind-down or ten hours and dump-stage.

    So it is not the same proton at any point in reference frames of time equals zero or the whole machine is a time machine if time has any relevance to reality and symmetry breaking indicates that something is stretched beyond breaking point and now all that remains is to see is if there is a safety point.

    Simply according to the math time has no significance and is not included otherwise the LHC is a very large and powerful time machine. Time is not included in the calculations because it means the protons injected into the machine are not the same ones getting smashed up during the hours in the machine. I don't know about the end of the universe but this machine has the capacity to rewrite to a trillionth of a second after the big bang some small part of our reality.

    Just off topic momentarily it was pretty crude how the Olympics were used as a look away feel good to see the dogs of the old cold war given a run. I am so glad science didn't use global celebration as a foil for dumping the bad news. Just don't tell the kids there are no more shopping days until Christmas ... ever.

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