back to article No, you haven't gone deaf – the Large Hadron Collider has been wound down for more upgrades

Upgrade time already? It would seem so: three years since its last refit, CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is taking a two-year break so boffins can embark on another. In 2015, the LHC hit 13 tera-electron volts (TeV), and part of this upgrade cycle will take it to its original design energy of 14 TeV. The scientists will …

  1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
    Boffin

    Has the LHC not destroyed the universe yet?

    How disappointing.

    1. stuartnz

      Aksherly, it did, but the torrent of inverse femtobams instantly replaced it with something even more bizarre and inexplicable. Or so Prak told me.

      1. RobThBay

        Is that when presidiot Trump showed up?

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Aksherly, it did, but the torrent of inverse femtobams instantly replaced it with something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

        Well, that certainly explains a lot of things like politics, etc. recently.

    2. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Has the LHC not destroyed the universe yet?

      It did, but it was replaced with something equally inexplicable

      1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Don't tell me, a big stone ring with the apparently liquid surface of a singularity at its centre and a sign saying "Teal'c was 'ere"?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >It did, but it was replaced with something equally inexplicable

        Dammit, in the other universe I was a billionaire now I'm Angela Merkel's knickers.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There is a possibly that events may be observed-dependent, so it might have happened for some.

    4. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    5. Orv Silver badge

      That's a government project for you. Always behind schedule, always over-promising and under-delivering.

  2. NanoMeter

    They're still working on that inter dimensional feature

    According to conspiracy theorists. For the moment we will have to settle for the Mandela Effects.

  3. xyz

    mmmm

    I blame it for both Trump and Brexit. After the next upgrade, I presume red faced, winged devil monkey flocks will be the accepted reality.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: mmmm

      LHC has to be upgraded to allow for EU to introduce border checks of all sub-atomic particles crossing the France/Switzerland border as they have recently realized that you can't have a border without border checks

      1. ciaran

        Re: mmmm

        Switzerland is part of the Schengen Area, so no passport checks at the border. However its not part of the single market, so they can search your car. Once they find something interesting, then they ask for the passport.

        CERN has a special status, they can receive goods both from Switzerland and from the EU without border checks.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: mmmm

          CERN has a special status, they can receive goods both from Switzerland and from the EU without border checks.

          So let's build one under South Armagh, that should solve the Brexit hard border issue.

          1. Ken 16 Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: mmmm

            I wonder if anyone in the area can think of innovative uses for a quantity of antimatter?

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: mmmm

        How about the cheaper but better educated border albanians?

    2. Arthur the cat Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: mmmm

      After the next upgrade, I presume red faced, winged devil monkey flocks will be the accepted reality.

      Ah, you mean it's just me at the moment?

  4. 0laf Silver badge
    Boffin

    Moarrrr Powwah!

    I for one will welcome our interdimensional overlords when they arrive shortly after this upgrade.

    Pints for boffins meanwhile.

    1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

      Re: Moarrrr Powwah!

      Go home, Jeremy Clarkson. You can't ride the LHC's tubes like the bomb on "Dr. Strangelove".

      1. Dr. G. Freeman

        Re: Moarrrr Powwah!

        You can ride the tube, just have to watch tripping over the wires while clambering on.

  5. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

    Proton on proton action

    300PB of the stuff?! Must remember to relabel gentleman's special interest material as femtobams...

  6. Scott Broukell

    Well, here we are, millions of years after our earliest ancestors started banging rocks together and we continue along the very same theme. All right, the rocks are way way smaller, but the principle remains the same. Scale it up and everything in the entire universe works on the same basis at a massive scale; collisions, gravity, energy released, matter transformed etc. etc. I'm not knocking the brilliant science that goes on at places like CERN, just thinking that maybe the term Big Bang really does have a ring of nominative determinism about it all.

    1. Christoph Silver badge

      “We'll be saying a big hello to all intelligent lifeforms everywhere and to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.”

      -- Douglas Adams

    2. Kernel

      "Scale it up and everything in the entire universe works on the same basis at a massive scale;"

      I'm not an expert, but my understanding is that the problem is not the physics of scaling up from sub-atomic particles - the problem is that what happens when you scale down from there is not consistent with what happens when you scale up.

  7. DBH

    When then HL-LHC gets turned on in 2026

    I expect the universe to immediately vanish, then an upbeat midi track will start playing and be joined by a large illuminated banner that simply reads "Level 2"

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: When then HL-LHC gets turned on in 2026

      You nicked that one off Frankie Boyle!

  8. WibbleMe

    Anyone remember space snooker in Red Dwarf.. pot the while hole

  9. WibbleMe

    You might as well fire stuff through the planet and collect it the other side

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      That's a different experiment. Nearly.

    2. DropBear Silver badge

      It has already been done (aka "how you take a picture of the Sun at night")

  10. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Explain pleeeese

    Simple phrase: "The new linear accelerator will accelerate H− ions, which are later stripped to protons..."

    If you strip an electron from mono hydrogen you get H- ... all that's left is a proton isn't it?

    Or are they talking about doubly ionised di-hydrogen ie an H2 molecule with both electrons removed (H2)2- which are then separated into 2H-?

    1. Chemist

      Re: Explain pleeeese

      H- is hydride, a proton + 2e-. One simple example being NaH, sodium hydride

      Taking an electron from atomic (mono) hydrogen gives a proton.

      So H- lose electron -> H lose electron -> proton

      1. steelpillow Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Explain pleeeese

        The regular hydrogen nucleus is just one positively-charged proton.

        The innermost electron orbital around it, known as the S, has room for two negatively-charged electrons.

        H+ has no electrons and is just a proton.

        H has one electron and a neutral electric charge.

        H− has two electrons, and is stable because they fill the S orbital so nicely.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Explain pleeeese

          "H− has two electrons, and is stable because they fill the S orbital so nicely."

          '...and every alpha particle, hides a neon nucleus....'

          Thanks Billy.

        2. Chemist

          Re: Explain pleeeese

          "H− has two electrons, and is stable because they fill the S orbital so nicely."

          Depends on what you mean by stable - H- is wildly reactive. Sodium hydride, for example is stored mixed with mineral oil to protect it from atmospheric moisture etc.

    2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: Explain pleeeese

      I wonder if you can make a non-linear accelerorator... Maybe time for sleep..

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Explain pleeeese

        >if you can make a non-linear accelerorator.

        Yes the LHC is a ring, the linear ones just feed it.

        Considering a linear accelerator to replace LHC but it will have to be >100km long which is a bit tricky

  11. petef

    Are they waiting for the Windows 10 1809 update?

    1. Tomato42 Silver badge

      those are boffins, they didn't make the mistake to use Windows in the first place

      1. navidier

        @Tomato42 -- On the other hand, we are very slow to adopt new software because of the difficulties in verifying it against the older. Current CERN recommended OS is CentOS 7, but our software is only certified for SLC (Scientific Linux CERN) 6, so sites which have adopted C7 have to run analysis/Monte Carlo software in SLC6 containers. ISTR there was a glitch in this when it was first tried.

        1. Tomato42 Silver badge

          @navidier so you haven't been forced to upgrade the OS when the software running on that OS is not yet verified/fixed to support the new version?

          that sounds exactly like the thing the MS users have been denied

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From

    https://www.quantumdiaries.org/2011/04/01/a-modest-proposal-for-new-fundamental-constants/

    Ken Bloom:

    All that being said, an inverse picobarn is very hard for most people to visualize. We can imagine what an area — the side of a barn — looks like, but we’re not used to picturing inverse areas. Fortunately, I have a solution to this problem. There is in fact a unit in common usage that is also an inverse area. This is the standard unit of fuel efficiency, the mile per gallon. With a length in the numerator and a volume in the denominator, the mile per gallon does have the dimensions of the reciporical of area. This means that we can express the integrated luminosity of the LHC in miles per gallon, a concept that the typical person on the street, or even an elected official, can understand. So how much mileage has the LHC delivered this year?

    1 pb^-1 = 10^12 b^-1 * (1 b/10^-28 m^2) * (10^-3 m^3/1 liter) * (1 km/10^3 m) * 3.79 liters/gallon * 0.621 miles/km = 2.35 x 10^34 miles/gallon.

    The LHC has delivered 26 pb^-1 in 2011, or 6.1 x 10^35 MPG. This is a huge number! The LHC is thus by far the most fuel efficient machine on Earth, and thus it should be of great interest to people everywhere who are interested in reducing our use of fossil fuels, protecting the environment and so forth. Such a fabulous device is surely worth supporting with taxpayer dollars.

  13. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    bootnote

    The inverse femtobarn is one of Vulture South's favourite units of measurement.
    Surely not more so than "size of Wales" ?

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