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Off topic: The LHC starts working in a few hours
Thread poster: Claudia Alvis

Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 15:39
Partial member
Spanish
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Sep 10, 2008

Is anybody else following this story?

The CERN's Large Hadron Collider is going to start working in a few hours. For what I've read --and understood, the LHC's experiments might bring an answer to some of the most fundamental questions of science: what happened after the Big Bang, what the hell gravity really is or the nature of extra dimensions. In order to start working on some of these answers, LHC's physicists need to find the "very elusive" Higgs particle. I read that Stephen Hawking bet £50 that they won't be found. Even though non-physicists have express their fears about these experiments, real scientists say that there is no real danger.

Anyway, I find this whole thing very exciting. It starts at 9am CEST (GMT+2) and there's a webcast here: http://webcast.cern.ch/index.html

Here's a very nice explanation of what is the LHC:

What really goes on at the Large Hadron Collider


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:39
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BANG ! Sep 10, 2008

I read that Dr Hawking bet £100. Anyway, it could put an end to our worries about recalcitrant clients, wordcount disputes, Kudoz questions and everything else.
Jenny


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Ma.Elena Carrión de Medina  Identity Verified
Ecuador
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Wow.... Amazing! Sep 10, 2008

It´s incredible to see how far science has gone!

Thank you for sharing it.
Elena


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
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4 years until the end of the world... Sep 10, 2008

In Italy they're really plugging the "end of the world" theme - apparently, if the non-physicists are right, it'll take four years for the entire world to be sucked into the resulting black hole (Italy, being pretty close, would go in about 6 months or so, we reckon).

I can't see it happening, but it would be rather ironic if after the last 60-odd years of worrying we were going to destroy ourselves in a nuclear war, we actually managed to do it with pure research.

12 minutes to go...

[Edited at 2008-09-10 06:49]


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 15:39
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TOPIC STARTER
Still, I prefer ... Sep 10, 2008

to trust real scientists than pseudo-scientsts.

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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
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Fat chance... Sep 10, 2008

In my morning's paper, the likelihood of the world ending because of the LHC was compared with the likelihood that during a soccer match someone would accidentally shoot a hole in the ozone layer...
So I don't worry too much.

The paper also said that this experiment would either confirm or deny the existence of the Higgs-boson, but either way there would be no room left for doubt or speculation. Either the Standard Model will prove to be right, or it will prove to be wrong - so in a couple of months time this theory will cease to be theory, and turn into either fact or fiction. It IS exciting.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
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I have my things in order... Sep 10, 2008

...just in case.

I can enthusiastically recommend a movie, "The quiet earth". A low-budget Sci-Fi movie depicting a cosmic accident as a result of a worldwide physics experiment. Could happen to us!


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
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The LHC rap Sep 10, 2008

Also worth seeing and listening to. It's in youtube. Music is fair enough too.

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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:39
German to English
Why not move to Germany.... Sep 10, 2008

Marie-Hélène Hayles wrote:
In Italy they're really plugging the "end of the world" theme - apparently, if the non-physicists are right, it'll take four years for the entire world to be sucked into the resulting black hole (Italy, being pretty close, would go in about 6 months or so, we reckon).


... where everything happens ten years later than anywhere else


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:39
English to Dutch
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This legend has many forms... Sep 10, 2008

RobinB wrote:

Why not move to Germany...

... where everything happens ten years later than anywhere else


In the Netherland, we have the same legend. Only here, we tell each other that Heine once said: "When the earth goes to pieces, I'll move to Holland, where everything happens 50 years later". Of course, he never said anything like it, but it's sort of an Urban Legend here.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:39
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English to French
LHC for the sake of knowledge Sep 10, 2008

Arguments against the LHC are here: http://www.lhcdefense.org/lhc_facts.php

About risk, there is always a chance that something go wrong in anything. How probable the risk is is more relevant than its mere existence.

To me, this LHC saga fascinating. Being able to manage such technical complexity is amazing. I hope it will meet the high expectations and hopes of physicists.

I read that according to Dr. Hawking, not finding the Higgs particle would be just as interesting: theories would have to be reworked to accommodate whatever discovery comes up... The more challenging, the better, I assume.

Isn't it paradoxical that totally abstract theories to describe reality bring us closer to understanding it? The language of mathematics must be universal.

Philippe

PS: nice LHC rap by Tomas, by the way. I wish all lyrics were as educational as that!


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:39
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Tom Lehrer Sep 10, 2008

Philippe Etienne wrote:

Arguments against the LHC are here: http://www.lhcdefense.org/lhc_facts.php

About risk, there is always a chance that something go wrong in anything. How probable the risk is is more relevant than its mere existence.

To me, this LHC saga fascinating. Being able to manage such technical complexity is amazing. I hope it will meet the high expectations and hopes of physicists.

I read that according to Dr. Hawking, not finding the Higgs particle would be just as interesting: theories would have to be reworked to accommodate whatever discovery comes up... The more challenging, the better, I assume.

Isn't it paradoxical that totally abstract theories to describe reality bring us closer to understanding it? The language of mathematics must be universal.

Philippe

PS: nice LHC rap by Tomas, by the way. I wish all lyrics were as educational as that!


And have you heard Tom Lehrer singing the periodic table at top speed to the tune of I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General (Gilbert & Sullivan)? Not new, but still brilliant.
Jenny


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Daniel Bird  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
German to English
The black hole route... Sep 10, 2008

...would at least be one way for non-EU nationals to get into Switzerland

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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:39
Member (2005)
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Is my pyjamas OK for the black hole? Sep 10, 2008

I wonder: may I be sucked by the black hole in my pyjamas, while sipping a nice coffee and reading the paper?

Or should I iron my best tie for the moment and pronounce some pompous speech?

Is "Farewell, cruel LHC!" good enough or does the occasion require something more verbose?

Is it OK to make love while being sucked by another dimension?

Will my mobile phone work while I am being sucked, so that I can tell others whether being long and thin adds any excitement to death or is just plain boring?

So many questions!!!

[Edited at 2008-09-10 14:58]


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 15:39
Partial member
Spanish
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TOPIC STARTER
In another dimension Sep 10, 2008

Tomás Cano Binder wrote:

Will my mobile phone work while I am being sucked, so that I can tell others whether being long and thin adds any excitement to death or is just plain boring?


Cell phone manufacturers need to start working on cell phones that can work in all these other dimensions.


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