Sep 20

The giant Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most expensive scientific experiment, will be shut down for at least two months, scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, in Geneva said today.

The shutdown casts into doubt the hopes of CERN physicists to achieve high-energy collisions of protons in the machine before the end of the year. “It’s too early to say whether we’ll still be having collisions this year,” James Gillies, head of communications for CERN, said in an e-mail message. The laboratory shuts down to save money on electricity during the winter.

A gala inauguration party scheduled for Oct. 21 will still take place, Dr. Gillies said.

The collider is designed to accelerate the subatomic particles known as protons to energies of 7 trillion electron volts, far surpassing any other accelerator on Earth, and bang them together in search of new particles and forces.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Sep 13

September 13, 2008

Hackers have broken into one of the computer networks of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

A group calling itself the Greek Security Team left a rogue webpage describing the technicians responsible for computer security at the giant atom smasher as “schoolkids” – but reassuring scientists that they did not want to disrupt the experiment.

The hackers gained access to a website open to other scientists on Wednesday as the LHC passed its first test, sending its protons off on their dizzying journey through time and space, close to the speed of light.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sep 10

GENEVA (Reuters) – International scientists celebrated the successful start of a huge particle-smashing machine on Wednesday which aims to simulate the conditions of the “Big Bang” that created the universe.

Experiments using the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the biggest and most complex machine ever made, could revamp modern physics and unlock secrets about the universe and its origins.

The project has had to work hard to deny suggestions by some critics that the experiment could create tiny black holes of intense gravity that could suck in the whole planet.

Such fears spurred huge public interest in advanced physics ahead of the start up of the 10 billion Swiss franc ($9 billion) machine, which proceeded smoothly on Wednesday morning.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sep 09

ScienceDaily (Aug. 25, 2008) – Stained glass windows that are painted with gold purify the air when they are lit up by sunlight, a team of Queensland University of Technology experts have discovered.

Associate Professor Zhu Huai Yong, from QUT’s School of Physical and Chemical Sciences said that glaziers in medieval forges were the first nanotechnologists who produced colours with gold nanoparticles of different sizes.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sep 08

Rappin’ about CERN’s Large Hadron Collider!

Source: YouTube

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Sep 05

Scientists working on the world’s biggest machine are being besieged by phone calls and emails from people who fear the world will end next Wednesday, when the gigantic atom smasher starts up.

The Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, where particles will begin to circulate around its 17 mile circumference tunnel next week, will recreate energies not seen since the universe was very young, when particles smash together at near the speed of light.

Hadron Collider: The final pieces slot into place

Such is the angst that the American Nobel prize winning physicist Frank Wilczek of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has even had death threats, said Prof Brian Cox of Manchester University, adding: “Anyone who thinks the LHC will destroy the world is a t—.”

The head of public relations, James Gillies, says he gets tearful phone calls, pleading for the £4.5 billion machine to stop.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Sep 01

The world’s biggest and most expensive scientific experiment has been hit by a last minute legal challenge, amid claims that the research could bring about the end of the world.

Opponents fear the machine may create a mini-black hole that could tear the earth apart Photo: PA

Critics of the Large Hadron Collider – a £4.4 billion machine due to be switched on in ten days time – have lodged a lawsuit at the European Court for Human Rights against the 20 countries, including the UK, that fund the project.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Aug 17

British scientist Peter Higgs dreamt up a theory explaining the tiny particles that make up everything, including you, decades ago. At last he’s set to be proved right.

Peter Higgs remembers the day everything suddenly began to make sense. “It was July 16, 1964, when some new research papers arrived. I looked at one, realised what it meant and then jumped up and shouted out loud: ‘Oh shit’.”

For years his colleagues had been working on theories about the building blocks of the universe – and Higgs had disagreed with them all. The trouble was, he’d had no better suggestions.

Now he had an idea and spent the weekend mulling it over. “When I came back to work on Monday, I sat down and wrote a new paper as fast as I could,” he recalled in an interview last week.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

May 28

European particle physics laboratory CERN is set to launch its gigantic experiment which hopes to throw light on the origins of the universe within a month, the laboratory’s head said Tuesday.

If things go according to plan, the greatest experiment in the history of particle physics could unveil a sub-atomic component, the Higgs Boson, known as “the God Particle.”

The “Higgs,” named after the eminent British physicist, Peter Higgs, who first proposed it in 1964, would fill a gaping hole in the benchmark theory for understanding the physical cosmos.

Other work on the so-called Large Hadron Collider (LHC) could explain dark matter and dark energy — strange phenomena that, stunned astrophysicists discovered a few years ago, account for 96 percent of the universe.

The LHC device “will be in working order by the end of June,” CERN director general Robert Aymar told journalists.

A gamble costing six billion Swiss francs (almost six billion dollars, 3.9 billion euros) that has harnessed the labours of more than 2,000 physicists from nearly three dozen countries, the LHC is the biggest, most powerful high-energy particle accelerator ever built.

Beams of hydrogen protons will whizz around at near-light speed in opposite directions until, bent by powerful superconducting magnets, they will smash together in four bus-sized detector chambers, where they will be annihilated at temperatures hotter than the sun.

But Aymar played down hopes of any immediate discoveries once the LHC is set in motion.

“We will accumulate data for two years and it will take a lot of time to interpret,” he said.

He also scoffed at fears that the massive experiment could create a black hole with potentially devastating consequences for life on Earth.

“The system is totally safe. There is nothing to fear,” he said.

May 27 02:29 PM US/Eastern

Source: AFP

Tags: , , , ,

Jan 22
Math professors Simon Kochen (above) and John Conway proved the Free Will Theorem, which suggests an unexpected connection between the nature of human decisions and the behavior of microscopic particles.

Scientists and philosophers have long questioned whether the future of the world is entirely a function of its past. They have wondered whether everything that happens – every wink, idea, smile – is the inevitable end of a sequence of events set in motion by the Big Bang. They have asked whether the motion of every electron in every experiment follows a predetermined path – or whether that motion is left to cosmic chance.

Two Princeton mathematicians have cast new light on the question of whether the behavior of particles in the universe is predetermined. In research that is not yet finalized, they have also posited an unexpected link between the answer to this question and a centuries-old debate over human free will.

The professors, John Conway and Simon Kochen, have proven what they call the Free Will Theorem. It says that given three assumptions, if particles’ behavior is truly predetermined, then people cannot have free will. In other words, if the behavior of a particle is fully determined by its past, so too are all the so-called decisions people believe they are making. Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,