Why was the LHC worth $6billion?

I’m continuing my research on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) for my senior exit project. My next issue to address is why was the LHC worth the $6 billion dollars spent in production costs alone? To date, the LHC is the most expensive scientific experiment ever created. Hopefully now it is clear WHY in a scientific view the LHC was built, essentially to understand the origins of our universe. But on the other hand, is the cost worth the supposed worries of black holes and can we handle the cost when we’re going through a recession currently?

Rolf-Deiter Heuer, Director-General of the European Nuclear Research on the Swiss-French border, believes so saying, “Our Large Hadron Collider could be the first machine to give us insight into the dark universe. We are opening the door to New Physics, to a discovery period,” (Comcast News). Astronomers and physicists suggest that a mere 5 percent of the Universe is known, and that 70 percent is made up of dark energy and the remaining 25 percent is dark energy. Heuer’s goal is to understand 30 percent of our universe by discovering dark matter.

So… what is dark matter? Not only is it a 2007 movie directed by Shi-Zheng Chen, but it supposedly makes up a fourth of our universe. It is a form of matter that is undetectable due to it’s electromagnetic radiation, but it’s gravitational effects on visible matter has alerted it’s possible existence to scientists.

[Source: Wikipedia]

More to come asap.



Filed under Uncategorized

Weaponization of the Atom, Self-Sabotage, and the LHC

“They are not hard to make. They will be universal if people wish to make them universal,” said J. Robert Oppenheimer a member of the Manhattan Project (1940) and inventor of the Atom Bomb which was dropped on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The weaponization of the atom bomb has seemingly not affected the development and use of the LHC thus far. The only connection is the Dan Brown novel, “Angels and Demons” which loosely deals with CERN’s ability to create antimatter and that antimatter being made into a bomb… which is impossible, so not a worry. Nuclear activity has been almost at a standstill. “In the six decades since Oppenheimer’s warning, the Nuclear club has only grown to nine members,” stated the NY Times.

Although past atomic weaponry hasn’t affected the Large Hadron Collider, an immense amount of speculation has. In an article written in Times Magazine, scientists of the LHC say that all the malfunctions of the machine are perhaps due to the LHC “sabotaging itself from the future –twisting time to generate a series of setbacks that will prevent the machine from fulfilling it’s destiny.” In the first year of it’s use, scientists were arrested for suspected terrorism, mysterious breakdowns, and one tonne (metric ton) of Helium leaked through a faulty connection, causing over 20 million dollars in repairs for the collider. Two respected scientists, Holger Bech Nielson, of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto, think that the Higgs Boson is possibly “abhorrent to nature.” which means “that the creation of the boson at some point in the future would then ripple backwards through time to put a stop to whatever it was that had created it in the first place,” (Times Magazine). So, because the purpose of the Large Hadron Collider is to finally discover and study the Higgs Boson, the LHC is deliberately preventing it from working and doing just that.

[Sources: Times Online, Times Online.co]

It has been a few years since both those articles were written and the LHC has just started up again in February 2010. So far, there have been no reports of mishaps and the collider has been doing it’s job.

I found this video/rap which goes through many details of the LHC. (it’s pretty obnoxious.. but educational)

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Filed under CERN, god particle, LHC, Senior Exit Project, Uncategorized

The Higgs Boson and Other Things…

First day of March and here I am again, continuing my research for my Senior Exit Project on the Large Hadron Collider. At this point, I have too many directions I feel I can go in. I’m not sure which question or issue surrounding the machine that I should address. The scientific outcomes vs cost/consequences seems to be the most prevalent and encumbering idea I can come up with that would deal with the majority of my research thus far. Any other ideas?

I’m really hoping this does not completely confuse nor befuddle any readers. The Higgs Boson (also called the “god particle”) is a hypothetical particle that is said to exist according to the standard model used in particle physics. The Standard Model of particle physics is the study of three of of the four known forces and the particle that is affected by those forces. The four forces are electromagnetism, strong interaction, weak interaction, and the unknown force which is gravitational interaction. So, those are the forces which make up the Standard Model, now to the elementary particles which use those interactions. The big question surrounding these fundamental particles, is what causes them to have mass. The theory of the Higgs mechanism attempts to answer that question, but it adds another particle, named the Higgs Boson. The Higgs Boson is supposed to explain the origin of mass in the universe.

This cartoon explains both the Higgs mechanism and illustrates the Higgs Boson particle.

For a better view of the cartoon, click PPARC Science. The cartoon was created by CERN.

[Source: SLAC and Origins: CERN]


Filed under CERN, god particle, LHC, Senior Exit Project

To possibly destroy the Earth with a black hole, or not to possibly destroy the Earth…. that is the question?

Cheesy title, I know… (First off, I added another paragraph to my previous entry because I somewhat shorted my explanation of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Hopefully the Hafele-Keating experiment will answer any questions about time and the speed of light. Please let me know if you need even more clarification)

In recent news, a particle accelerator (Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider), smaller than the LHC, at the National Energy Laboratory of Brookhaven,  achieved a temperature of four trillion degrees centigrade (250,000 times higher than the center of the sun). This particle accelerator has a circumference of 2.4 miles, while the LHC has a 16.8 mile circumference. [Source: Scienceray.com]

Anyways, back to the LHC. The question at hand is seriously whether or not the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is worth the possible detriments and world-ending consequences for the possible HOPE to find out how the world began. It’s ironic almost, in the conquest to find how/what created the Earth, Scientists might put an end to it. As stated in past blog entries, there are many people, such as Wagner, who are convinced and supposedly have “evidence” that the LHC will create black holes and have other drastic consequences on the Earth which may not appear or affect the planet for many years.

Perhaps, I should examine and explain what exactly a black hole is, how one forms, and why we should be so afraid of one forming here on Earth. The general consensus seems to be that a black hole is the equivalent of a bottomless pit in space. Not true. A black hole is actually space that has been warped by a massive star (at least 6x the size of our sun) which has died. The star once it has run out of fuel, will implode and it’s own gravity will push it together until it’s a tiny speck of an object with such an immense mass, that it warps the space around it. Imagine the dead star being a 50 lb weight, and space being a mattress that the weight (star) is on. The weight will depress the mattress (warping it) and leave a ring of depression as well, which pull other things into the dark center, hence the name ‘black hole.’ Contrary to popular belief, one cannot go through a black hole and come out into a parallel universe because at the very bottom of a black hole, is the mass of the dead star. So, for a black hole to appear on Earth and be able to sustain itself, a particle accelerator would have to be the size of our solar system to create such an expansive star to die. Here is a video of the infamous Carl Sagan on the topic of black holes… watch from 1:45-4:00. (This video was part of a segment made in 1980, so there are a few discrepancies between what Sagan says, and what scientists believe now)

According to predictions, CERN scientists of the LHC state that there are chances that a “baby black hole,” smaller than an atom is possible to be created during experiments, yet it would “radiate itself away in less than 0.00000000000000000000000001 seconds” because black holes are extremely radioactive. The laws of physics state that a lab created black hole just would not be stable, although calculations have stated that a “baby black hole” could be created every second.

So why is there still hubbub and lawsuits about the LHC? In short, the predictions and calculations could always be incorrect since the LHC is still experimental, meaning physicists are still not sure what the machine is capable of.

[Source: Universe Today and Exitmundi]

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Filed under black hole, Carl Sagan, CERN, Hafele-Keating, LHC, Senior Exit Project, Theory of Relativity

Let’s clear a few things up…

In my last blog entry, I stated that when the LHC reaches the speed of light, time will stop. What I meant is that the time around the LHC will stop, not the entire time of the planet Earth. Dr. Eric Christian says “The standard equation for “time dilation” is that the time passing on Earth will equal the time on the object * 1/sqrt(1-((v*v)/(c*c))), where v is the velocity of the object and c is the speed of light. At v=c this goes to infinity, or in other words, time would stop for an object moving at the speed of light. This is not a problem because objects can’t go at the speed of light — it would take an infinite amount of energy (and their mass would also become infinite).” This can also relate to the twin paradox, an example of relativity at work.

In short, the atoms inside the particle accelerator will be going so fast and will be so close to the speed of light, that they will age extremely slowly because the time around them will have slowed down drastically. Only the objects going near the speed of light will experience this phenomena. Time does some strange things at high speeds which The Hafele-Keating Experiment, for example, illustrates. In 1971,  J.C. Hafele and Richard E. Keating created an experiment in which they brought atomic clocks onto an airplane, which reach speeds of 600 mph or so, and placed atomic clocks on the ground as well. These men simultaneously started the clocks on the ground and the clocks on the airplane then proceeded to fly around the world twice, once going eastward and once going westward to test Einsteins theory of relativity. In conclusion, the atomic clocks on the airplane, because they were extremely fast, were actually BEHIND, or SLOWER than the atomic clocks on the ground. This proves relativity because time slowed down as the clocks went somewhat near the speed of light! Hopefully that will help one understand the magnitude of the LHC traveling up to 99.99% the speed of light!

Here is a video of Dr. Walter L Wagner discussing the potential dangers of the LHC on Earth.


Filed under black hole, CERN, Dr. Walter L. Wagner, LHC, Senior Exit Project, Strangelets

Snow day

Snowed in today so maybe I should do something somewhat productive. Why not update the good ole Senior Exit Project blog?

So far, I’ve decided to do my Senior Exit Project on CERN’s gigantic particle accelerator, also known as the LHC (large hadron collider). Turns out, my brother’s friend’s roommate interned at CERN last summer. My brother also told me  he can possibly get an interview which would completely validate my project. Here’s a picture of this intern at another day of work:

Although that isn’t the LHC located under Switzerland and France, it’s one of the many experiments conducted by CERN.

CERN has planned to start up the LHC again on February 15th, 2010 after many failed previous attempts. In September of 2008 the LHC had to be shut down after a few days because of major repairs needing to be done. The following year in November, the LHC was shut down due to the upcoming winter, but scientists recorded the highest collisions ever produced by humans. On February 15th, scientists want the LHC to run at full power, meaning near (99.9%) the speed of light in the year 2011. If CERN is able to reach the speed of light, time will actually stop. As the LHC nears the speed of light, time will significantly slow down.

[Source: The Christian Science Monitor]

Many critics believe this restarting of the LHC will cause great harm to the world, even resulting in a black hole. CERN believes that such a situation is very unlikely, but will not testify that it is impossible. Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho have concluded the LHC could not only produce a black hole, but a “strangelet,” which would change Earth into a “shrunken dense dead lump of something called ‘strange matter.’” They also are pinning down CERN for disobeying the National Environmental Policy Act by not providing an environmental impact statement.

What does all this mean? Basically, CERN is either fighting propaganda created by the scared population, or creating the propaganda just to progress science, even at the risk of the planet. So far, no harm has been done by the LHC (aside from needing $8 billion for it’s construction/repairs), but CERN has barely scratched the surface with the massive machine and there is still expansive room for error.

[Source: the New York Times]


Filed under black hole, CERN, LHC, Senior Exit Project, Uncategorized


For this entry, I must respond to research concerning my senior exit project topic, which as posted in the previous entry, is CERN’s (European Organization for Nuclear Research) Large Hadron Collider (LHC). I think I need to start explaining the basics of the LHC, why it was made, and what it is hoped to be used for.

First, some quick facts on the make-up of the LHC. The LHC’s circumference is 26,659 meters and has 9300 magnets inside of it. When the LHC is going at full power, the particles will travel around the accelerator at a mind-boggling 11,245 times a second (which is 99.99% the speed of light) and there will be roughly 600 million particle collisions per second. The internal pressure of the large machine is ten times less than the pressure on the moon. The lifespan of the LHC is predicted to be 15 years and all the information collected from experiments will fill around 100,000 dual layer DVDs every year it’s used. More information can be found on the LHC FAQ Guide.

One of the many reasons the LHC was created, was to mimic the conditions just after the supposed Big Bang. It accomplishes this by colliding two beams at very high energy head-on. The ordinary matter of the Universe consists of atoms, which are made up of a nucleus containing positively charged protons and neutral neutrons. These protons and neutrons are made of quarks bond together by gluons. Today the gluon bond is extremely strong, but it’s suspected in the moments following the Big Bang, the Universe was too hot and energetic for the gluons to bond, making a dense quark-gluon plasma. In the LHC’s ALICE experiment, ions will be collided at extremely high speeds hopefully so physicists will be able to analyze the make-up of this hypothesized quark-gluon plasma.

Six different experiments, including ALICE, are intended to be carried out on the LHC. These include ATLAS, CMS, LHCb, TOTEM, and LHCf. I’ll elaborate on the other five experiments in posts to come.

I think the maths and sciences are probably the most important subjects to study and finance for any country. Any attempt to make progress and learn more about the beginnings of our Universe is a step towards the future and towards new thoughts and ideas. In the words of John Dewey in the Quest for Certainty (1929), “Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.”

Questions, comments, advice?

(Source : http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/LHC/LHC-en.html)

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