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.

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6 Comments

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

6 responses to “Let’s clear a few things up…

  1. Ah. So it’s an application of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity?

    • No it isn’t. I was just trying to explain the basics of what the LHC is planning to do in the future, and how going near the speed of light is so cool and interesting hah. At this point, the major reason the LHC was constructed was to recreate the Big Bang so scientists can understand how everything was created basically. CERN has many other experiments it is planning to conduct to find such things as the HIggs boson which Tyler commented on below.

      • Ah. I guess I meant applying the LHC to test the Theory of Relativity and find the Higgs boson? Regardless of semantics, thanks so much for clearing that up! Do you know what else the LHC is doing? All I have seen are experiments to find the Higgs boson.

  2. bagentleman

    The LHC isn’t an application of any one theory so much as a way to test new ones and confirm old ones. Or at least that’s my understanding of it. The current lovechild is the Higgs boson, which is a theoretical particle believed to influence gravity.

    Kate I have some articles from Discover Magazine about the LHC if you’d like them.

    • Hey Tyler. I guess I was unclear in my post. I was just attempting to clarify a comment I made earlier about how the LHC is planning to go 99.9% the speed of light, and how at the speed of light time stops and near the speed of light time slows down drastically, which deals with Einstein’s theory of Relativity. Also, that going that close to the speed of light is so interesting because Einstein said that to go the speed of light, a mass needs infinite energy behind it to push it at that speed, so it is impossible as far as we know today. I understand the LHC isn’t an application and I hope I didn’t make it sound as if the LHC is one. I somewhat went on a speed of light/relativity tangent. My apologies.

      I would really like any help and articles I could get, thank you!

      • bagentleman

        Oh I wasn’t critiquing your post I was replying (although in the wrong place) to Josh. In my opinion your post was dead on regarding how the particles can move and why. I actually didn’t know anything specific about it, so it was a fun read!

        I’ll copy some articles for you as soon as I can.

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