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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.



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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]

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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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 :

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Senior Exit Proj.

My brother, a chemical engineer at Purdue, and I were talking the other day and came upon the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). I had vaguely discussed CERN last year in Physics class, but didn’t know much about the organization. I googled CERN and came up with some basics. CERN’s business is to find out the basics of all matter and the basics of the universe. CERN uses particle accelerators and detectors to collide particles to learn about the Laws of Nature. Their latest work is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a particle accelerator, which is 100 m underground and extends to the borders of Switzerland and France. Not only is the LHC the largest particle accelerator yet, but is probably the most controversial. Myths and mysteries surround the scientific marvel stating it has the potential to cause such things as black holes and might lead to the discovery of the “god particle.” Many online forums have even linked the LHC to Nostradamus.

I’m interested in CERN’s LHC both for it’s scientific prospects and the supposed world-ending myths behind it.

Any thoughts?


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I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what to post quite yet… I should be brooding over a topic for my senior exit project (not GLOOM, sorry H of D). As of this moment, I’m playing with a couple ideas that aren’t ready to be unveiled.

I guess we’ll see. [fixed it Mr. Coffee]


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