Colder than outer space here on earth.

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Colder than outer space here on earth.

Science at it's best.

CERN's LHC reaches temperature colder than deep outer space

By ANI Wednesday April 11, 03:12 PM

Geneva, Apr 11 (ANI): For the first time, temperatures in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in CERN's laboratory in Geneva has reached 1.9 Kelvin, colder than deep outer space.

Researchers say the temperature reached just one eight of the 27-kilometre LHC ring, and the entire ring needs to be cooled down to this temperature so that the super conducting magnets that guide and focus the proton beams, remain in a superconductive state.

Such a state allows the current to flow without resistance, creating a dense, powerful magnetic field in relatively small magnets.

Guiding the two proton beams as they travel nearly the speed of light, curving around the accelerator ring and focusing them at the collision points is not easy as a total of 1650 main magnets need to be operated in a superconductive state.

"This is the first major step in the technical validation of a full-scale portion of the LHC," said LHC project leader Lyndon Evans.

According to him, there are three parts to the cool down process, with many tests and intense checking in between.

During the first phase, the sector is cooled down to 80 K, slightly above the temperature of liquid nitrogen. At this temperature the material will have seen 90 percent of the final thermal contraction, a three millimetre per metre shrinkage of steel structures. Each of the eight sectors is about 3.3 kilometres long, which means shrinkage of 9.9 metres!

To deal with this amount of shrinkage, specific places have been designed to compensate for it, including expansion bellows for piping elements and cabling with some slack. Tests are done to make sure no hardware breaks as the machinery is cooled.

The second phase brings the sector to 4.5 K using enormous refrigerators. Each sector has its own refrigerator and each of the main magnets is filled with liquid helium, the coolant of choice for the LHC because it is the only element to be in a liquid state at such a low temperature.

The final phase requires a sophisticated pumping system to help bring the pressure down on the boiling Helium and cool the magnets to 1.9 K. To achieve a pressure of 15 millibars, the system uses both hydrodynamic centrifugal compressors operating at low temperature and positive-displacement compressors operating at room temperature.

Cooling down to 1.9 K provides greater efficiency for the superconducting material and helium's cooling capacity. At this low temperature helium becomes superfluid, flowing with virtually no viscosity and allowing greater heat transfer capacity.

"It's exciting because for more than ten years people have been designing, building and testing separately each part of this sector and now we have a chance to test it all together for the first time," said Serge Claudet, head of the Cryogenic Operation Team.

According to Claudet, the conditions are now established to allow testing of all magnets in this sector to their ultimate performance. (ANI)

 

 


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Science at its best, indeed.

Science at its best, indeed.


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Just for anyone

Just for anyone unaware:

 1.9 kelvin = -456.25 degree Fahrenheit

Absolute zero is 0 Kelvin:

0 kelvin = -459.67 degree Fahrenheit

 The temperature achieved in the sector of the collider is on 3 degrees fahrenheit above absolute zero.

That is very, very cold. 

 

 


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I hope the LHC will function

I hope the LHC will function properly later this year without problems! I'm so looking forward to the results of this scientific wonder.

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. - Immanuel Kant


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Another article regarding

Another article regarding cern sent to me by jce:

Sat 14 Apr 2007


A detector under construction at the CERN site dwarfs the people working on it. The detectors' superconducting magnets make fields 100,000 times the strength of Earth's. Picture: CERN/PA

The giant machine in search of the universe's smallest particle

EBEN HARRELL

IT IS called Atlas, after the Greek god who carried the weight of the world on his shoulders: 150 feet long, 82 feet high and weighing 7000 tons, this mammoth machine has been designed to measure particles so small you can fit hundreds of billions of them into a beam narrower than a human hair.

For the next few months, PhD students and Nobel prize winners will hurry around it like Lilliputians tending a giant. Every pipe, magnet and sensor will be tested and tested again.

Then the machine will be switched on, and the world will hold its breath: the search for the so-called "God particle" will start.

Some of nature's deepest secrets will be investigated: What is dark matter? Why is the universe expanding? What are its building blocks?

Located at the CERN laboratory outside Geneva, the world's largest particle accelerator has taken 25 years to plan and £1.5 billion to build.

When up and running, it will fire two beams of proton particles in opposite directions around a 17-mile ring some 300 feet under the earth's surface.

Traveling in a vacuum, the beams will approach the speed of light, making 11,245 circuits a second. Their acceleration will require roughly the energy that it takes to power Geneva.

Then the particles in the beams will collide, and Atlas will strain to detect the fallout. Each collision will cause an explosion similar to the Big Bang, and turn the particle accelerator into a sort of time machine, creating conditions almost identical to those experienced less than a second after the universe came into being.

Among the many things scientists are hoping to find, the prize discovery will be the Higgs boson, named after the University of Edinburgh physicist Peter Higgs. It is an elusive particle that scientists believe gives everything in the universe it’s mass, and hence its weight.

Confirmation of its existence will not be easy. The Higgs, like most particles worth searching for, will remain undetectable. All that will be visible to even the massive Atlas will be the stream of decay it leaves in its wake. There will be ghosts in this giant machine, and should scientists catch them, the weight on Atlas' shoulders will be explained, and one of the fundamental mysteries of the universe will be shrugged off.

At CERN, the excitement is palpable. Soon, physicists from universities in 37 countries will gather there or will sit in front of computers across the world, and watch as some of the universe's mysteries explode and scatter in front of them.

The vast majority of particles in the Large Hadron Collider's (LHC's) two beams are so small they will miss each other, and simply continue around the track. But an estimated 20 of every 200 billion will crash head-on. Debris will shoot in all directions into hyper-sensitive detectors. Scientists will scan the detritus for many things, especially the Higgs.

To our understanding of the universe, there is nothing more crucial - or more mysterious - than the Higgs boson. A collection of them makes up the Higgs field, an all-pervasive entity that gives everything in the universe its mass. As other particles move through the field - as they are doing constantly, the field is everywhere - they pick up mass; it's like pulling a weightless pearl necklace through a jar of honey.

Without the Higgs boson, everything in the universe would be insubstantial and ethereal. It makes things tangible. Scientists call it the God particle.

But there's a problem. Since the 1960s, when Prof Higgs first theorised about the particle on a walk in the Cairngorms, all efforts to detect it have failed. Indeed, the reason for this massive machine is that, in many areas of particle physics, scientists seem to have reached the limitation of theory.

They need evidence. Something to break the impasse - possibly a particle streaking across one of the LHC detectors.

Unless, of course, it comes in the brain of a once-in-a-generation genius: no one thought Newton could be revised until Einstein began dreaming at the Bern patent office.

"Theorists have come to the point where we need something, even the smallest hint, to point us in the right direction," said Chris Parkes, a University of Glasgow physicist working on one of the LHC's four detectors.

"Even if we don't find anything - and that's very unlikely - that will tell us a lot in itself. A lot of theorists are waiting for guidance from the LHC. Everyone is holding their breath".

If the universe does decide to reveal some of its secrets, CERN would be an appropriate setting. The accelerator is nestled in a grand geological amphitheatre, surrounded by the snow-capped Jura and the Alps, and the sky at night is usually clear.

Particle physicists (mostly young men, mostly white) stroll. The centre has the dated feel of archive footage from Los Alamos and early atomic weapons programmes. Many of the centre's 1950s hangars remain, and defunct rotary emergency phones hang on the walls.

So close to deadline, there is no room for egos. At one of the accelerator's four scanners last week, David Websdale, of Imperial College London, a leader in his field, lay on his side helping to install a component. A few yards from him, Jacques Le François, a prize-winning physicist, spoke animatedly with an engineer installing piping.

Get these physicists talking about their work, and they will tell you there are two types of theories: elegant and messy. Almost all believe the universe conforms to the former. Every major breakthrough in physics so far has shown the universe to be ordered and elegant; the more we get to know it, the more the universe seems to always choose a garment that is a perfect fit.

The problem is that what physicists call the Standard Model - the closest they have to a theory of everything, which incorporates all that is known about the interaction of sub-atomic particles - is becoming increasingly awkward, messy.

It has holes. Some can be plugged elegantly. By explaining how particles get mass, the Higgs boson does just that. But other problems have no easy solutions. For one, the universe is expanding faster and faster despite all the gravitational forces that should be reining it in and slowing it down. No-one knows why. What's more, spiral galaxies like our own Milky Way are spinning so fast they should spin out of control and scatter their contents across the cosmos. But something seems to be keeping them intact. No one knows what.

For the moment, scientists have called these unknowns "dark energy" and "dark matter", respectively. The sinister names are misleading. Physicists view ignorance as the enemy, so anything unknown is "dark".

Dark energy and dark matter are vital to the survival and function of the cosmos; in fact, they are more important than matter - dark matter and dark energy make up 94 per cent of the universe. This, of course, puts man's importance into humbling and terrifying relief.

"We're just a bit of pollution," American physicist Lawrence Krause said recently. "If you got rid of us, and all the stars and all the galaxies and all the planets and all the aliens ... the universe would be largely the same. We're completely irrelevant".

Nevertheless, nearly 14 billion years after the universe began, and four billion years after their ancestors first floated to the top of the primordial soup, a team of men and women are building a machine to probe the vast and unknowable universe, and man's tiny and inconsequential place in it.

THE GENIUS WHO PREFERS THE QUIET LIFE

TO THOSE who might want to revere him, or shake the hand of a living genius, Peter Higgs has proven as elusive as the particle that bears his name.

The scientist, who was raised in Bristol, has retired to a townhouse in the New Town of Edinburgh, the city where he spent his professional career. He does not have e-mail and he rarely answers the phone.

After potentially unlocking one of the central mysteries of physics, he wants, those close to him say, to live out a quiet and peaceful retirement.

"He is a very shy but very decent man," Richard Kenway, a physics professor at Edinburgh who worked with Prof Higgs said.

"He doesn't say very much and when he does, it's not always easy to comprehend what he is talking about, but he listens to everyone. He is a model scientist."

Should the Higgs boson be discovered, it will almost certainly mean a Nobel prize for Prof Higgs. He has already been awarded several prestigious international awards, including the Dirac Medal and a European Medal.

Prof Higgs insists the potential discovery was a collaborative effort. To this day, he refuses to call it by its name, referring to it as the "Scalar boson".

To say that he does not care about the search for the Higgs would be inaccurate, however. In 2002, Prof Higgs took exception to a $100 bet placed by Stephen Hawking with an American physicist that a particle accelerator at Fermilab in Chicago would not detect the Higgs.

In a rare interview after Hawking won the bet, Prof Higgs told The Scotsman: "His [Hawking's] celebrity status gives him an instant credibility that others do not have."

Prof Higgs has since refused all media interviews.

This article: http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=572602007


Cpt_pineapple
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I'd be surprised if they

I'd be surprised if they detect it. It's going to be like the mono-pole magnet. It's theoretically possible but we likely won't see it.


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
I'd be surprised if they detect it. It's going to be like the mono-pole magnet. It's theoretically possible but we likely won't see it.

I would say the likelyhood of detecting this particle is FAR greater than the likelyhood of the christian god existing. Funny you can be skeptical about science but not about your magic sky daddy.


Cpt_pineapple
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BGH wrote: I would say the

BGH wrote:

I would say the likelyhood of detecting this particle is FAR greater than the likelyhood of the christian god existing. Funny you can be skeptical about science but not about your magic sky daddy.

 

Who said I was skeptical about science? When stuff like this happens scienctists mess up. This particle is still theoretical, many scientists have claimed to found something but it was later proved irrelevant. Take, for example, cold fusion. Remember those guys got a free lab/funding  in France(or somewhere) saying they found cold fusion? Monopole magnets? Those are examples of physists saying they found something but turning out to be false.

 

Of course not to say this won't lead to anything. They could find it or better our understanding of particle physics enough to point us to the next step of finding it. 


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BGH wrote:I would say the

Sorry about the double post. Hit the button twiceYell


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:  Who

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 Who said I was skeptical about science? When stuff like this happens scienctists mess up.

Hasty generalization! Maybe you meant to say sometimes scientists mess up(like every other human on the planet).

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
This particle is still theoretical, many scientists have claimed to found something but it was later proved irrelevant. Take, for example, cold fusion. Remember those guys got a free lab/funding in France(or somewhere) saying they found cold fusion?

And who found these people to be frauds? The scientific community did because their claims were not repeatable. No priest proved them to frauds, no govenor proved them to be charlatans, no all powerful deity had the faculties to show their error. No, it was the self correcting methods of the scientific community. 

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Of course not to say this won't lead to anything. They could find it or better our understanding of particle physics enough to point us to the next step of finding it.

This point I can agree with you on, the tests may not yield the results they want, but for sure they will learn something. Something more about how the real world operates.