Gallery: Scientists react to Hadron success

Gallery: Scientists react to Hadron success

Summary: September 10, 2008, the first particle beam was successfully sent around the full circuit of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern). Here's how UK scientists reacted to the achievement.

TOPICS: Big Data

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  • On the morning of Wednesday, September 10, 2008, the first particle beam was successfully sent around the full circuit of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern).

    The new science resulting from this grand experiment will turn up in the coming weeks and months, but what Wednesday's event did prove was that the world's largest machine works. Part of that machine is the cathedral-sized Atlas detector, one of two general-purpose detectors (the other is the Compact Muon Solenoid, or CMS) in the LHC.

    Atlas's development and construction benefited from a great amount of UK involvement, particularly that of the Science & Technology Facilities Council. Pictured above is the very first image from Atlas showing the particle beam passing through. was at a Science & Technology Facilities Council event in Westminster to see, via video-link, the LHC being initiated. On the following pages are some initial reactions from those involved in Atlas and the wider LHC project.

    Photos and text from ZDNet UK

  • Professor Jon Butterworth of University College London heads up the UK's involvement in the Atlas detector. "This is the biggest high of my career so far," he told after the first successful beam circulation in the LHC, which took just under an hour to complete. "I didn't think they'd do it so quickly and smoothly."

    "This is the first time [the LHC] has functioned as a single machine," Butterworth noted. He added that, although no new science as such came from Wednesday's events, the machine "shows a lot of cutting-edge technology, so in that sense it is a breakthrough".

    "We'll probably be getting science out of this thing for 20 years," Butterworth said.

Topic: Big Data

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  • Congratulations to the CERN LHC Team!

    Now this is a success story. We should all look forward to the amazing new science that will evolve from this new device. It will be to particle physics what the Hubble Space Telescope is to Astronomy.
    • Let's hope not.

      It took years to get hubble fixed after they found out it was nearsighted. I hope LHC does not have that kind of luck. :O

      Although, in reality this is just the first step to bigger and better things. Maybe there is hope for mankind after all.

      I say good luck and God bless to something that might someday really amount to something.
      • Strangely enough

        CERN was surprised how smoothly the initial power-up went. They were expecting to have some kinks to work out on the shakedown.

        As far as the Hubble goes, I'm still amazed at what they accomplished after getting the telescope "corrective lenses". I wonder if they can get tinted contacts for that thing.
  • Big Deal!

    They announce their experiment as if they have achieved what they set out to do. What they did is the equivalent of shooting a gun into the air. Are they going to announce and be prepared for the "real deal" when they actually fire the protons INTO each other? This is the concern.....not that they started their "doomsday" machine.
    Scared Sh*tless
    • Coilliding protons is nothing new

      And nothing to worry about. Humans have been doing it for years, and Nature has been doing it for much longer.

      As far as the LHC, they have accomplished what they set out to do: build a functioning collider which uses higher energies than previously possible. This is the beginning of many years of experimentation: building a laboratory for higher-energy physics is exactly what they set out to do.

      I hope you don't imagine that this was done just to run one experiment to make "micro black holes" which aren't black holes in the astronomical sense, at all.
    • Doomsday machine

      I wish it was really a doomsday machine. If it swallows up a couple or three billon people off the face of this earth, it would be good news for the planet burdened by 6.7 billion, largely unproductive, human garbage.
      I know, for, I am one of them. But it will be too good to be true.
      • Doomsday machine?

        Naw, it would not be a real good thing to just wipe out a substantial proportion of humanity, such a catastrophic event would just leave the rest of us/them(?) with a seriously screwed up planet -- and how would you choose what chunk of earth gets swallowed up?

        The cleanest solution is total annihilation, nobody left around to worry about it.

        BTW, I do not subscribe to the theory that this machine can cause such an event, mostly because these types of sub-atomic reactions occur regularly in the upper atmosphere and for better or worse, we're still here.

        Makes for a neat movie plot though.
        • Doomsday Machine!

          It is the will of Cthulhu.
  • Power loss?

    So when they fire this thing up does the power go out in the nearby towns?
    • That stuff is all planned

      CERN has a long standing agreement with the French grid for power, as well as the Swiss grid. There are 30 days or so in mid winter when they don't run any experiments due to cost and availability of electricity. CERN also has older diesel backup generators so they can do a powered shut down to avoid damage in the event that both grids fail somehow. CERN also has a newer gas turbine and thermal recovery co-generation plant.

      Since all high energy experiments are well planned in advance, electricity suppliers know when to expect increased loads. It's kind of like your local NASA installation or something running electricity-intensive testing, frequently at night when local demand is lower anyway.

      It would be kind of crazy if they somehow blew the grid, though. I don't suppose First Energy is running generation plants on the the French grid? :D
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