Restored machine to explore mysteries of Big Bang

Nov 21, 2009 By ALEXANDER G. HIGGINS , Associated Press Writer
In this photo released by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009, scientists react in the CERN Control Center after successfully restarting the Large Hadron Collider, in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Nov. 20, 2009. Scientists moved Saturday to prepare the world's largest atom smasher for exploring the depths of matter after successfully restarting the $10 billion machine following more than a year of repairs. (AP Photo/Keystone, Brice, CERN)

(AP) -- Scientists are preparing the world's largest atom smasher to explore the depths of matter after successfully restarting the $10 billion machine following more than a year of repairs.

When the machine is fully operational, its magnets will control the beams of protons and send them in opposite directions through two parallel tubes the size of fire hoses.

In rooms as large as cathedrals 300 feet (100 meters) under the Swiss-French border, the magnets will force them into huge detectors to record the reactions.

One goal is to unravel the mysteries of the Big Bang that many scientists theorize marked the creation of the universe billions of years ago.

The restart of the Large Hadron Collider late Friday was hailed as a significant leap forward in efforts to launch new experiments - probably in January - on the makeup of matter and the universe.

The machine was heavily damaged by a simple electrical fault in September last year.

The nuclear physicists working on it were surprised at how quickly they got beams of protons whizzing through the 17-mile (27-kilometer) circular tunnel underground late Friday.

"That was all wrapped up by midnight. They are going through the paces really very fast," said James Gillies, spokesman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, also known by its French acronym, CERN.

Things went so well Friday evening that scientists achieved the operation seven hours earlier than expected, he said. Some scientists had gone home early Friday and had to be called back as the project jumped ahead, Gillies added.

Praise from scientists around the world was quick.

"I congratulate the scientists and engineers that have worked to get the back up and running," said Dennis Kovar of the U.S. Department of Energy, which participates in the project. He called the machine "unprecedented in size, in complexity, and in the scope of the international collaboration that has built it over the last 15 years."

CERN decided Saturday to test all the protection equipment while there still is a very low intensity beam circulating in the collider. The tests will take 10 days, Gillies said.

In this Sept. 10, 2008 file photo, a European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) scientist controls a computer screen showing traces on Atlas experiment of the first protons injected in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) during its switch on operation at the Cern's press center near Geneva, Switzerland. Scientists switched on the world's largest atom smasher for the first time on Friday, Nov. 20, 2009 since the $10 billion machine suffered a spectacular failure more than a year ago, circulating beams of protons in a significant leap forward for the Large Hadron Collider. (AP Photo/Fabrice Coffrini, Pool, File)

He said CERN decided against immediately testing the collider's ability to speed up the beams to higher energy or to start with low-energy collisions that would help scientist calibrate their detection equipment.

In the meantime, CERN is using about 2,000 superconducting magnets - some of them 15 meters (50 feet) long - to improve control of the beams of billions of protons so they will remain tightly bunched and stay clear of sensitive equipment.

Officials said Friday evening's progress was an important step on the road toward scientific discoveries at the Large Hadron Collider, which are expected in 2010.

"We've still got some way to go before physics can begin, but with this milestone we're well on the way," CERN Director General Rolf Heuer said.

With great fanfare, CERN circulated its first beams Sept. 10, 2008. But the machine was sidetracked nine days later when a badly soldered electrical splice overheated and set off a chain of damage to the magnets and other parts of the collider.

Steve Myers, CERN's director for accelerators, said the improvements since then have made the collider a far better understood machine than it was a year ago.

It is expected soon to be running with more energy than the world's most powerful accelerator, the Tevatron at Fermilab near Chicago. It is supposed to keep ramping up to seven times the energy of Fermilab in coming years.

This will allow the collisions between protons to give insights into dark matter and what gives mass to other particles, and to show what matter was in the microseconds of rapid cooling after the Big Bang.

The Large Hadron Collider operates at nearly absolute zero temperature, colder than outer space, which allows the superconducting magnets to guide the protons most efficiently.

Physicists have used smaller, room-temperature colliders for decades to study the atom. They once thought protons and neutrons were the smallest components of the atom's nucleus, but the colliders showed that they are made of quarks and gluons and that there are other forces and particles. And scientists still have other questions about antimatter, dark matter and supersymmetry they want to answer with CERN's new collider.

The Superconducting Super Collider being built in Texas would have been bigger than the Large Hadron Collider, but in 1993 the U.S. Congress canceled it after costs soared and questions were raised about its scientific value.

Gillies said the Large Hadron Collider should be ramped up to 3.5 trillion electron volts some time next year, which will be 3 1/2 times as powerful as Fermilab. The two laboratories are friendly rivals, working on equipment and sharing scientists.

But each would be delighted to make the discovery of the elusive Higgs boson, the particle or field that theoretically gives mass to other particles. That is widely expected to deserve the Nobel Prize for physics.

More than 8,000 physicists from other labs around the world also have work planned for the . The organization is run by its 20 European member nations, with support from other countries, including observers Japan, India, Russia and the U.S. that have made big contributions.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Sensitive detection method may help impede illicit nuclear trafficking

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

LHC nears restart after repairs

Nov 17, 2009

The European Organization for Nuclear Research says it expects to restart the world's largest atom smasher by this weekend after more than a year of repairs.

Particle collider: Black hole or crucial machine?

Aug 07, 2009

(AP) -- When launched to great fanfare nearly a year ago, some feared the Large Hadron Collider would create a black hole that would suck in the world. It turns out the Hadron may be the black hole.

Giant atom-smasher set to restart this weekend: CERN

Nov 20, 2009

The world's biggest atom-smasher, which was shut down soon after its inauguration amid technical faults, is set to restart this weekend, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research said on Friday.

CERN announces start-up date for Large Hadron Collider

Aug 07, 2008

CERN has today announced that the first attempt to circulate a beam in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) will be made on 10 September. This news comes as the cool down phase of commissioning CERN's new particle ...

LHC now colder than deep space

Oct 20, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The LHC (Large Hadron Collider) is once again colder than deep space as it is prepared for experiments to resume in late November.

Recommended for you

Device turns flat surface into spherical antenna

Apr 14, 2014

By depositing an array of tiny, metallic, U-shaped structures onto a dielectric material, a team of researchers in China has created a new artificial surface that can bend and focus electromagnetic waves ...

User comments : 27

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

bcode
3.3 / 5 (4) Nov 21, 2009
Surprised to not see Canada as a major contributing member... as they built the 52 twin-aperture quadrupole magnets, as well as a few other significant sections.
SincerelyTwo
4.4 / 5 (5) Nov 21, 2009
@bcode I don't see them crediting anyone for contributions, that does't even seem to be the point of the article, to give credit. ?! Is there something you're reading that isn't there?
MorituriMax
1.6 / 5 (8) Nov 21, 2009
I guess its going so quickly because the people in the future who want the earth to get sucked into a black hole defeated the attempts of the people from the future who wanted to stop us from finding higgs-bosons.

Are we sure we haven't mis-translated the mayan calendar and that a week from now is actually the date they gave for the end of the world?
MRD
2 / 5 (2) Nov 21, 2009
@SincerelyTwo: I believe he's reading the last paragraph.

"The organization is run by its 20 European member nations, with support from other countries, including observers Japan, India, Russia and the U.S. that have made big contributions."
JIMBO
3.9 / 5 (7) Nov 21, 2009
When will science writers purge religous metaphors from their craft ??? From "Rooms as large as cathedrals" to "Exploring the Heavens" and "God Particle", I mean really: this is YOUR profession; can't you reach into your vocabag & extract something a bit more secular ? With all the harm & retardation religon has visited upon science & mankind, I should think turn about is fair play.
frajo
3.2 / 5 (5) Nov 21, 2009
Cathedrals are not for religion only. They are for architecture, for music, and for supercomputers, too.
Have a look at the MareNostrum in Barcelona ...
Lord_jag
not rated yet Nov 21, 2009
Na... Cathedrals really only make good outhouses. Nothing good has ever come out of one of those.
mchugh
1 / 5 (2) Nov 21, 2009
really what they will be seeing is the onset of what is called big bang. but what if it was not energy that caused the cosmos. what lies outside, the cone, could well be zero. a memory of what was there, a holding apttern without charge. if we are moving at speed then that in itself would be the answer. spiralling and developing spcae through movement.
mchugh
1 / 5 (3) Nov 21, 2009
inter spacial dimensions naturally developing eveolving to accomodate the movement of the cone. no big bang but turmoil becoming space. my theory
Noumenon
4.8 / 5 (46) Nov 22, 2009
Learn to spell, then come up with a theory, ...it looks like someone ran over your post with a lawn mower.
Noumenon
4.8 / 5 (45) Nov 22, 2009
Jumbo, don't you get it? We're trying to confuse them. I thought we should call the Atlas , the Alter instead.
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Nov 22, 2009
Na... Cathedrals really only make good outhouses. Nothing good has ever come out of one of those.

Obviously you never had an opportunity to enjoy one of Giovanni Gabrieli's pieces for "carefully specified groups of instruments and singers, with precise directions for instrumentation, and in more than two groups" where "the acoustics were and are such in the church that instruments, correctly positioned, could be heard with perfect clarity at distant points".
Slotin
1 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2009
who wanted to stop us from finding higgs-bosons
IMO Higgs boson was detected already on Tevatron at Fermilab. From Standard model follows, the product of Higgs boson Yukawa coupling to the left- and right-handed top quarks have nearly the same rest mass (173.1±1.3 GeV/c2) like those predicted for Higgs boson (178.0 ± 4.3 GeV/c2). We can compare the way, in which Higgs is supposed to be proved and detected at LHC:
http://www.hep.ma...ay2.html
And the way, in which formation of top-quark pairs was evidenced and detected already at Fermilab:
http://hepwww.rl....vid.html
Alexa
1 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2009
Alternate collision method suggests LHC may have been total waste of $9 billion

http://www.tgdail...-billion
Noumenon
4.8 / 5 (47) Nov 22, 2009
The people working on the laser plasma vacuum method should just wait a few decades also, as one can imagine the possibility of a better method still. In fact by your logic if everyone just waited on account of the inevitable advance of experimental technology, nothing would ever get accomplished. Did they know about such technology 20years ago? It is jut an idea requiring 20 years of perfecting?

Although, I'll admit I agree with the end, that future technology will solve the energy problem, so all current haste and nonsense is rundunant.
Alexa
1 / 5 (1) Nov 22, 2009
..if everyone just waited on account of the inevitable advance of experimental technology, nothing would ever get accomplished..
Well, this stance fits perfectly the approach of mainstream science concerning cold fusion or antigravity or room superconductivity research. The problem is, results of this research could be used immediatelly. Whereas the results from LHC could be used just after decades at least. It's a question of strangelly adjused priorities.

Isn't it strange, mainstream science follows exactly the opposite ways of research, which someone could expect by their economical significance? Do we really need to exhaust all supplies of fossil fuels and to destroy life environment before the research of some more perspective technologie will take place?

It's evident, development of mainstream physics diverged from needs of human society.
mchugh
1 / 5 (1) Nov 22, 2009
I may not spell good, or have excellent grammar, but I know the result of the tests that are being carried out. watch and see. just maybe i have a handicap or come from a non english speaking country. ten languages seems to suffice! of only one arm. think use your intelligence. string theory applied to elyptical equations give a result of what? i am sure you are bright and no the answer.
mchugh
1 / 5 (1) Nov 22, 2009
if you bombard particles at speed and remove the electrical charge at the point of impact you will notice a pattern developing. this pattern can be categorised into several groups one of which may have potential - it could lead to understanding of what lies outside the cosmos. e=mc2 etc. may very well be wrong, are science may be wrong. an understanding of the cone in string theory does not provide exact data, this theory is connected. however, if what lies outside the cone is pure speed/turmoil then it exceeds our understanding. our cone/cosmos could not interract with the outside of the cone. hence the cone narrows under pressure from the speed the cone is travelling away from the turmoil. tried to make it simple, it isnot. effectively we are the atoms in the chamber, but a collision was not possible because we are unifidely/constantly moving.
mchugh
1 / 5 (1) Nov 22, 2009
english physicist. bombarding atoms at speed shows patterns, delineated above. the patterns could indicate string theory. interconnection. the cosmos may be travelling at speed, spiralling cone shaped. the cone, which we are in, may have outside of it turmoil. best description. but totally diffeent to what lies within. it may hold the cones shape. check with Hawkins. a positron reactron aligned to infractions. apologies once again but i was insulted for my english.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2009
apologies once again but i was insulted for my english.


It was pointed out that your English is inadequate to communicate your ideas. Or worse yet it is adequate and your ideas are crap.

The English you can improve. Alexa used to be incomprehensible much of the time. He got better. Well his English got better. Perhaps yours can as well.

But this:
the cosmos may be travelling at speed, spiralling cone shaped.


I hope that is a serious translation error because as written it is utter crap. Motion is relative and a whole cosmos cannot be traveling at any speed because there is nothing for its movement to be relative to. The cone shaped bit doesn't help either at least without some idea of how you got that seemingly strange concept.

Ethelred
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2009
the patterns could indicate string theory. interconnection. the cosmos may be travelling at speed, spiralling cone shaped. the cone, which we are in, may have outside of it turmoil.

Maybe you better write in your own language and afterwards some guy translates the text into something more understandable. Like English or so. :)
mchugh
not rated yet Nov 23, 2009
our understanding of physics leads us to currently believe that motion is relative, however, some now consider that this may be wrong. you need to know what we are relative too. and we do not know. so it may well be possible that the cosmos is moving at speed. self generating energy. utter crap, you have to understand, it is complex and i tried to make it simple.
mchugh
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2009
i suggest reading 'Big Cruch' uch' www.doxa.ws/cosmo...ng2.html

Stephen Hawkings light cone string theory, which I extended and simplified. May help1
frajo
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2009
i suggest reading 'Big Cruch' uch' http://www.doxa.w...ng2.html

That page is titled "doxa" which is the Greek word for "glory" (of god). The subtitle is "Arguments for the Existence of God". No scientific reasoning can be expected there.
Stephen Hawkings light cone string theory, which I extended and simplified.

That page is talking about religion while pretending to talk about cosmology.
mattihorn
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2009
why wait for massively big machine to pave the way for humankind?
We can do other things and still find the answers. LHC will NOT find the answers we need (except for those stipulated...Higgs). Not really....free energy?!?!?! Nope.
Obvious vital things ignored......Kepler is spinning in his grave.
Vibration is a great principle we humans ignore...so does the LHC to a degree, although I am sure the protons are vibrating, yet not high enough...or are the magnetic fields also vibrating to some extreme rate.

Bottomless Pit that it is as prophecized?
A small machine, the size of a vacuum cleaner can explain the universe better....although we humans build big to understand at first and then downsize...the LHC is still too damn big(!!!)

Good luck anyways....if anything is found...
mchugh
1 / 5 (1) Nov 23, 2009
wittens formula expanding and vanishing loops were introduced. the expanding ones wind the universe and the vanishing ones weave the continuity of the universe. loop like subdiemsions were introduced in purpose to to unify all attitudes and explanations of phenomena. generalysed. yes because God may well have designed the impossible, outside science. science has begun to understand those possibilities.
Husky
not rated yet Nov 28, 2009
Scientists are the priests of the new millenium telling the future by looking into nanochrystal balls and stepping up the plate to become the next god using bioengineering, so the religious metaphors seem not out of place, Ray Kurzweill would be elected pope if he lived long enough to see the singularity emerge...

More news stories

CERN: World-record current in a superconductor

In the framework of the High-Luminosity LHC project, experts from the CERN Superconductors team recently obtained a world-record current of 20 kA at 24 K in an electrical transmission line consisting of two ...

Glasses strong as steel: A fast way to find the best

Scientists at Yale University have devised a dramatically faster way of identifying and characterizing complex alloys known as bulk metallic glasses (BMGs), a versatile type of pliable glass that's stronger than steel.

ESO image: A study in scarlet

This new image from ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile reveals a cloud of hydrogen called Gum 41. In the middle of this little-known nebula, brilliant hot young stars are giving off energetic radiation that ...

First direct observations of excitons in motion achieved

A quasiparticle called an exciton—responsible for the transfer of energy within devices such as solar cells, LEDs, and semiconductor circuits—has been understood theoretically for decades. But exciton movement within ...

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Warm US West, cold East: A 4,000-year pattern

Last winter's curvy jet stream pattern brought mild temperatures to western North America and harsh cold to the East. A University of Utah-led study shows that pattern became more pronounced 4,000 years ago, ...