First atoms reported smashed in Large Hadron Collider (Update)

Nov 23, 2009
Scientists react as they stand in front of a screen at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) control center of the ATLAS detectors during the restart of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva. Two circulating beams produced the first particle collisions in the world's biggest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider, three days after it was restarted, scientists announced.

Two circulating beams on Monday produced the first particle collisions in the world's biggest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), three days after its restart, scientists announced.

Today the LHC circulated two beams simultaneously for the first time, allowing the operators to test the synchronization of the beams and giving the experiments their first chance to look for proton-proton collisions. With just one bunch of particles circulating in each direction, the beams can be made to cross in up to two places in the ring. From early in the afternoon, the beams were made to cross at points 1 and 5, home to the ATLAS and CMS detectors, both of which were on the look out for collisions. Later, beams crossed at points 2 and 8, ALICE and LHCb.

“It’s a great achievement to have come this far in so short a time,” said CERN1Director General Rolf Heuer. “But we need to keep a sense of perspective - there’s still much to do before we can start the LHC physics programme.”

Beams were first tuned to produce collisions in the ATLAS detector, which recorded its first candidate for collisions at 14:22 this afternoon. Later, the beams were optimised for CMS. In the evening, ALICE had the first optimization, followed by LHCb.

“This is great news, the start of a fantastic era of physics and hopefully discoveries after 20 years' work by the international community to build a machine and detectors of unprecedented complexity and performance," said ATLAS spokesperson, Fabiola Gianotti.

“The events so far mark the start of the second half of this incredible voyage of discovery of the secrets of nature,” said CMS spokesperson Tejinder Virdee.

“It was standing room only in the ALICE control room and cheers erupted with the first collisions” said ALICE spokesperson Jurgen Schukraft. “This is simply tremendous.”

“The tracks we’re seeing are beautiful,” said LHCb spokesperson Andrei Golutvin, “we’re all ready for serious data taking in a few days time.”

These developments come just three days after the LHC restart, demonstrating the excellent performance of the beam control system. Since the start-up, the operators have been circulating beams around the ring alternately in one direction and then the other at the injection energy of 450 GeV. The beam lifetime has gradually been increased to 10 hours, and today beams have been circulating simultaneously in both directions, still at the injection energy.

Next on the schedule is an intense commissioning phase aimed at increasing the beam intensity and accelerating the beams. All being well, by Christmas, the LHC should reach 1.2 TeV per beam, and have provided good quantities of collision data for the experiments’ calibrations.

The image shows a 3D representation of the first proton-collision, as it was detected by the ATLAS experiment. The particles, which were reconstructed, can be used to determine the point of collision. The yellow plates on the ends register when there is a collision and send a signal to the rest of the detector to store the relevant data, which will then be analysed.

Provided by CERN

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User comments : 41

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vivcollins
4.2 / 5 (6) Nov 23, 2009
And its even better that we are all still here to congratulate them ;-)
Thrasymachus
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 23, 2009
I doubt they're using the energies needed to possibly create micro singularities yet. And even if it did, the likelihood that such a singularity would consume any nearby mass and thereby become a problem before it radiates itself away is vanishingly small.
SuprGalactic
2.4 / 5 (5) Nov 23, 2009
Does anyone know if it's possible to capture the collision on camera?
bhiestand
4.7 / 5 (3) Nov 23, 2009
Does anyone know if it's possible to capture the collision on camera?

You're looking at the best we can do. These are particles, smaller than atoms, so you can't photograph them directly. I've seen some great artist's depictions, though.
SincerelyTwo
4.8 / 5 (8) Nov 23, 2009
Most people continue to intentionally ignore the obvious fact that collisions of FAR HIGHER energies occur REGULARLY in our own environment. Oh, it is so convenient to play stupid so you can go on about irrational fears about micro black holes.

:]
k_m
1.9 / 5 (7) Nov 24, 2009
Atoms smashed?
I thought the LHC was circulating counter-rotating beams of protons. A proton is not an atom, unless you want to stretch things out and call it an H+ ion.
Meh.
Magus
2.7 / 5 (3) Nov 24, 2009
@SincerelyTwo - I don't know if it is intentional. Might want to point out that the benefit of the LHC is that we can control when and where the collision happens which means we know where to put detection equipment. Just in case someone reads your post and think we did we build the multi-billion dollar thing if they happen in nature.
ealex
2 / 5 (2) Nov 24, 2009
@SincerelyTwo : Perhaps because noone in the news, here on Physorg, or in the LHC science team ever said so. If I am not a particle physicist by profession, where am I supposed to know that higher energy collisions occur often all around me from? Obviously such an explanation would take away any foundation for fears that the LHC might generate a black hole (which is so far the biggest "Yeti" out there).

And I am asking this in all honesty, no pun intended.
Alexa
1.6 / 5 (8) Nov 24, 2009
collisions of FAR HIGHER energies occur REGULARLY in our own environment
Most people continue to intentionally ignore the obvious fact that collisions in LHC are of potentially zero resulting momentum and density of particles which are colliding mutually is higher then everywhere in Universe. Cosmic radiation is always formed by isolated protons and you can never prepare heavier particles from them. Risk of strangelet formation therefore isn't in particle energy achieved - but it number of particle involved and their collisions geometry. The preparation of black holes is one of expected results of LHC, i.e. not fear of some people - but intended expectation.

http://www.unisci...1012.htm
Ethelred
3.8 / 5 (5) Nov 24, 2009
If I am not a particle physicist by profession, where am I supposed to know that higher energy collisions occur often all around me from?


Cosmic rays smash into the upper atmosphere at higher energies. Not all around us but it does happen over our heads.

I doubt they're using the energies needed to possibly create micro singularities yet.


They won't even reach the levels that Fermi Lab does for a while.

Atom Smasher? Who wrote that? A refugee from a 1950's Giant Insect film.

Ethelred
CptWozza
4 / 5 (3) Nov 24, 2009
Atoms smashed?
I thought the LHC was circulating counter-rotating beams of protons. A proton is not an atom, unless you want to stretch things out and call it an H+ ion.
Meh.


You're absolutely right, it's not an 'atom smasher' at all, this is a hideous expression that the media uses, but I've never seen a reporter go as far as to say that "atoms" were actually smashed!

The LHC collides protons, or at most lead nuclei, but the key point is that it collides subatomic particles. The term 'atom smasher' is as irritating to physicists as 'god particle' is, another term they object to (and it should be noted that Higgs production is only one of a long list of theoretical predictions they are keeping an eye out for).
Going
2 / 5 (2) Nov 24, 2009
Lead nuclei are not very far off being atoms, so atom smasher is not a bad popular name. Why no mention of the energies achieved on these first collisions? The article only gives the energies they hope to get to.
imthekuni
3 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2009
wait, so am I supposed to believe that a flying mosquito has 1 teraelectron volt of energy?
eurekalogic
2 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2009
Atom smasher is an excellent description when you consider the audience. Try to say that the device is a particle accelerator and the reply is how power does that Hoover vaccum filter have. :-D
Thrasymachus
4.7 / 5 (3) Nov 24, 2009
If the mass of the mosquito is 1 milligram, then it has an energy of about 9*10^9 joules, or about 5.6*10^28 electron volts, or 5.6*10^16 teraelectron volts, or 56,174 yottaelectron volts. And that's just sitting around, not flying anywhere.
Noumenon
4.5 / 5 (52) Nov 24, 2009
I think they meant the momentum of a mosquito, not mass-energy equivalence.

wait, so am I supposed to believe that a flying mosquito has 1 teraelectron volt of energy?


I think the energy quoted is per particle, not for the whole beam. For example, according to Wiki, it can collide lead nuclei at an energy of 574 Tev per single lead nucleus.

The question then is how many atomic particles make up a mosquito, in determining it's kinetic energy? Then you can see the enormous energy involved concentrated to a point.
danman5000
4 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2009
Yeah that mosquito thing was a bit ridiculous. Energy is such a vague term - kinetic? thermal? mass-energy? chemical?

That comparison means nothing without clarification (and even then I suspect it wouldn't mean much).
CptWozza
4.7 / 5 (3) Nov 24, 2009
Atom smasher is an excellent description when you consider the audience. Try to say that the device is a particle accelerator and the reply is how power does that Hoover vaccum filter have. :-D


I think people are smarter than you're giving them credit for. It's not difficult to understand the difference between an atom, a lead nucleus or a proton. You don't need to be a genius, you just need to be in possession of the basic facts.

I really stand by my statement that 'atom smasher' is a poor description. It is certainly not an excellent description, and with all due respect to the previous poster, lead nuclei are not atoms, and this machine is principally a proton collider in any case. We should call something what it is. It is wrong to imply that "the masses aren't clever enough to figure out the difference" or something to that effect.
Mr_Man
4.5 / 5 (2) Nov 24, 2009
Atom smasher is an excellent description when you consider the audience. Try to say that the device is a particle accelerator and the reply is how power does that Hoover vaccum filter have. :-D


I think people are smarter than you're giving them credit for. It's not difficult to understand the difference between an atom, a lead nucleus or a proton. You don't need to be a genius, you just need to be in possession of the basic facts.

I really stand by my statement that 'atom smasher' is a poor description. It is certainly not an excellent description, and with all due respect to the previous poster, lead nuclei are not atoms, and this machine is principally a proton collider in any case. We should call something what it is. It is wrong to imply that "the masses aren't clever enough to figure out the difference" or something to that effect.


So true. Expecting the public to be ignorant and then feeding into that is sad. People will research it if they want to know more
tkjtkj
2 / 5 (2) Nov 25, 2009
SURE! YEAH! GO AHEAD! Get the public all excited about SciFi and 'creatures' and black holes! YEAH .. til the give ya the 5 Billion!! THEN whadoyado?? ya pull the rug out and say its NOT an 'ATOM SMASHER AT ALL!!!!!! .. All cuz its missing one lil ol' electron!!!!! wow-eeeeeeeeeee. BIG DEAL!

Well, I got NEWS FUR YA! It's an ATOM SMASHER NOW, and will be FOREVER!!!! ..(well, 15 yrs anyway, give or take ..., ) BTW, who gets to sell the junk/scrap metal circa 2025??

tkjtkj@gmail.com
CptWozza
4.5 / 5 (2) Nov 25, 2009
THEN whadoyado?? ya pull the rug out and say its NOT an 'ATOM SMASHER AT ALL!!!!!! .. All cuz its missing one lil ol' electron!!!!! wow-eeeeeeeeeee. BIG DEAL!

Well, I got NEWS FUR YA! It's an ATOM SMASHER NOW, and will be FOREVER!!!! ..(well, 15 yrs anyway, give or take ..., ) BTW, who gets to sell the junk/scrap metal circa 2025??


Wow, try to calm down a bit. There's only one atom which has only one orbiting electron. The rest have many more. A substance's chemical properties are determined by the energetics of changes in this external electron cloud. If you strip it away, you generate a fundamentally different material.

For example, a helium nucleus with two valence electrons is a noble gas, but without its electrons it is actually radiation (we call it alpha radiation). The LHC is emphatically NOT an atom smasher. Don't be satisfied with such a sloppy understanding of the basic science.
milz
5 / 5 (1) Nov 26, 2009
Bookmark this guys, just to make sure, you know.

http://hasthelhcd...rth.com/
Wkd_Angel
1 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2009
I really don't know the answer to this,and it shouldn't generate any media,yet,I'm curious about this.Looks like here is a good place to ask it.Is the LHC in ANY WAY affecting the Tectonic Plates? Since everyone knows it's an experiment,would it? Or not? Also,how can anyone prove that it won't? Only curious,delete this if anyone feels they *should*Then again,if it is deleted,others,along with myself,would wonder why....No sarcasm please? There is enough of that already about the LHC. Thanks for answering this,in advance.Oh and just a thought? The idea is to re-create the Big Bang. People who comment on the LHC are asking "why"."IF they succeeded,wouldn't what got us here,in the first place,by doing that again? destroy us NOW?" I don't have that answer for them,because I too wonder,just what affect our Planet would have,just how far the experiment will go,too.I really don't know,that's why I'm asking these questions,thank you for your time and answers too,once you've answered them.
Wkd_Angel
1 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2009
Most people continue to intentionally ignore the obvious fact that collisions of FAR HIGHER energies occur REGULARLY in our own environment.(snip)

True....Naturally,they do,in Natural Timing,not ours...Induced,and being an experiment?That's another thing....Have the Tectonic Plates been compared in activity since the LHC started up? Really,I don't know,is why I am asking.Thank you...
Noumenon
4.5 / 5 (53) Nov 29, 2009
During development of jet aircraft it was thought by some aerodynamic experts, that the sound barrier would cause physical forces that would kill the pilot. Didn't happen.

During the first atomic bomb tests there were experts who thought that the atmosphere would be set ablaze. Didn't happen.

Even today, many experts think that continued use of fossil fuels will cause a catastrophic raise in global temperatures. Will a runaway cataclysmic raise in global temperature actually occur? [Do climate experts have such a handle on nature that they can confidently predict a raise in temperature to the extent of 1.5*f in ONE HUNDRED YEARS!!?]
.....
Noumenon
4.5 / 5 (51) Nov 29, 2009
.....
At the time of the above warnings, the core aero dynamical principals were known, ...the basic nuclear fission process was understood fully, .. and as well the core science that some gases absorb heat radiation emanating from the earth is not in dispute.

The problem is that they incorporate too many assumptions and unknowns with the basic science, the result being pure speculation. Speculation is not positive knowledge.
Raritas
1 / 5 (3) Nov 30, 2009
Physics is like the scafolding that holds it all together. what if you generate an effect that you arent aware of? the outcome is completely unknown , you are not taking about mixing eggs and salad cream now, it is the very fabric, the bindings.
This big toy costs humans on this planet great loss of life does it not? what is your priority?Big toys for boys and fame or many many avoidable deaths every day. We have been doing this for a long time , showing off, i done it faster, bigger better. science hasnt really helped many people considering what is spent and the effort involved, and the widespread misuse of it in business and war. TELL THE TRUTH. can you do the right thing? what comes first your kids health or a big toy?? answer please. or if its some other persons kids ... the big toy? money .. put to the greatest priority? priority ... i want my nice pay treat and huge car etc etc, extreme curiosity didnt just kill a cat,its created huge complexity that is killing morality
Hungry4info2
5 / 5 (1) Nov 30, 2009
Physics is like the scafolding that holds it all together. what if you generate an effect that you arent aware of? the outcome is completely unknown , you are not taking about mixing eggs and salad cream now, it is the very fabric, the bindings.

Do you have a clue what the LHC is doing? It's slamming protons together. What will happen? The same thing that happens at other particle accelerators. The particles in the collision will be obliterated, and spray out lots of little bits that will be detected and identified. The total energy will be the sum of the masses of the two protons. This is significantly less than whatever it is that you may have tricked yourself into believing (or hoping for).

You seriously misjudge the issue. The rest of your argument is nonsense.
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 01, 2009
his big toy costs humans on this planet great loss of life does it not?


No. Even the bird is still alive.

science hasnt really helped many people considering what is spent and the effort involved,


I guess that is why millions died of small pox last year. I know I haven't heard of anyone getting small pox in decades but you clearly know EVERYTHING so millions must have died since science hasn't done anything.

TELL THE TRUTH. can you do the right thing?


The question is - could you even tell what the truth was if it dropped on your head.

. i want my nice pay treat and huge car etc etc,


So go get a job that pays ignoramuses large amounts of money. Politics might be the place for you.

its created huge complexity that is killing morality


Sorry but its the ignoramuses that are filling up the jails.

Ethelred

danman5000
not rated yet Dec 01, 2009
@Wkd Angel: What is the basis for your concern about plate tectonics? How could colliding protons to create tiny explosions have any effect on a global process? Far more energetic processes happen all the time, so I wouldn't be concerned about anything we can generate. If you have a reference to something that mentions your concerns, I'd be interested to read it.
SincerelyTwo
not rated yet Dec 01, 2009
Raritas, just because you don't understand something, does not mean it is not understandable. The problem with you a serious lack of education, you really do NOT understand what's actually going on, do you?

Worst of all most people have no way to relatively measure or compare the LHC to anything else, it SEEMS so big and powerful but you have no idea. None at all.

Far more energetic collisions are happening right now, everywhere. We just can't track or measure random events, so we built this machine to create controlled events. The LHC is only powerful RELATIVE to what MAN has ever created, but nature laughs at our attempts to tickle her.

You have no idea.

It is embarrassing listening to barely-educated idiots blabber on about blubbering bullshet.
Raritas
not rated yet Dec 02, 2009
I did not point the finger at anyone it was a general view point for anyone to consider.
If calling names is progress, you are welcome to it. You have no idea what so ever as to my experience.
This is YOUR foundation of what is right and wrong ... until the next right is found?
As for being able to actually read what I said. Science has been badly spent in many areas. You cant pull one happy story out of millions to prop the rest up.
It does appear thats 'science' can be used for good sometimes....
And 'I dont understand', do you have the openess to think about that comment for more than a moment?
Is it offensive to care about humanity and the basic needs of EVERYONE? Its basic good manners that makes the world better.
Mother Nature has gone through ALL the lessons and is openly presenting you with the answers right infront of you. Its obvious when you are not so tense and angry. I hold nothing against you.
I certainly understand the parts the institute has missed.
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 03, 2009
You have no idea what so ever as to my experience.
We do know what you write. Which shows a lacks of knowledge. The claim that science has done nothing was a sign of either vast ignorance or a loose regard for truth.
Science has been badly spent in many areas.
Perhaps you meant MONEY. Science is not something that is spent.
You cant pull one happy story out of millions to prop the rest up.
Pretty broad brush and the pigment seems a might similar to bullshit.

Science- Airlines Electricity Computers Metallurgy Materials Science Medicine Biology Evolution Archeology on and on and on. According to you its must all be wrong except maybe NOW you admit to the extinction of small pox.

Is it offensive to care about humanity and the basic needs of EVERYONE?


That is why people think you are full of it. Science helps with that for everyone. The Green Revolution for instance and of course birth control.

Continued

Ethelred
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 03, 2009
Mother Nature has gone through ALL the lessons
You do know that there is no such thing as Mother Nature outside of fantasies. Don't you?
openly presenting you with the answers right infront of you.
If it was open to us we wouldn't need to use science to learn just how things actually work. Science is how we find the answers.
I certainly understand the parts the institute has missed.


Since you don't seem to understand what ANYONE in science has done how could you understand what anyone has missed? Some sort of magical revelation from a god or alien being or perhaps a dead Science Fiction writer such as L. Ron Hubbard. Maybe it was from Uri Gellar who got it from the Martians. Theosophy? Maybe everything you learned about science came from the Electric Universe web site. Perhaps The Book of Urantia.

Ethelred
Raritas
not rated yet Dec 03, 2009
since you know all possible connections, answers and pieces of knowledge, you must have covered in the answers in the future also?
I openly admit I dont know everything, therefore being open I can receive, does the metaphor key mean anything to you , or is that against another law. Wow only one way of looking at things .. or you get assaulted. You are giving honest, good scientists something by association.You are more than welcome to 'check' my credentials ... knowing all things it will be easy for you. I'll have a cup of tea waiting :) hahahahahhaha
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2009
since you know all possible connections, answers and pieces of knowledge,
Never made any such claim. I simply pointed out that you know VERY little.
you must have covered in the answers in the future also?
I have one anyway. You will continue to make stupid posts until you choose to start thinking and learning.
I openly admit I dont know everything,
The catch is that you know far less than you think you know.
therefore being open I can receive,
That way lies Cranking. Go learn about things BEFORE you start commenting on them. Or ask when ignorant.
or is that against another law.
How about you try dealing with what I actually said instead of making false claims like that.
Wow only one way of looking at things
Yes there is more than YOUR way of way of looking at things. One way is NOT look at things from total ignorance. I prefer that way myself. You seem to prefer talking about things you know nothing about.

Continued

Ethelred
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 05, 2009
or you get assaulted.
Left, right and then left again or the traffic may assault the ignorant.

Don't go casting stones and then complain when they are returned with greater accuracy.
You are more than welcome to 'check' my credentials
Not going to bother. Your writing is from ignorance. Who cares what credentials you might have if you can't manage to write with clarity and competence about the things you claim to know.
You are giving honest, good scientists something by association.
Gosh that sentence might have meant something if it actually meant something and had something resembling a structure.
knowing all things it will be easy for you.
Knowing vastly more than you is not exactly knowing everything. It only seems that way to you because you know so very little.
I'll have a cup of tea waiting
Tea sucks. Try holding your breath instead.

:) hahahahahhaha


The reply of the unarmed all over net.

Ethelred
Raritas
not rated yet Dec 07, 2009
you are entirely right, no chance of being wrong at all. You must have compressed all knowledge into a few years to be able to shoot me down in this way. There is no way I can know anything at all. My views must be from the dark and blind. Yours belong on the throne. As mentioned before I hold nothing against you and hold no ill will.It is impossible for me to see something you maybe havent. I have learned alot by looking at this website. It has explained something very very important to me, maybe you can also tell me my thoughts on that my Lord.
Raritas
not rated yet Dec 07, 2009
to assume that my initial thoughts on the matter had no value, no worth, no substance ..... there are many ways to look at things ... if we choose only a few view points, are we going to be lacking? The more view points/angles/ areas of knowledge we use TOGETHER to understand the WHOLE the better?
How many views have been brought together to see the WHOLE in this?
Are we looking from a scientific only point of view or a 360? Or does scientific have the absolute monopoly?
Without the context/ import and view point how can one made such verse?
You sound like you hate me? This is not appropriate is it?
SincerelyTwo
not rated yet Dec 07, 2009
Raritas,

Do you propose our species becomes paralyzed by fear of risk? That might work for your life, but it's completely irrational and impractical.

Scientists do not claim to know everything, they're actually quite humble and open to the unexpected. Good scientists, like those at LHC, make sure to consider all possibilities known to science before settings forth with tasks like the LHC. The rest is a chance we have to take otherwise we remain paralyzed and freeze ourselves in this state of being for all time, not much fun.

Now, we've been building these machines for a while, and our frameworks are far better than you know for reasons you obviously refuse to even try to understand. All of the direct known risks are guaranteed, and the rest are assumed on the basis that far more powerful collisions occur regularly and we're still fine, obviously a reasonable assumption.

The LHC will prove itself to you, as well as our science, and demonstrate that your thinking is paranoid.
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 12, 2009
you are entirely right, no chance of being wrong at all.
Thank you. But I never claimed that you COULD NOT learn.
You must have compressed all knowledge into a few years to be able to shoot me down
You seem to shoot yourself.
There is no way I can know anything at all.
That is YOUR choice. Me, I prefer to learn things.
My views must be from the dark and blind
More likely from aggressive ignorance.
Yours belong on the throne.
Never claimed that.
It is impossible for me to see something you maybe havent.
No it is not impossible. But you can't do it from ignorance. Go open a book. Actually read it.
I have learned alot by looking at this website.
May I recommend learning to use white space?
maybe you can also tell me my thoughts on that my Lord.
I am not your lord nor have claimed to be such.

Ethelred

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