Monday, July 21, 2008

If You Like the Cold, Head To France. It's Cooler Than Space!

Heads up. It's apparently COLDER THAN SPACE in some tunnels under the France/Swiss border. (That's in Europe, right?). The BBC reports that the CERN Lab designed to fire tiny particles at each other at speeds nearing that of light is one "cool" place. "The Large Hadron Collider is entering the final stages of being lowered to a temperature of 1.9 Kelvin (-271C; -456F) - colder than deep space." (bbc)

Now I know some of you might actually click on some of the links in this blog, and many of you won't. But this story merits a quick read, if only because it reads like something that you would read right here on EIGN, albeit with better editing, grammer grammar, and word choice and a whole lot less cursing.

Once the LHC is operational, two particle beams - usually consisting of protons accelerated to high energies - will be fired down pipes running through the magnets.

These beams will then travel in opposite directions around the main ring at close to the speed of light.

At allotted points along the tunnel, the beams will cross paths, smashing into one another with cataclysmic force. Scientists hope to see new particles in the debris of these collisions, revealing fundamental new insights into the nature of the cosmos and how it came into being.

The most powerful physics experiment ever built, the LHC will re-create the conditions just after the Big Bang.

Currently, six out of the LHC's eight sectors are between 4.5 and 1.9 Kelvin, though all sectors of the machine have been down to 1.9 Kelvin at some stage over the last few months.

By comparison, the temperature in remote regions of outer space is about 2.7 Kelvin (-270C; -454F).

HOLY CRAP!, I just read the caption on the picture included in the article: "The CMS detector will search for the Higgs boson - the so-called "God particle"."
What the fuck is a God particle? And what the fuck are we doing looking for it? And what happens if we find it? And what happens if we find it on December 21st, 2012? Do we really need to turn this thing on?


jg3 said...

Thank you. Thank you.

That's exactly what I needed to ponder for a few minutes on a day when the forecast is for 96°F and humid (after several days of the same).

I'll point out that I walked to the bus stop this morning at sunrise wearing shorts and a t-shirt and by the time I got there I was perspiring already.

I'm heading to France!

JTankers said...

"God Particle"... what about the devil particle. Did you know that micro black holes that might be created?

What you get when you mix high energy colliders with Professor Otto Rossler's charged micro black hole theory?

Answer: A golf ball

.jeff. said...

Ah the mini black hole that will swallow us all. Scary indeed. I think we mentioned that back in April. And it still scares me.