Thursday, September 11, 2008

Obligitory Post on LHC First Beam

So, they got some protons go to both ways around the LHC ring. Only 14 years in the making, at the cost of canceling of the SSC and ending U.S. leadership in particle physics. That plus a little over $4 billion, with about $500 million coming from the U.S. Am I bitter? Do I regret having to fly to Geneva to work on an experiment, instead driving four hours west to take shifts? What do you think?

Here is an event display from our experiment, ATLAS, showing beam going through the detector:

Nature has a series of excellent news stories on the LHC :
LHC by the numbers : Nature News
Physicists flock to Geneva : Nature News
Particle physics: The race to break the standard model : Nature News

the last of which talks about other ways that are being used to probe the limits of the Standard Model, incudling the ongoing experiments at the Tevatron, neutrino experiments, and cosmological tests. (Gotta love the superhero pics that go along with the article!)

Black hole or stranglet production won't start until collisions begin, probably around the time of the presidential election. Rapture ready fundamentalists can make of that what they will.

Lastly, the great web comic xkcd:

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