LHC Success, Earth Lives!

So you got up today, sat down to your bowl of Cheerios and Bananas, flipped on the Flinstones for a few minutes and then you really busted a move.  You actually brought the bowl over to the sink, before you brushed your teeth and headed off to the office to strap on that desk for another solid 8.125 hours of turning the crank for the commonwealth of wherever you live.  Let's face it, most of us lead a pretty sorry existence, at least by comparison, versus some of the really smart folks out there.  Folks like the Steve Myers and the boys and girls down at the LHC in Geneva Switzerland crank it up a notch or two when they go to work.   Rocket Science, Brain Surgery?  That's just a quick stretch and a set of cals for the team that switched on the world's first Large Hadron Collider today.  

They have now fired two beams of particles called protons around the 27km-long tunnel which houses the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).  The £5bn machine on the Swiss-French border is designed to smash protons together with cataclysmic force.  Scientists hope it will shed light on fundamental questions in physics.

LHC Detector - Source:  BBC

You know, a couple of weeks ago, the team here at HH was discussing the possibilities of taking on a project that would focus on a search for the "God Particle".  At the meeting, over a couple of bread sticks, we pretty much decided "nahhhh" and thought it would be a better use of our time to benchmark that sweet new Intel SSD instead.  I mean come on.  Sub-1ms random access?  Think how fast it would load up Half Life 2: EP2 maps!  We set our priorities in line that week for sure.  What a bunch of panzies they are out there at the LHC...


Eventually, two proton beams will be steered in opposite directions around the LHC at close to the speed of light, completing about 11,000 laps each second.  At allotted points around the tunnel, the beams will cross paths, smashing together near four massive "detectors" that monitor the collisions for interesting events.  Scientists are hoping that new sub-atomic particles will emerge, revealing fundamental insights into the nature of the cosmos.

Yawn...  Matter, anti-matter, no matter!  We have more important things to do like, benchmarking video cards 'n stuff.

We will be able to see deeper into matter than ever before," said Dr Tara Shears, a particle physicist at the University of Liverpool.  "We will be looking at what the Universe was made of billionths of a second after the Big Bang. That is amazing, that really is fantastic."  The LHC should answer one very simple question: What is mass?

Hey, at least it wasn't the end the world or anything dramatic like that.  Thank goodness... The Dell Studio Hybrid mini-desktop showed up today.  It would have been such a bummer to not get a chance to fire that baby up, just because they spun up the LHC before us.

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