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ATLAS detector inside the massive collider is the size of three football fields

One of the most burning questions in the minds of many scientists is how exactly our universe started. In Geneva, 2,500 researchers came together to create one of the world’s largest particle colliders.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is located 100 meters under the ground in Geneva and has a circumference of 27 km (over 16 miles). The massive LHC will be used by researchers to probe the beginnings of our universe.

Claude Leroy, a physics professor from Université de Montréal, was one of the scientists involved in the project and responsible for creating the ATLAS detector used in the collider to provide a new look at the conditions that occurred during the Big Bang and immediately following.

ATLAS is the largest of the four detectors inside the LHC and is a massive device in its own right. ATLAS is 7,000 tons in weight, 46 meters in length, and 25 meters in height.

Leroy conducted the radiation and irradiation studies to ensure ATLAS ran smoothly when in operation. Leroy also created a device called MPX, which is a small device attached throughout the LHC and ATLAS to perform real-time measurements of the spectral characteristics and composition of radiation inside and around the ATLAS detector. The device is said to capture images of what’s inside the detector and its environment like neutrons and photons.

For the LHC to operate, its components must be cooled to a superconducting state. Some components of the LHC will be cooled to minus 456 degrees Fahrenheit by cooling the magnets with liquid helium. Parts of the ATLAS device will be cooled with liquid argon to minus 312 Fahrenheit.

When in operation the LHC will collide two beams of particles at close to the speed of light in an attempt to answer what the 96% of the unknown universe is made of, why particles have mass, why nature prefers matter of antimatter, and what lies beyond Earth’s dimension.

DailyTech reported on another of the LHCs components called the Regional Calorimeter Trigger in February of 2006.



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What else can it do?
By AmyM on 3/31/2008 5:06:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
ATLAS detector used in the collider to provide a new look at the conditions that occurred during the Big Bang and immediately following.

While I don’t have a PHD or Master of Science degree, I can’t be optimistic in believing that science will one day have an understanding of Time zero, or the moment of the Big Bang. I analogize what they’re doing to colliding two recently divided cells together; do they believe an egg and a sperm would show up? I don’t mean to be facetious, but I thought the entire singularity at the moment prior to the Big Bang was well beyond the laws of physics as we understand them and as they apply now.




RE: What else can it do?
By kileil on 3/31/2008 5:13:31 PM , Rating: 5
I don’t mean to be facetious, but I thought the entire singularity at the moment prior to the Big Bang was well beyond the laws of physics as we understand them and as they apply now.

I think you've stumbled upon the origin of religion o_0


RE: What else can it do?
By ShaolinSoccer on 3/31/08, Rating: -1
RE: What else can it do?
By MrBlastman on 3/31/2008 5:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
You are religious - well, your statement makes you appear thus so.

So I ask you a simple yes/no question (though details would be appreciated). Do you think God gifted man with a powerful brain so that they might explore their universe with science under good intentions?


RE: What else can it do?
By phattyboombatty on 3/31/2008 6:29:16 PM , Rating: 3
I'm religious so I'll answer your question. Yes, I agree with your statement, although "powerful" is a relative term.


RE: What else can it do?
By erikejw on 4/1/08, Rating: 0
RE: What else can it do?
By Goty on 3/31/2008 6:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, by colliding a few atoms and/or elementary particles isn't going to destroy anything (well, besides the particles themselves, I guess).


RE: What else can it do?
By acejj26 on 3/31/08, Rating: 0
RE: What else can it do?
By Goty on 3/31/2008 9:35:02 PM , Rating: 4
A few billion in a chain reaction, sure =P.


RE: What else can it do?
By chaos386 on 4/1/2008 7:29:36 AM , Rating: 4
Critical mass for a sphere of uranium-235 is 52 kg, so more like 133 million billion billion uranium atoms.


RE: What else can it do?
By josebl on 3/31/2008 10:28:13 PM , Rating: 5
ShaolinSoccer wrote: science will be the thing that destroys our planet. Why? Because scientist keep pushing and pushing into things they don't understand and it ends up destroying us.

In the early 17th century, the Pope refused to look through Galileo's telescope. Galileo was placed under house arrest...

Science may destroy our planet. Religion is in the running too. But I'm not sure it's accurate to cast Science and Religion as opposing forces. Science works hand in hand with religion helping: impoverished countries, drug addicts, and I believe both have similar directives to improve our understanding of existence and our place in the universe.

So, quantum physics is the telescope of our generation? There are scientists, researchers, and explorers of outer and inner mysteries from EVERY sect, denomination, culture, and race. The two are not mutually exclusive or necessarily at odds. I don't know this for myself, but people much smarter than me have enjoyed rich spiritual and scientific lives without problem.


RE: What else can it do?
By tmouse on 4/1/2008 7:52:44 AM , Rating: 3
As a scientist I think the problems between science and religion arise when religion tries to determine "how" something happens and when science tries to determine "why" something happens.


RE: What else can it do?
By johnsonx on 4/1/2008 3:48:22 PM , Rating: 2
Wow. I've never seen it better said than that.


RE: What else can it do?
By xzc145 on 4/1/2008 5:22:01 AM , Rating: 2
What do you mean by 'God'?....God in a theistic Christian/Islamic way, God in a Deistic Divine Watchmaker kind of way or god in a Pantheistic human personification of the forces of nature kind of way?

Or are you just another undereducated religious fool?

-5 rating for you!


RE: What else can it do?
By FliGuyRyan on 4/8/2008 1:10:32 PM , Rating: 2
Hey bud, you might want to cease your sarcasm and try being a little more analytical to see the poster capitalized "God" for a reason...

"Ignorace is bliss until you die..." as mentioned by the OP should inform you that he/she believes in the afterlife, hence the theistic Christian/Islamic slant of the post.

Now... you might want to stop trying to be clever and keep your worthless comments to yourself. Free Speech should be acted upon with due reason ;-)


RE: What else can it do?
By xxsk8er101xx on 4/1/2008 1:54:49 PM , Rating: 1
What's the point of all that stuff being out there in the universe if we weren't meant to observe and calculate it?

Science has allowed the human population to flourish and live longer healthier lives. Is your God that evil that it would be against living longer healthier lives? What about living a more convenient fun happy life? Is your God against that also?

Curious if you'd rather have caves for your home and a camp fire as your stove.

Don't use your microwave it was science that created that. Otherwise you're a hypocrite.


RE: What else can it do?
By lompocus on 3/31/08, Rating: 0
RE: What else can it do?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 4/1/2008 8:13:50 AM , Rating: 2
95% of the world is not religious. You will find religion in decline around the world, especially in modern countries.

Until the next big catastrophe, religion will decline. Then something will happen, preachers will crop up over night, and people will turn back to it. This has been the typical pattern over time.

As long as people fear death the unknown, religion will always exist as a way to comfort them. The basis for science is to accept we don't know it all and don't necessarily known what is around the next corner.

Religion is more of a safety blanket letting you know that worst case god will take you in and all will be good, as long as you follow his rules, repent, do good, etc... etc...


RE: What else can it do?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 4/1/2008 8:16:54 AM , Rating: 2
Ugh, that's what I get for posting this early in the AM.

quote:
You will find religion is in decline around the world, especially in modern countries.


quote:
As long as people fear death and the unknown, religion will always exist as a way to comfort them.


quote:
The basis for science is to accept that we don't know it all and don't necessarily know what is around the next corner.


RE: What else can it do?
By chsh1ca on 4/1/2008 9:52:36 AM , Rating: 2
Your first correction actually isn't necessary.


By seekerofknowledge on 4/1/2008 12:12:04 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
95% of the world is not religious.


You better grab another cup of coffee and re-check your post...


RE: What else can it do?
By Goty on 3/31/2008 5:22:50 PM , Rating: 5
One of the main experiments the LHC will conduct is a search for the Higgs Boson (the particle thought to be the reason that all other elementary particles have mass), which is the last particle in the Standard Model of Elementary Particles to be observed. Now, if we can complete the standard model and if it holds up to the energies we hope it will (up into the 10^15-10^16 TeV range), that will give us precious insight into what things were like shortly after the big bang.


RE: What else can it do?
By AmyM on 4/1/2008 7:55:21 AM , Rating: 3
Thank you.

It’s nice to see that someone out there can answer a legitimate question without being facetious or judgmental.


RE: What else can it do?
By derwin on 4/1/2008 11:00:12 AM , Rating: 2
The Higgs boson not is exactly the cause of particles having mass... As far as I understand it (still an undergrad...) the Higgs boson is actually the particle we see from a wave in the Higgs field* much like a photon is the particle observed from a wave in the EM field. As the EM fields describe how certain particles of certain charges are to act, the Higgs field tells particles to act in a way such that they appear to have mass.

The thing that is interesting about this regarding the big bang (again, I'm an undergrad here...) is that they hope to calculate the energies at which the higgs field drops off (sort of like how you can infuse enough energy into a ferrmagnet and it will stop having a magnetic field...) so at early stages of the universe, when the energy was still beyond a certain density, it may have been that NOTHING in the universe had any mass at all...

Again, don't quote me, I'm an undergrad; just sharing what knowledge I think I may have.

*They hope to see a wave in the Higgs field by creating HUGE numbers of Z and W bosons, which will decay rapidily, creating a huge drop in mass, very suddenly (don't worry, E=MC^2, but the radiation given off is in antineutrinos, so it would not do any damage to anybody... incase you are scared this would blow up the world or something...), and the hope is that just as if a charge were acelerated rapidly, this fast and distinct change in the Higgs field's affect, it will produce a wave, creating what we can see as a particle... the Higgs Boson.


RE: What else can it do?
By ice456789 on 3/31/2008 10:16:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don’t mean to be facetious, but I thought the entire singularity at the moment prior to the Big Bang was well beyond the laws of physics as we understand them and as they apply now.
And this is the problem with the laws of physics and the current theory of everything... it all breaks down at the singularity. The four forces of nature, Electromagnetism, gravity, strong and weak nuclear forces all break down at the moment of the big bang. So if these four forces describe the universe as we know it, and at some point in time (or more accurately before time) those laws of nature were invalid, who is to say that at some point in the future those laws won't be broken again?


By MrBlastman on 3/31/2008 4:41:54 PM , Rating: 2
JUST KIDDING

But a purported "scientist" disagrees:

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/03/27/...

Now, do I believe this?

No

Do I believe strange phenomenon could be created and examined? Yes!

The amount of matter entering the equation is very small, though I'd say a nice amount of energy is required to accelerate the particles to such tremendous speeds.

I do not think the sum of both parts would be enough to add into something of ghastly disasterous proportions of enough intensity to create harm outside of the little "bubble" it is being confined to.

I look forward to the large amount of data and research that will be conducted with this.

It truely is a testament to modern science.




By kileil on 3/31/2008 4:55:05 PM , Rating: 2
Hi! Nice to meet you, just thought I should introduce myself before we were both compressed into a singularity.


By MrBlastman on 3/31/2008 4:58:50 PM , Rating: 2
Oh hai! We might be in for a stretch (of time? ;) ) but either way, nice to meet (and join?) you!

All your particles belong to us? We are the strings of time - we are teh collective, the singularly united!


By Goty on 3/31/2008 5:07:49 PM , Rating: 3
They're not worried that supermassive black hole could form, they're worried that a small black hole would form and that Hawking is wrong and that it wouldn't evaporate. The big flaw in their argument is that the same mechanism that would lead to the creation of a tiny black hole is the same mechanism that leads to Hawking Radiation (the method by which black holes are purported to evaporate).


By masher2 (blog) on 3/31/2008 5:36:48 PM , Rating: 3
Interestingly enough, 30 years ago, the SF author James Hogan wrote a book about the havoc caused by millions of microscropic black holes being accidently created by a scientific experiment.


By arazok on 4/1/2008 11:20:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do I believe strange phenomenon could be created and examined? Yes!


Have you seen "The Myst" yet? It could happen...


si units please!
By semo on 3/31/2008 5:50:05 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
LHC will be cooled to minus 456 degrees Fahrenheit
what's that in kelvin or in degrees celsius?

i think any scientific article should use si units first (whatever else, second)




RE: si units please!
By Milliniar on 3/31/2008 6:33:49 PM , Rating: 3
its -271.1 celsius absolute zero is -273.15


RE: si units please!
By root mean sq on 4/1/2008 6:55:30 AM , Rating: 2
wowza! that's cold. hope those magnets brought their mittens and jackets.


RE: si units please!
By elpresidente2075 on 4/1/2008 11:22:47 AM , Rating: 2
But -456 LOOKS sooo much colder!!!


Danger?
By rainwalker on 3/31/2008 10:16:02 PM , Rating: 2
So, I'm sure this topic has been raised a few times, but aren't a lot of people worried about the dangers of this thing? I'm all for exploration and science and I'm perfectly thrilled to risk my safety for the sake of things in many situations. Still, doing anything "high-energy" in the middle of our home seems like a less-than-great idea to me.

I read about it on Wikipedia a little and one scientist claimed that the chances of something going wrong are equatable to winning the lottery for three weeks straight... sure, this isn't at all likely but, if it does happen, potentially all of humanity dies. Can't the top-tier scientists devote their attention to getting us to the moon or Mars and carry out the experience there? With that kind of brain power, we'd only have to wait a decade or two, I imagine. My fear would be eased, at least. What about everyone else?




RE: Danger?
By ice456789 on 3/31/2008 10:21:07 PM , Rating: 2
If 'something bad' does happen and all humanity dies, it'll happen quick enough that you won't have time to worry about it. You're better off worrying about a 747 dropping a block of blue ice on your head while you sleep.


RE: Danger?
By JohanM on 4/1/2008 1:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
IF something goes wrong and we create something like say a black hole, there will be little difference if the LHC is located in Switserland or on the moon...


RE: Danger?
By xxsk8er101xx on 4/1/2008 1:46:44 PM , Rating: 2
*blink

Have any idea on what kind of energy is required to create a blackhole large enough to last long enough to engulf a planet?

Lets just say the entire planet itself does not contain the energy to create a blackhole large enough.

It cannot happen with our energy limitations.


RE: Danger?
By PrinceGaz on 4/1/2008 5:42:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'm guessing here, but I think there would be a very big difference between a long-enogh lasting black-hole being formed from an LHC located in Switzerland which devoures the Earth, or an LHC on the Moon which devoures that.

If a black-hole devoured the Moon, the Earth itself wouldn't be overly affected. There might be a slight difference to the tides, and there would be some radiation from it, but it wouldn't destroy the Earth. Although we wouldn't be able to see the Moon, the same amount of matter would still be there orbiting the Earth, just compressed into a tiny space. The effect of the Moon's gravity on Earth would be essentially the same as it is now-- it would be only within a few hundred miles of the singularity that the gravity would be much higher than what it is now.

To most people, the only effect of turning the Moon into a black-hole would be that they no longer see the Moon in the sky. On the other hand, to most people, the effect of turning the Earth into a black-hole would be that they were dead :)


Like...
By thepassionofchad on 3/31/2008 4:37:29 PM , Rating: 4
...whoa.




RE: Like...
By murphyslabrat on 3/31/2008 4:50:20 PM , Rating: 2
Totally, dude!


RE: Like...
By Samus on 3/31/2008 6:45:25 PM , Rating: 2
but how well does it overclock?


argon?
By Strunf on 4/1/2008 4:54:29 PM , Rating: 1
"Parts of the ATLAS device will be cooled with liquid argon to minus 312 Fahrenheit."
It's liquid Nitrogen and your source is incorrect.

Liquid Nitrogen should tell you something since it's commonly used to break records in overclocking :D it's also funny when you drop it in a swimming pool.




RE: argon?
By DRMichael on 4/1/2008 5:32:32 PM , Rating: 4
If the temp they're trying to achieve is -312 F, Argon seems as though it would be the appropriate cryogen to use; it has a boiling point of -302.6 F.

However, Nitrogen has a boiling point of -320.4 F.


RE: argon?
By JediJeb on 4/1/2008 5:55:16 PM , Rating: 2
You beat me to the correction while I was double checking the temps.


RE: argon?
By Strunf on 4/1/2008 7:01:39 PM , Rating: 1
After a closer inspection of ATLAS official papers it is indeed liquid Argon that is used on some parts of the Atlas... my mistake.

I don't think that it's the temperature difference that makes them use one over the other, Krypton is also used in other calorimeters and it has a boiling point of -244 F which is much higher than the boiling point of Nitrogen, IMO those degree of difference don't explain why they jump from liquid Krypton to liquid Argon and not liquid Nitrogen which is much cheaper than both of them and readily available (the CERN used 10 thousand tonnes to cool down the LHC to -315 F)... I'll inquiry them about it.


Balance
By SiliconJon on 3/31/2008 5:25:51 PM , Rating: 2
I love this stuff. If I had daydreams, I would be off to lala land right now to see what my mind could concoct.

If they do accidentally destroy us, I doubt we'll feel much pain in the process...and the universe may be better off anyway. Not that I've lost hope in mankind, but if our political or social intelligence is any measure of our scientific intelligence, things may just well even out here shortly.




RE: Balance
By HVAC on 3/31/2008 5:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
I hear we are scheduled for demolition to make room for a hyperspace bypass.


RE: Balance
By MBlueD on 4/2/2008 10:39:51 AM , Rating: 2
I hear it already happened...


scary
By jplb70 on 4/1/2008 12:20:07 AM , Rating: 2
This thing scares me. I'm all for expanding mans' knowledge of the universe but I really don't want my 9 year old son to be winked out of existence in the process.




RE: scary
By JayDeeJohn on 4/1/2008 8:56:14 AM , Rating: 2
Look, if it scares you, then become a believer, Either way you win. I believe in a higher destiny/power. And Im not scared. These things are generally good for us. Since we will never be able to see the big bang, no matter how far we look back, or even IF theres such a thing as a big bang, we still get a better glimpse of whats around us, and how things work. This is nothing more than a gigantic microscope with sensors. There were many hints of atoms in our past, some people had the grasp to understand alittle of it. Not until someone created a microscope powerful enough to actually see an atom was it truly confirmed. I have no doubts as to how the universe was made, tho, about the way it was made in time? Thats a different manner.


RE: scary
By isorfir on 4/1/2008 12:24:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Either way you win

How does deluding yourself into believing a fairytale and wasting your life winning?


Waste of money....
By ice456789 on 3/31/2008 10:09:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When in operation the LHC will collide two beams of particles at close to the speed of light in an attempt to answer what the 96% of the unknown universe is made of, why particles have mass, why nature prefers matter of antimatter, and what lies beyond Earth’s dimension.
All these questions are answered in Hawking's books. Dark Matter, dark energy, the truth about ether, all 11 dimensions and branes, and the reason there is more detectable matter than antimatter. All these are answered by Hawking.




RE: Waste of money....
By gamefoo21 on 4/1/2008 1:40:22 AM , Rating: 3
One mans theory based on theories.

Science is here to prove and disprove. So it is not a waste of money as you put it. It'll either lead us in a new direction or it will make Hawking's look even more legendary.

Win or Win, there is no losing when it comes to morally proper expansion of our understanding of the universe.


Football field
By phattyboombatty on 3/31/2008 5:38:05 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
ATLAS detector inside the massive collider is the size of three football fields

quote:
ATLAS is 7,000 tons in weight, 46 meters in length, and 25 meters in height.

Something doesn't add up here.




RAID?
By martinrichards23 on 3/31/2008 4:41:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
ATLAS is the largest of the four detectors inside the LHC and is a massive device in its own right. ATLAS is 7,000 tons in weight, 46 meters in length, and 25 meters in height.


Yeah, but imagine 2 of them in RAID 0.

Seriously though, that is one hell of a machine, let's hope we are discussing its findings in years to come.




bioshock
By ComatoseDelirium on 3/31/2008 4:43:21 PM , Rating: 2
Fontaine must be behind this!




sounds wild
By sirdowny on 3/31/2008 8:27:59 PM , Rating: 2
...and powerful.

let's just hope the morality core doesn't fall out of this thing




what else can it do
By duggyrh on 4/2/2008 3:49:08 AM , Rating: 2
It is not just the beginning of the universe question here. when dealing with atoms & smaller things our understanding is somewhat limited i.e. very limited. and with the 2 schools of thought within the physics realm (classical & Quantum) we gain a better understanding of these systems are.
Warning we better be careful here who knows what we may inadvertently unlock????




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