Talk:Large Hadron Collider/Archive 7

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
←Archive 6 (June–August 2008) Archive of Talk:Large Hadron Collider Archive 7 (September 2008) Please do not modify Archive 8 (Mid-Sept.–October 2008)→



The Large Hadron Collider is situated between the Jura Mountains and the Alps. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:35, 12 September 2008 (UTC)


Someone missed a spot when cleaning this article, it still says "Large Hard-On Collider". I would edit it but it is a protected article. --Anonymous wikipedia fan 9/12/2008 14:16EDT —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:16, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

 Done Thanks, someone's fixed that. ϢereSpielChequers 07:41, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Terminology at the start...[edit]

I really think the use of the words "charged with energy" is terrible. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) September 10, 2008

I agree, and I removed it. I think it was added less than 24 hours ago—the article has been getting a huge number of edits since the LHC startup hit the news. -- BenRG (talk) 10:44, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

size of bomb[edit]

 Done ϢereSpielChequers 23:43, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

There is some unexplained jargon in this article, and not all of it has links. I've fixed a couple including ns, and expanded T to tesla, but can editors remember that abbreviations should be explained when they are first used? Also in Large Hadron Collider#Operational safety there is a reference to a [[General-purpose bomb|typical air-dropped bomb]] and these vary in size from 250 lb to 20,000 lb. If someone knows what size of explosion this phrase was meant to imply, can I request that they replace this with something along the lines of "the equivalent of x kg of TNT". Thanks. ϢereSpielChequers 13:47, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

(undent) I have replaced the bomb reference (misleading in my opinion) with equivalents in terms of burning oil and a lightning bolt. I feel the mention of bombs and TNT is misleading the reader with regard to the total beam magnet quenching because the energy release is spread among hundreds if not thousands of massive magnets. There are likely better equivalents for such a sudden release of energy than burning oil (similar to that used in fuel air bombs), and even a lightning bolt may not mean much to a reader unfamilar with scales of energy. Here are some possible alternative equivalents:

  • total energy stored in the magnets is 10 GJ, which is equivalent to:
  • beam dump must absorb 362 MJ per beam, which is which is equivalent to:
    • 90 kg of TNT
    • or, one empty London Eurostar train crashing into a buffer at 119 km/hour
    • or, stopping two maximum weight A321-200s after landing (120 knots)
    • or, the energy Andy Bolton would use to deadlift 210 kg, once a minute for 8 hours a day for one year

-84user (talk) 23:11, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks that's much better, and if they notice it, enough unusual units of measurement to keep NewScientist#Feedback busy for a month ;) ϢereSpielChequers 23:43, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Number of EU states[edit]

The number of EU states is no longer in the article ϢereSpielChequers 07:34, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

The EU has 27 member states, not 20. Please correct. (talk) 00:17, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

I think you're missing the point of Wikipedia somewhat. -- (talk) 12:21, 1 September 2008 (UTC)


The one up at the moment is pretty unimpressive.

What does everyone think? RuSTy1989 (talk)

There are a large number of CERN pictures that could be added to the article to improve it, but unfortunately CERN's copyright statement (see here) is incompatible with Wikipedia following GDFL. I tried to get a number of pictures, but they will not be released into public domain. But if you can get it, good on ya! Khukri 10:52, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
The page you linked only has an assertion of copyright and a disclaimer of warranty, neither of which is incompatible with the GFDL. Photos from the CERN document server are available under these terms of use, which do look incompatible with Wikipedia. Of course, there's no reason not to ask CERN to release the photos under a Wikipedia-compatible license as well, but it does seem like a long shot since their preferred terms are so much more restrictive than Wikipedia's. -- BenRG (talk) 13:01, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Upcoming experiment[edit]

..nothing about it? --TheFEARgod (Ч) 15:21, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Yea the LHC is the experiment. Well technically Atlas, Alice, CMS, and LHCb are the experiments and the LHC is the accelerator. Khukri 15:31, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Construction accidents and delays[edit]

There are two delays that should be added to this section in the article:

Designers of the Collider[edit]

This article needs a list and information of those who designed this collder. Surely this information is crucial to others who may wish to investigate and research these people and their work better. So could we please try and collate a tidy and correct list of all the designers and their full names. I shall try and find out as many names as I can and start the section rolling on this article. comment added by Lode (talkcontribs) 17:20, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

You do know that the complete list will be several hundred names long? Hmm ok - these are the responsibles for the different chapters in the LHC design report. [[1]].
Anderssen P., Arduini G., Assmann R., Bailey R., Baldy J.L., Batz M., Benedikt M., Bordry F., Brüning O., Bruno L., Carli C., Cennini E., Collier P., Colloca C., Cornelis K., Evans L., Faugier A., Frammery B., Garoby R., Genand R., Goddard B., Hill C., Hilleret N., Hofle W., Jensen E., Jensen L., Jimenez J.M., Jowett J., Jung R., Kalbreier W., Linnecar T., Manglunki D., Martini M., Mertens V., Mess K.H., Metzmacher K.D., Pedersen J., Poole J., Potter K., Quesnel J.P., Raich U., Rossi L., Roy G., Royer J.P., Ruggiero Fr., Saban R., Scaramelli A., Schindl K.H., Schmickler H., Schmidt R., Siegel N., Spinks A., Tavian L., Uythoven J., Weterings W., Wilhelmsson M.
The author of each chapter normally represents a whole group at some university...
PS: This is just the list of authors of the LHC technical design report... The technical design reports and physics TDRs of the detectors themselves have even longer author lists.
PPS: Here are the people whose names will stand on the publications from the different detectors:

-- (talk) 11:44, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Big surprise, hundreds of people from dozens of countries have collaborated to a billion-euro project over twenty years. What sort of investigation and research would you like to perform on these designers? Are you looking for their home addresses and phone numbers? All of this sounds nonsensical to me, and it might even border on intimidation if I guess correctly your purpose. Ptrslv72 (talk) 14:20, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Time of first beam[edit]

From the CERN webcast website (, the first beam will be at 7:00am GMT, not 7:30 GMT. Just a heads up so the incorrect time doesn't accidentally make its way into the history part of this page after the fact. (talk) 04:02, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

The start time is still wrong. It needs to be changed to 0700 GMT because the 0900 time in the referenced articles is in CEST which is GMT+2. (talk) 06:29, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Layout, again (table of contents)[edit]

I think it looked much better with the TOC put to one side, instead of appearing as a standalone block generating all that whitespace. I refer {{tocleft}}, but even {{tocright}} was an improvement. TJRC (talk) 21:13, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

"It [{{tocleft}}] should only be used in cases where the TOC gets in the way of other content or is detrimental to the layout of the page; it should not simply be used for aesthetics since it tampers with the standard appearance of articles. See Help:Section#Floating the TOC for further guidelines." ({{tocleft}}) --Phenylalanine (talk) 02:30, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Why new editors can edit this but not the article[edit]

The article is currently semi-protected - only users who have been registered for some time can edit it. It makes sense for an unregistered user to request a change here. Maccy69 (talk) 12:34, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I've re-added the s-prot herer and at the safety article as it's only going to get worse the nearer CERN gets to startup. Khukri 10:37, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Preventative semi-protect?[edit]

(cur) (last) 07:23, 3 September 2008 Khukri (Talk | contribs) m (Protected Large Hadron Collider: stop IP vandalism, will become prevalent until after LHC startup [edit=autoconfirmed:move=autoconfirmed] (expires 10:23, 3 October 2008 (UTC))) (undo)

There is no evidence of persistent and/or untreated vandalism here. The semi-protection ought to be removed until a need for it is demonstrated. Plasticup T/C 16:07, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

That's because that's the last of a number of sprots, and everytime it comes off up pop the ip vandals, and I believe it is needed but up to everyone else. No problems if it's removed but think it'll be added within a very short space of time by someone else. Cheers. Khukri 16:12, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
What a stupid idea: block anonymous editing just because a recent surge of interest in a topic. Is there a policy that anonymous editors can only edit stagnant articles? More contributions means more anonymous contributions. Blocking access for no reason does nothing but hinder progress. This is why Wikipedia will always suck. (talk) 16:44, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Less of the "stupid ideas" rhetoric please. Not as many IP editors are as saintly as yourself and the article has a history of attracting the puerile, andyou have misreadthe reason for protection. But as this seems to be an issue I will remove the sprots, as I'm sure enough decent editors are watching it now. Khukri 17:01, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. And for the record, I don't have a problem with the article being protected, I just don't like the rational of a "preventative" protection. In the one day that the article was unprotected it solicited one mildly un-constructive edit, and even that one edit was made in good-faith. In the absence of an overwhelming need to protect an article the default should always be unprotected. If the world starts imploding and IP vandals surge into this article (i.e. a demonstrable need arises) then I would have no objections to semi-protection returning. Plasticup T/C 17:49, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

FYI, I semi-ed the article for three weeks. There were a lot of IPs adding "OMG!!! THE WORLD IS GOING TO END!!!1!!one!!" all over the place, and I can only see it getting worse. I'll probably unprotect it after they turn it on and the world remains intact, but 3 weeks sounds more intimidating to someone who just wants to get their vandalism seen by thousands of people. Feel free to yell at me/unprotect if you think it should be unprotected. J.delanoygabsadds 19:07, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Well, that was fun while it lasted. --Kralizec! (talk) 19:51, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Last thing I want is anyone accusing me of protectionism, so had to remove it. The CERN article might/is take a pasting as well. Khukri 19:54, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Vandalism of figures: especially adding over 9,000 at random[edit]

Lots of IP edits at the moment messing with the figures in this article, a common number to substitute seems to be 9,000. It's mostly pretty obvious, but because there are lots of separate edits, some reverting editors haven't spotted everything. I think it's safe to assume that if a figure is chnaged, it's vandalism - unless the change includes a citation. At least for the near future. Maccy69 (talk) 21:20, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

And now that the article is protected, someone vandalised that comment (changing 9,000 to over 9,000) - I undid the change. Worth keeping an eye out when the protection expires, looks like they haven't got bored yet. Maccy69 (talk) 16:32, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Over 9000 is a classic Btard meme... just keep deleting them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:34, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Actually, its from Dragon Ball Z, /b/ only amplifies it.

A vandalism to this article makes front page on Digg. Include?[edit]

See here:

Over 3,000 Diggs. I wonder if we ought to include a reference to this onto the article? -- (talk) 22:14, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

No, not at all. TalkIslander 22:21, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Despite having only thought to read the article thanks to that Digg post... no, never. We don't want to encourage vandalism for comedy value. Or any other value for that matter. - -NotHugo- - (talk) 23:06, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Vandalism like this occurs millions of times a day in the Earth's atmosphereWikipedia, so it's a bit odd (for an old-timer like me) to see people making a big deal of this unexceptional case. The LHC article alone has been changed to read "WE'LL ALL DIE" dozens of times in the last few weeks by dozens of different people, each of whom probably thought they were the first. -- BenRG (talk) 00:26, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

How about a FAQ[edit]

This topic is very complex, and some basic questions are not talked about.

Here are some faq questions I would like answered.

What is the purpose of this project (in terms we can all understand)?

More or less, to confirm or refute Standard Model, the best understanding of elementary particles and three of four fundamental forces we have at the moment.

Where does the energy this project creates get stored, what can it power?

LHC does not produce energy; it uses huge amounts of it.

How is all the power it uses being produced?
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:20, 12 September 2008 (UTC) What are some of the benefits to society if certain theories are found to be true?

The benefit is that we will improve our understanding of the universe (whether the model being tested turns out to be confirmed or not). Apart from that, we don't know. When Rutherford figured out from his experiments that atom has internal structure, neither he or his colleagues had any idea about possible uses of that knowledge. Three decades later Fermi fired up the first fission reactor.

I am sure there are lots more FAQ, but these are the main questions I would like answered. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:15, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

As others said here, there indeed should be an attempt at explaining the purpose of LHC to total laymen. I am affraid I am not up to the task... :) --bonzi (talk) 16:49, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
I think explaining the purpose of the LHC is like explaining the purpose of the Sydney Opera House. It's awesome, and it's a good venue for experimental particle physics and/or opera, and that's about it. I guess the new physics might enable new technology, but I doubt it. I think the last product of high-energy physics to have practical spinoffs was quantum electrodynamics in the 1940s. The human race is pretty much making things up as it goes along; when we get bored of eating and sleeping and reproducing, we start doing useless things like painting on cave walls or editing Wikipedia or trying to work out the secrets of the universe. I think an objective FAQ about purpose would be limited to

:::Q. What's the purpose of the LHC?[edit]

A. To learn about physics beyond the Standard Model.
Q. What's the purpose of that?
A. That depends on who you ask.
-- BenRG (talk) 01:15, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Those FAQs could be made even shorter:
Q. What's the purpose of the LHC?
A. Knowledge.
Q. What's the purpose of that?
A. Itself.
Strayan (talk) 02:34, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Q. What's the purpose of the spending $9bil for the LHC project (Satirical)
A. To observe the 'Smash particle' phenomenon and create an art-work from it.
A. To solve world's poverty
A. To solve world's climate issues
A. To solve world's food shortage
A. For scientists to pay off their mortgages Rms77 (talk) 10:35, 10 September 2008 (UTC)


Has the LHC been featured in a past or forthcoming documentary, like Discovery Channel does? I would love to see an hour-long special on Modern Marvels or Mega Machines, or something like that on the LHC. (talk) 15:05, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Safety issues in the lead[edit]

I disagree with the removal of the safety discussion from the lead as the lead is supposed to be a summary of all the important points covered in the article and we have a large section on the safety of the collider, therefore, the safety issues need to be briefly described in the lead per WP:LEAD. --Phenylalanine (talk) 12:01, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

And right on cue I disagree with your disagree ;) We have a section and a whole article dedicated to the concerns of an extreme minority. The lead is used to define the article and the LHC is certainly not defined by it's safety concerns, it is a side issue. You mentioned "briefly", it took up a quarter of the lead. In my mind that is certainly giving undue weight to opinions espoused by such a small group of Wagner, Sanchez, Tankersley, Rossler and Plaga. And with the exception of Plaga they are only notable for garnering considerable media attention and poor science which has been debunked and disproven time and time again.
So I ask you is this an article about the LHC itself or just another article to promote their safety concerns? Looking at most pages where there is a main article, it has one or two sentences a paragraph at most, inviting readers to follow on to the main article, we have five paragraphs an almost ad verbatim copy of the main article. The more I read and see on the web shows how isolated these fears are amongst the science community. Plaga caused a real stir when he brought his paper out, because he was the first physicist who's credentials seemed to hold up to scrutiny who came out with what he saw as holes in the LSAG report, though now shown to be likely a misunderstanding of the original report. So out of tens of thousands of physicists we have ONE astrophysicist with anything nearing credibility on the matter, and yet we have a whole article and section dedicated to these fears, and you think it should be included in the lead section. I'm sorry Phenylalanine, I disagree that this falls into WP:LEAD, but as I have said falls square into WP:FRINGE, WP:REDFLAG and all the other guidelines I have mentioned ad infinitum. Khukri 13:16, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Just looking at that seedmagazine link someone just added to the main article, expanding on what I wrote above, it says there are 14,000 physicists in the world, that gives a percentage of 0.0000714% who have come out against the LHC, looks like fringe to me. Christ, Wanger et al have got even the American Physical Society, who represent thousands of physicists, coming out and saying they are just plain wrong. So lets bring this back a step closer to reality, I have no problems with the concerns being mentioned as I have said from the outset, it has gained notability through it's media exposure, but lets not give it any more credit than it's due, otherwise we are pandering to the minority and certainly against what comes anywhere near concensus in the physics community let alone talking about mainstream. Khukri 15:05, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I suggest adding the following short paragraph about the safety of the LHC collisions in the lead:
--Phenylalanine (talk) 23:59, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I have no problems with the text you have there, though I can imagine JT will. My issue is about giving so much credence, and lets face it free advertising space to a group, that 99.9999% of the scientific community treat with derision, and yet for some reason we are treating their erroneous claims seriously.
On a side not I'll be making edits to the CERN commissioned reports, even though Giddings is now a visiting professor at CERN, his/Mangano's publication wasn't CERN commissioned it was written along time before he came here, and was done independently of CERN and also precedes a number of these publications. Khukri 06:58, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Khukri, the safety aspect of the LHC must be mentioned in the lead per WP:LEAD. We have plenty of reliable media sources showing the notability of the safety aspect and leaving it out of the lead would be a clear violation of the guideline, especially since we have a large section in the article on the "Safety of particle collisions". --Phenylalanine (talk) 12:03, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
The LHC is the largest physics experiment in the world, cutting edge technology, tens of thousands of people working on it, a truely world wide project, the biggest thing since sliced bread and all the other jazz that makes this experiment notable and yet we "must" put a quarter of the lead over to a minority of 5 or so, because they got some press notability? I disagree sorry there's been a damn sight more in the press about the huge nature, impressiveness, blah blah blah of this experiment than JT and his friends actions and it's a shame such a huge part of the article is devoted to such a small minority who can't get get their science right. To turn a quarter of the lead into more safety concerns, when 99.99999% of the scientific community isn't concerned is equivalent to turning a quarter of the earth article lead into discuss whether it's flat or not. Khukri 12:22, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I never said to discuss the safety concerns in the lead, I referred to the safety aspect of the subject. One sentence or two describing the CERN-commissioned reports and papers that confirm the safety of the LHC collisions is sufficient, without mentioning the very small minority of concerned individuals. --Phenylalanine (talk) 13:24, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
and this is where the paradox lies, in explaining the safety reports with the exception of the 2003 paper and giddings/mangano paper most of them have been written to address the concerns of the general public/society caused by the actions of a few. OK I can understand where you're coming from, this article is a typical Wikipedia lego article, that has been written by people adding to it bit by bit, and it in my opinion with over emphasises on certain issues, which is why we see such a predominantly large section on safety. An article that had been written from the ground up to present truly what the LHC is, aims, goals, whodunit etc, the safety documents would hardly feature, no more than a line or two, with a mention of the fact that some fringe elements have gone to court to try and stop the LHC due to their own fears. There is already an article on safety concerns where I think the science has been laid out quite clearly, in no small part to yourself, in my mind this article should have no more than a sentence on the issue, pointing to the main article. As I said before the lead should be defined by what the LHC is and the article itself, the LHC is certainly not defined by it's safety argument. You have my opinions, you know what JTs side of the argument will be (when he comes back from where ever he is), even though I may disagree I trust your motives with respect to Wikipedia so I'll leave it in your hands to do as you see fit. On a side note while looking around at giddings found this which is a good article on black holes etc people might be interested in. Khukri 14:10, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) It ought to be mentioned in the lede, per WP:LEDE, but that mention should be minimal. I propose something along the lines of: "Although a few physicists have questions the safety of the planned experiments, the consensus in the scientific community is that there is no basis for any conceivable threat." That's all the mention that this rates; it's proportional to the importance of the issue in the article. It's not worth a paragraph; it doesn't need heavy cites (or any cites, really), because it doesn't include anything that's not discussed in more detail and fully cited in the "Safety of particle collisions" section. TJRC (talk) 17:13, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

I wouldn't be happy saying a few physicists as there is one, an astro-physicist, and that in my mind lends an air of credence that isn't due. Maybe "Although a few individuals have questions the safety of the planned experiments in the media and through the courts, the consensus in the scientific community is that there is no basis for any conceivable threat.", but still not sure. Khukri 17:33, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I think that's a very good summary for the lead, Khukri. I will add it for now. I will also see if I can reduce the current size of the "Safety of particle collisions section. Thanks. --Phenylalanine (talk) 01:09, 5 September 2008 (UTC)


Some of you may be interested in this video of the construction of the Atlas experiment, not sure if it's article stuff, but certainly impressive.

Enjoy Khukri 16:41, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

There is a hit viral video out about the LHC. The link should be put on the page. Link: It could be under a new popular culture section of the main article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:48, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
The Large Hadron Rap video is already mentioned in the article, at the end of the Popular Culture section. Maccy69 (talk) 22:21, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Is The Worry?[edit]

What is scheduled for the 10th or the first collisions? This should be in the article because the media can be very inconsistent and exaggerative. Are the first beams at all dangerous?

From what I have been told the collisions should be put off for at least a year, when the machine will be fully powered, to avoid any strangelets forming.

As well as this, the benefits of the experiment (to the general public) should be included somewhere. Most people will not be able to understand how the Earth was formed even if it was worked out by a group of geniuses, so that information would be useless to most. I have heard phrases being thrown around like, medical advances could be made and one hilarious report suggested time travel. (I know, ridiculous). How could this possible improve health care?

If you feel the answers to these questions would be inappropriate for the main article would you care to answer them here as well, for the sake of me and others who are not fully in the know.

P.S. In my opinion, this project should not have been announced till it had been carried out, then noone would notice if it went as badly wrong as some suggest. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ahhhhhhhhh-lhc (talkcontribs) 17:45, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

The first full beam injection in both direction is on the 10th, collisions will be a couple of weeks afterwards. From "what you have been told", that all depends on the source and what you were told, if it's a friend of a friend who heard from a botanist then what I would suggest you do is go look into it more. There are loads of sites out there not just CERN, read them all even the anti-LHC sites, though they may not tell the truth, read it with an open mind and try to understand both sides of the argument. Wikipedia isn't a question and answer site, but alot of editors here will explain on the talk pages specific points, though I would recommend either asking CERN directly or leave a question on some of the blogs out there. Khukri 18:21, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry but that doesn't really answer any of my questions. None of those websites directly answer any of these questions either and I've already contacted some people on blogs that have filled me in so I haven't just found something in a newspaper or from a friend of a friend. How can you tell how reliable a person you contact on the internet is though? That's why i came to wikipedia though, it's supposed to give neutral facts. Would be great if you could answer some of these... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ahhhhhhhhh-lhc (talkcontribs)
I suggest you go straight to the source and ask CERN themselves here Khukri 18:59, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
no one on that page answers my concerns yet, hope theyll do it before sept 10th
Could one of you on this page not answer our questions? You seem capable to if you are able to write a page like this one. How likely is it they are going to respond to every e-mail they get asking questions about safety, especially considering the recent Sun article that thinks the world is going to end on the 10th. Nothing bad is going to happen till October, right? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ahhhhhhhhh-lhc (talkcontribs) 21:56, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I might be willing to try to answer some on your talk page, if you are really using it. (Of course you have to accept that I can only give MY answers, and others may not agree -- some certainly will not, in fact.) Also, the article discussion pages are really not the place to do tutorial expositions, though they are Ok to suggest questions that should reasonably be answered in the article. Insofar as it is about the LHC safety issue, it should go to the safety article discussion page in any case. Wwheaton (talk) 06:05, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Could you answer the questions I posted in my first paragraph then please on my talk page? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ahhhhhhhhh-lhc (talkcontribs) 14:51, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
So do any of the scientists trying to stop this thing think there will be a disaster on Wednesday or is that just for the first collisions? That was my main question, it's not in the page, can anyone answer? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ahhhhhhhhh-lhc (talkcontribs) 01:49, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
They didnt think there would be a disaster on Wednesday (just gone). The danger comes with the collisions of particles and the creation of a micro black hole which may not be detectable for some time (even years) if one is inadvertantly created on 21st October. The media have created as much spin concerning the relatively uneventful guiding of a beam around the LHC and have put the idea in people's heads that "look nothing happened" when of course nothing would happen because they were not doing the collisions. It is rather like the Enola Gay having taken off but has not yet dropped the bomb James Frankcom (talk) 09:59, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

To all concerned: There is no worry because the energies involved in the LHC collisions, and the LHC itself are orders of magnitude less than the collisions that occur in our atmosphere everyday due to high energy cosmic rays. The reason scientists point to "we're still here" as a great reason the LHC won't cause problems (black holes, space/time rifts, etc...) is because high energy particle collisions occur constantly all over the planet. It isn't a flippant comment, and it's really the best kind of evidence one can have for something like this - empirical evidence.

To put this in perspective "Use mathematics to prove the conjecture. It's pretty easy to cobble the numbers together, given knowledge of Avogadro's number (6.02*10^23), or the number of molecules to make up a mole of substance. A mole of water is about 18 grams, and would contain 602,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules. Heating up one molecule to a 'trillion' degrees, or a 100,000 hotter than the sun, is one thing. Doing that 600,000,000 (6 hundred million) times a second is another. But even so, in order to heat up 18 grams of water, you would need to run a billion LHC's for 20 minutes before enough molecules of water had been heated up to the requisite temperature. So getting to the macro world from the micro world the LHC is dealing with, would take an aweful lot of effort, much more than possible with the -one- LHC the world has. Worrying about this kind of experimentation and applying 'real world' macro effects to the minute actions of the LHC, is a laughable action. You may as well worry about the earth 'falling into the sun', or the Galaxy spontanously collapsing. It could happen, given enough time and energy, but those values would be so incredibly huge." - —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:31, 12 September 2008 (UTC)


Are the first collisions due to take place next week, your article says mid-October but the Times seem to think differently. Answer?

The Times is wrong. Beam injection in both directions on the 10th, collisions are forseen for after the inauguration on the 21st Oct, though I wouldn't be surprised if the injection tests are succesful then it might be brought forward, but that's just my thoughts. The article looks correct to me "...the first attempt to circulate a beam through the entire LHC is scheduled for 10 September 2008,[4] and the first high-energy collisions are planned to take place after the LHC is officially unveiled, on 21 October 2008.[5]" CERN just have that collisions are forseen for the end of the year, see here. Cheers Khukri 16:22, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
So the odds of disaster are only being applied to after the 21st of October or on the 21st October? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ahhhhhhhhh-lhc (talkcontribs) 01:50, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Possible article errors[edit]

From the article, section "Operational safety":

While operating, the total energy stored in the magnets is 10 GJ, which is the equivalent of 2.4 tons of TNT or the heat from the burning of 300 litres (80 gallons) of petrol.

Does the burning of only 300 litres of petrol generate the same energy as 2.4 tons of TNT? I have a feeling there's a "million" missing somewhere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:05, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

I know that petrol+LOX (liquid oxygen) have more energy per kg than TNT. Ignoring the oxygen needed (which comes "for free" from the air) gives a further factor of 3 or so in the comparison, which is really a rather specious, apples:oranges sort of thing. I agree it is best dropped. Wwheaton (talk) 05:51, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Energy and explosive force are not necessarily the same thing and I'd guess that the figure is correct - see TNT equivalent and Gasoline#Energy content for more details. However, that comparison is not in the CERN Operational Safety slides cited in the paragraph before the one you quoted - so this isn't an argument being used by CERN. Because of this, I'm deleting the TNT/petrol comparison as Original Research and because I'm not sure if either comparison is particularly informative. Maccy69 (talk) 11:53, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure about this sentence, from the same section, either:
but I'm not sure how to re-word it, perhaps someone can have a go?
Also, the whole section basically says that the LHC uses a lot of energy without giving any details of the safety precautions that deal with this, can someone try and add some information? If I have time, I'll try and summarise the CERN slideshow, but I'm not sure if I have the expertise to do it well. Maccy69 (talk) 13:51, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Currency Conversion[edit]

Is it possible for the currency (currently in Euros) to be converted to something more interpetable currencies like in $US dollar terms? Note that this not a discrimination issue but merely a suggestion. --Johndoe789 (talk) 16:08, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Why? The LHC is built in Europe and the Euro belongs to Europe. And the Euro is a better currency to use since the US dollar has diminished so much in value this year while the Euro has stayed quite stable. Minus198 (talk) 23:59, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm indifferent to the currency used, but I have to argue against it being a better marker than the US Dollar, especially if the US Dollar devaluing is a main reason( and the US Dollar remains the 'World' currency. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:02, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
more interpretable - for whom? --SmilingBoy (talk) 20:24, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Readers. TJRC (talk) 22:05, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Do you mean mere american readers?.—Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])
If some readers are unable to get their head's around simple currency conversion, they won't stand a snowball in hell's chance of understanding the article. Look upon it as an example of natural selection. Markb (talk) 13:06, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Well put Markb CelticMuffin (talk) 17:46, 10 September 2008 (UTC)


I reverted the {{resolved}} marking. I don't see a consensus here; indeed, very little substantive discussion. We've got two editors (Johndoe789 and myself) asserting that adding a conversion would be useful to a substantial proportion of readers; those against it are basically just using this as an opportunity for American-bashing,which is rather tiresome and off-mission; two congratulating themselves on their perception that they are smarter than a reader who would get value from the conversion (MarcB and CelticMuffin), an attitude that strikes me as astonishingly counter to the Wikipedia mission. The only actual substantive comment comes from IP user, who points out the practical problems with providing a conversion when the conversion may not be sufficiently stable.

I wonder if we could spend less effort on being smart-asses and more on actually addressing the question, perhaps maybe even discussing it in light of actual Wikipedia policy, i.e., WP:$? TJRC (talk)

"I wonder if we could spend less effort on being smart-asses" - note that two wrongs don't make a right. I'd personally class that as a violation of WP:NPA, just as I'd probably class some of the other comments you cite as violations of WP:NPA. That aside, take a look at WP:$, which is highly relevant here. It states two things: firstly, "In country-specific articles, such as Economy of Australia, use the currency of the country" - I'd say the LHC is fairly France-Swiss-specific, hence Euros would make sense. Secondly, "Conversions of less familiar currencies may be provided in terms of more familiar currencies, such as the euro or the US dollar" - well, not only would I say that the Euro is a familiar currency, this actually states that Euros should be used in a similar way to the US Dollar. For these two reasons, I feel that in this article Euros are perfectly legit, and US Dollars are not at all needed. TalkIslander 20:47, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Switzerland is not in the Euro zone - it is not even in the EU. Its currency is the Swiss franc. And I am a smart arse - not a smart ass :-) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:32, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

First Beam Firing Time, Timezone Differances and Limited Webcams[edit]

Source(sorry ref wouldn't work =[ ) :

Currently the firing time is between over 9000 and 1000 hours on September 10th 2008, Geneva time (GMT +1) This source also says there is a limited connection to the event using the net, a source for the webcams would be great.

I'm a bit new using wiki, I hope this information is useful as the exact time of the beam firing is quite tricky to find on the net right now, the source is directly from a CERN website I believe it to be factual. (talk) 14:25, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Initial start-up date readbility suggestion[edit]

"the very first attempt to circulate a beam" is repeated in this section. suggest shortening to one occurrence as below.

existing: "LHC is scheduled to start-up on 10 September 2008[9][10]. On this day, the very first attempt to circulate a beam through the entire LHC will begin.

The collider is currently undergoing commissioning while being cooled down to its final operating temperature of approximately 1.9 K (−271.25 °C). Initial particle beam injections were successfully carried out on 8-11 August 2008,[11][12] the first attempt to circulate a beam through the entire LHC is scheduled for 10 September 2008,[13] and the first high-energy collisions are planned to take place after the LHC is officially unveiled, on 21 October 2008.[14]"

change to:

The collider is currently undergoing commissioning while being cooled down to its final operating temperature of approximately 1.9 K (−271.25 °C). Initial particle beam injections were successfully carried out on 8-11 August 2008,[11][12] the very first attempt to circulate a beam through the entire LHC is scheduled for 10 September 2008,[9][10][13] and the first high-energy collisions are planned to take place after the LHC official unveiling date of 21 October 2008.[14]" (talk) 00:03, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

  Am I missing something here? 
"were successfully carried out on 8-11 August 2008" Tense issue?

Added sections are needed?[edit]

Two different editors have now tried to results section, including a laymans term guide to what LHC actually means, I've reverted them both times as the results will not be known for sometime, and there is no point in having a placeholder that just says, no details yet, and I think the laymans terminology is far too basic, and these changes need to be discussed. Also there's errors saying the particles are at the speed of light etc. Can someone else have a look through the edits let me know what they think. cheers Khukri 10:42, 8 September 2008 (UTC)


Support: I agree that maybe the results section might not be needed until the results are duly announced (that's why I had added the update tag). However, the layman's guide and initial start-up date should be included because many people (including non-scientists) want to understand what this project is all-about & the technical-details, though they're well-edited and quite knowledge-offering, but general people don't want to get bothered with them and want to understand LHC in simple-language only as this issue has received much attention from media to attract people from a wide-variety of backgrounds, including laymen and non-intelligentsia. Moreover, the start-up date is not quite visible in the main-article and that's why a separate section had to be added, which can also be used to add the results when they're announced. Thus, if deemed appropriate, please revert the edits. Thanks. --Contribut (talk) 10:56, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi there, it's not a problem at all with you editing, just we really need to get some concensus on the best way forward with it. There are also some errors in your edit that the particles will be traveling at the speed of light, and the energy collision part is unsourced, etc. A section that explains in 'lighter' detail what the LHC does might be possible, but it's a complex machine for a complex job unfortunately, though there are a couple of editors here better at wording things than me, so I'd wait for their input. Khukri 11:02, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
When the results from the first experiments are know, we can add a results section, but for now, it doesn't serve any purpose. Also, I'm undecided about the "layman guide". But I'm sure if we add one, we can find a better name like "terminology" and we don't need large headings for "large", "hadron" and "collider", these terms should be presented in a short bullet list, and, even better, in a paragraph of prose. However, I agree that the commissioning and start-up info paragraph in the lead should be described in greater detail in the body of the article per WP:LEAD; we do need a "history [of the LHC]" section. --Phenylalanine (talk) 11:24, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm trying to garner some interest from friends at work to write a definitive history of not just the LHC but of CERN as well, watch this space. I've reverted.... again, please wait till there is concensus before re-adding it, or you don't hear people saying they don't like it. Khukri 13:51, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Safety issues in the lead - Part II[edit]

I understand the concerns of the main editors of this article to play down the safety concerns, however, the safety concerns are notable, and the Wikipedia:Lead section guideline offers this advice: "The lead serves both as an introduction to the article and as a concise overview. It should establish the context, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points—including notable controversies" (my italics). The controversy over the safety concerns is notable enough for a stand alone article: Safety of the Large Hadron Collider, so it is appropriate and within Wikipedia's scope, expectation and wide consensus that a mention, such as that made on 02:10, 5 September 2008 by Phenylalanine, should appear in the lead section. SilkTork *YES! 11:53, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Sorry you misunderstand it's not about playing it down (from my part), it's about keeping it in perspective, but yes I agree with the edit from Phenylalanine being included now. Khukri 13:48, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

First Beam webcast[edit]

The live webcast of the LHC first beam will be here at 0900–1800UST:

If someone could edit this into the wiki article in an appropriate manner (as I'm not at all sure how to work it in) that'd be appreciated! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:22, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Remove fringe physics from the research section![edit]

"time travel through black holes" has nothing to do with the LHC, it borders on fringe science and does not belong together with the other physics questions listed in the research section. If Bugnot thinks otherwise he should produce some serious (= published in peer-reviewed journals) references discussing how the possibility of time travel will be tested at the LHC. Somebody with editing rights please remove Bugnot's changes. Ptrslv72 (talk) 23:47, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

I added a "fact" and "dubious" tag to his statement, and I requested a citation on Bugnot's talk page. --Phenylalanine (talk) 23:51, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
I've removed it for now, it can be re-added with verifiable sources later on if needs be. Khukri 15:33, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

what the exact speed of of those electrons or what ever[edit]

) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:45, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

the problem with this article, and the problem always has been with wikipedia[edit]

is that u cant be just interest in some subject and read about it here.

this article is for those who actually barely need it.

i understand that for someone who is handle with it, is very frustrating to read obvious stuff,

but cant u PLEASE make just a little section so we all can understand (true also for other Wikipedia articles) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:51, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Can you please suggest the actual improvements you wish to make to the article, as I'm unsure of your issue. Khukri 16:13, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
To answer your question in the previous thread, the protons move at about 99.99% 99.999999% of light speed, and I added that information to the article. But I'm not sure there's much that can be done to make this article more accessible. The LHC is very much like other particle accelerators that have been built in the past. Somewhere on Wikipedia there ought to be an accessible description of what particle accelerators do in general and what particle physics is about in general, but probably not in this article. -- BenRG (talk) 16:45, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
close to speed of light... or simply very very very fast =) 
—Preceding unsigned comment added by
(talk) 15:44, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

LHC Time Travel[edit]

Hi: I've added the time-travel question, under Research sub-heading, along with some very appropriate sources, some of which are The Telegraph and New Scientist, among others, just to make sure that this is NOT seen as speculation, but as a real-issue at hand. --Bugnot (talk) 16:46, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Many thanks for taking the time to find them. cheers Khukri 17:02, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Come on Bugnot, you must be kidding. I ask for references to physics papers and I get in return newspapers and a bunch of blogs? I don't know how you can call them "very appropriate sources". Anyway, all of the references that you now give are about a single paper posted on the arXiv nearly one year ago, I.Ya. Aref'eva, I.V. Volovich, arXiv:0710.2696. Let's leave aside the fact that the paper is about wormholes, which were not the subject of your original sentence. The fact that the paper was eventually published in a very minor journal and that so far it has collected only three citations by other papers on the arXiv suggests that its impact on the physics community has been utterly minimal. In addition, if you are really that into blogs, you may know that the paper has been dismissed as "physics pornography" by widely respected bloggers who at least are professional theoretical physicists, see and references therein (note that I am not a blogger myself). Putting speculations on time travel on the same level as the key questions of particle physics that will be addressed at the LHC (such as the mechanism of electroweak symmetry breaking, the flavor problem, the nature of dark matter, the hierarchy problem, the existence of supersymmetry and of extra dimensions) gives undue relevance to a very marginal subject, and detracts from the seriousness of this otherwise reasonable Wikipedia page. Khukri please, if you are still not convinced just ask some expert's advice and then remove this stuff. Ptrslv72 (talk) 18:15, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi, just another hint on the marginality of the "time travel" issue among the people who actually work in this business: in the last couple of months CERN has hosted two Theory Institutes (= gatherings of experts of the field with talks and discussion sessions), one on string phenomenology and one on black holes, plus an international conference entitled Strings 2008. You can have a look at the agendas of the three meetings here, here and here

How many talks about time travel can you count? Zero? Guess why? (ah yes, it's because research on time travel must be kept secret due to its huge military/industrial potential... ;-) Ptrslv72 (talk) 09:56, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

I removed time travel from the list of the main physics goals of the LHC for the reasons detailed above. Ptrslv72 (talk) 11:57, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Indeed, Time Travel is not a goal of the LHC, the controversy in question arises from the theory that researchers in the future may be able to send messages back in time (only during the times of operation of the LHC) through some sort of microscopic temporal wormhole created in the collision chamber(s), this theory does have some mathematical evidence, however it is beyond my ability or scope to verify such evidence. I personally think the theory is in err. Hurricanefloyd (talk) 09:46, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

  • If time travel doesn't really belong to the research section, it twice doesn't belong to possible applications of the research, and I am removing it. If time travel effects should ever occur in the collider (BIG if), it'll be in submicroscopic scales and won't allow for human time travel - it'll be just a scientific curiosity. (Granted, nuclear reactions were originally also thought to be a scientific curiosity until nuclear fission and fusion were discovered, but still ...) A better phrasing would have been along the lines "Some scientists have speculated that the collider may be powerful enough to create wormholes, allowing particles to travel through space, possibly even time". For the record, the references for "time travel using wormholes" were: [2] [3] [4]. - Mike Rosoft (talk) 15:16, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Higgs Boson[edit]

I believe that the following line needs a significant alteration

When activated, it is theorized that the collider will produce the elusive Higgs boson.

Should be replaced with

When activated, it is theorized that the collider will produce the elusive Higgs boson although there are strong grounds for thinking that the Higgs Boson does not exist.

I would refer to the following in the Wikipedia artigle on the Higgs Boson

As of 2008[update], the Higgs boson has not been observed experimentally, despite large efforts invested in accelerator experiments at CERN and Fermilab.

It should be made clear that there is a significant body of thought that says that there is no such thing as the Higgs Boson. The requirement for the Higgs is based on the assumption that our observed radius of the universe (7 billion ly) does not match with that of radioactive decay (14 billion years). If you accept the actual observed size as accurate you do not need the Higgs Boson. This creates a major likelihood that the Higgs Boson will not be found.


Ed Joyce —Preceding unsigned comment added by Edwardtjoyce (talkcontribs) 22:40, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

It's true that there are (respectable) physicists who suspect that the LHC won't find the Higgs. I think the mention of Hawking's bet in the current version of the article makes that point fairly well. What you wrote about "The requirement for the Higgs" doesn't make sense as far as I can tell. The theoretical motivation for the Higgs has nothing to do with cosmology, and 7 billion light years isn't the observed radius of the universe anyway. -- BenRG (talk) 19:23, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:25, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:20, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

end of the world[edit]

This article needs more references to the "End of the world oh no!" mentality surrounding it recently. (talk) 02:36, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

What do you mean? --Phenylalanine (talk) 02:37, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Basically people just freaking out over the prospect of black holes forming on Earth. You know, no big deal. Just black holes. Haha : D —Preceding unsigned comment added by Arghcodie (talkcontribs) 04:58, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
OMG! we're all going to die! just joking :D this end of the world mentality is just what the vandals need to cause trouble with this article, we're still alive so this end of the world stuff is not needed--Lerdthenerd (talk) 12:38, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
I think there should be some mention of this public reaction as a cultural phenomena. I don't follow physics developments that well -- I didn't even know the LHC was going to be set up today until I saw the google image change. I followed that link, and the first couple of sites on their search results talked about "The end of the world!". Naturally, I took this with a grain of salt, especially when I realized at least a couple of the responses were tongue-in-cheek, and the others were from tabloids and non-scientists. But still, it appears to be quite a common reaction if it's bubbled to the top of Google. It seems to me that if the phenomenon of these reactions are that notable, they should be recorded by Wikipedia, just as with any controversy, as scientifically implausible as it may be. Although, perhaps it belongs in another article. (talk) 13:26, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
There's a whole Safety of the Large Hadron Collider article. That covers this sort of thing. --Ged UK (talk) 13:34, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Most particle accelerators built in the past had the same doomsday effect on the public, at least the ones that were public knowledge. Hurricanefloyd (talk) 09:49, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Black Holes and The End of the World[edit]

Do we think a link to this be included somewhere on the page?

[5] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bushwacka1973 (talkcontribs) 07:02, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Could this start another black hole? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:39, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Another black hole, when was the first? In answer to your question no, it's only beam circulation no collisions. Khukri 10:42, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

You know what he means and it's not a too outrageous comment. Anyone else thinking that an mBH has already been created previously and they are going to these lengths to see what they can do to contain it?

The Black Hole of Calcutta was the first XD (talk) 15:26, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

No dangers??? What about the black holes that it might cause? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 04:15, September 11, 2008

See Safety of the Large Hadron Collider, which is prominently linked in the introduction of this article. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 04:45, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Any made would be of subatomic size and be moving at near light speed, they would simply slip through the earth and into space possibly without being detected, that is if they didn't evaporate before even leaving the collider. Everybody that is concerned about blackholes from the LHC watch too much bad science fiction, emphasis on the fiction part, take it from Hawking himself, there is NO danger. Hurricanefloyd (talk) 21:11, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Lot of people are predicting black holes will eat solar system, indians girls suicided this week. Isn't thus worth citation?

No. Try wikinews. Kittybrewster [[User_talk:Kittybrewster|<font

Hawking Radiation? Seriously?[edit]

Has the safety of the Earth really been bet on with the use of unproveable theoretical physics? How did this possibly stand up in court? Does anyone have any specifics about the ouctome of the court case?

The case in Hawaii is still ongoing, the case in Strasbourg was partially thrown out with a part still pending. Khukri 06:28, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
  • The idea that the LHC would produce black holes is a long shot anyway; it would require large extra dimensions, for which there's not the slightest evidence right now.
  • There are very strong theoretical reasons for expecting black holes to decay, much stronger than for expecting them to be created in the first place. Everything decays in quantum mechanics unless there's a conservation law preventing it. No known conservation law would prevent the decay of these black holes, and any unknown conservation law preventing a black hole from decaying would also prevent it from growing larger (because the time reversal of an allowed process is an allowed process).
  • People have even analyzed the highly implausible scenario of a stable black hole that absorbs but doesn't emit matter, and concluded that there would be no risk; see [6].
  • The news stories about "recreating conditions of the big bang" are just hype. The LHC recreates conditions that exist all around us in the present day; the only difference is that it does it in a predictable place at a predictable time, so that they can put a huge expensive detector there and analyze what happens.
Safety of the Large Hadron Collider has more discussion and references. -- BenRG (talk) 13:23, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
All I'm really asking is, is all the safety as well as the danger based on unproven theory? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ahhhhhhhhh-lhc (talkcontribs) 01:47, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
In case you didn't see the headline at the top of the page, this is not a forum for general discussion about the Large Hadron Collider. Any such further messages will be deleted. Please limit discussion to improvement of this article. Thank you. Phenylalanine (talk) 03:45, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
In my opinion, since most people who come here are rightfully paranoid but sadly sun readers, the fact that this machine is dangerously unsafe and based on pure theory (sorry to interrupt your rant here but can you explain what else it shpuld be based on given that absolute proof is something that does not exist outside of pure mathematics?) should be mentioned. The page is extremely biased in a way that almost looks as if CERN have counter-argued every concern correctly raised by doomsayers, when in fact they have opened their mouthes and let un-assuring theory pour out that does not address any of the main concerns properly. As well as this I would like the article to include the interview with the man who conducted the report who remarked something along the lines of "Who cares how reliable my report was I have noone to answer to if it goes wrong. Win-win." This is truly terrifying and your biased article is missing these points and preventing a mass campaign that should be going on right now to stop these arrogant madmen! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ahhhhhhhhh-lhc (talkcontribs) 00:09, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
There is no credible theory as to why it's dangerous. Obviously, we need to discuss any notable theories, even if not credible, but that's all we need do. (And the "arrogant madmen" are the ones filing lawsuits.) But this really has little to do with improving the article. (I have no objection to this comment being removed if the previous one is removed as not being related to improving the article.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:19, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

It seems quite apparent that the 'unsigned' commenter here (labelled as Ahhhhhhhhh-lhc) is either a troll or, more likely I think, a highly biased campaigner against this piece of equipment and the intended experiments. His/her approach, as evidenced by the chosen screen-name and carefully rhetorical phrasing of 'questions', appears to be based on the inexpert panic-mongering of much of the media who, let's not forget, are non-scientists looking for a good story. Unless 'Ahhhhhhhhh-lhc' is able and willing to provide scientific contributions then such panic-mongering adds nothing to the article. Any complaints or protests would be better addressed to CERN than placed here on Wikipedia, which is, in theory at least, concerned with verifiable facts. - Aethelmost (talk) 12:27, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

I think he is not so much biased as just ignorant. Sadly, we are all ignorant, to some degree or another; that is inevitable and not a sin, nor shameful. Unfortunately, when one is ignorant, especially about as highly specialized a topic as fundamental physics, it is very hard to realize how deeply ignorant you are, because you stand at in the foothills of the Himalayas, and cannot really see the peaks clearly. Just to give a hint, Steven Weinberg (Nobel prize in physics, author of texts in general relativity and quantum field theory) wrote a while back that he tried to work in string theory some years ago, but just didn't have the mathematical background for it. But Ahhhhhhhhh-lhc (talk) needs to understand that we cannot even discuss this issue here. This article is not about the safety question, it is about the particle physics facility. It cannot be distorted by extensive discussion of fringe science, however sincere and well meaning (& scared) the editor may be. This article links to the dedicated safety article. There at least the issue is not off-topic, and you will find more traction for your questions. I warn you that even there tutorials on the science are not very appropriate, but some editors may be willing to answer questions, or possibly on your talk page. That is really the best we can do. Wwheaton (talk) 06:24, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Black hole button[edit]

Hi, I removed the sentence on the "black hole button" joke as I felt it was not appropriate for that section. It might have a SMALL place in the article on the safety of the LHC. BTW, the picture was taken in the CMS control room, see Ptrslv72 (talk) 10:11, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

BTW, in case anybody wants to add to the safety article a humorous section on the reactions of the CERN physicists to the doomsday scenarios, there was also an "End of The World party" in Geneva on the night before the LHC startup: Ptrslv72 (talk) 12:27, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Some of these details (like the end of the world party) would make for great additions to the Wikinews article. I think the party would help put the doomsayer predictions in perspective and it never does any harm to show scientists as having a sense of humour. --Brian McNeil /talk 14:06, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
If the button does get added anywhere, there's a photo at licensed under the Creative Commons license. TJRC (talk) 15:35, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Proposed external link[edit]

Okay, not really. TJRC (talk) 20:11, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Bad grammar[edit]

One of the potential outcomes of the running of the LHC has slightly skewed grammar. "Is time travel (either by General Theory of Relativity or wormholes or blackholes) possible?"

"Either" can only be used when the choice is between two options. I cannot edit this page and so I request concerned authorities to do so. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Voxpolaris16 (talkcontribs) 05:12, 10 September 2008 (UTC)  Done Thanks, someone's fixed that. ϢereSpielChequers 07:41, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

The sentence "The LHC is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator" should be removed from the beginning of the "Technical design" section. This has already been mentioned twice in the article. Once would be enough; three times in fifteen lines of text equals very poor writing.

 Done Thanks, someone's sort of fixed that, now twice in less than twenty lines but repetition probably makes sense. ϢereSpielChequers 07:41, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

In the opening paragraph the first sentence makes no sense and should probably be edited. I would recommend removing "due to" from the sentence and then it would be functional albeit ugly. (talk) 01:39, 24 September 2008 (UTC)RedCitizen

I re-worded it as best I could. Someone else with more expertise in the subject matter may wish to adjust my phrasing. --Kralizec! (talk) 02:13, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

What do you mean, xkcd isn't popular culture?[edit]

Just asking. Sarah Brand (talk) 07:22, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Well, xkcd only appeals to smart people. In THIS country, that's almost no one! TechnoFaye Kane 23:04, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I would say it's popular culture, but that doesn't mean that every time it tells a joke on a subject that it needs to appear in the article on the subject. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the comic, but I don't think comic mentions add anything substantive to the article; I'd say the same if the LHC appeared in Dilbert or Garfield. -- SCZenz (talk) 23:12, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Half Life 2[edit]

Should we include this and this?. --SkyWalker (talk) 07:38, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Nope.--Kamikaze (talk) 08:28, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

No, but maybe this is of interest: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:53, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

From the inside[edit]

First full clockwise beam 450GeV 10:25 Khukri 08:34, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Time line, these are from the info I have access to, but there are some small time lags.

  • Beam held at TI2 injection line 9:00
  • Pt3 first beam seen at 09:38:35
  • Pt5 first beam seen at 09:45:35
  • Pt6/7 first beam seen at 09:58:59
  • Pt8 first beam seen at 10:12:11
  • Pt1 first beam seen at 10:17:47
  • Last beam blocked 10:24:47
  • First beam ~10:25:15

Khukri 10:26, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

According to a CERN press release, it successfully happened at 10.28. --Ged UK (talk) 08:59, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Maybe my watch is slow, got an e-mail from a friend at 10:26 celebrating as well, so looks like I ain't the only one.Khukri 09:27, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Maybe your watch is being slowed down by strange forces, maybe time itself is slowing! Maybe this is the end of the world! Sorry, got carried away there. --Ged UK (talk) 09:33, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
hehe, checked the monitoring systems, 10:25:13 precisely, but I'm waiting for a response from another friend in controls, will update when I get anything more. Waiting on anti clockwise injection now, at the moment it's everyone calling the DG to congratulate him etc. Khukri 09:43, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Is the anti-clockwise injection being webcast? Every site I can find is offline through too much traffic. --Closedmouth (talk) 09:51, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
The webcast is on going, best bet is to listen to BBC radio 4 if you are in the UK. Looking through systems now will update shortly exact times and the progression round the ring. Khukri 10:02, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Anti-clockwise beam is just about to start. Khukri 10:26, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't think the next beam will start yet - cryogenics are examining the magnets. I've been watching on all this morning. Seraphim♥Whipp 10:35, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Yea looks like beam was ready at the TI8 injection line put stopped about 12:25, slight temperature variation in the magents. we'll see. Khukri 10:38, 10 September 2008 (UTC)


  • Beam held at TI8 until 12:25:11
  • Pt8 had 1 pulse at 12:29:33 which caused the cryo problem and beam resumed at 13:34:35
  • Pt6 13:59:47
  • Pt5 14:08:11
  • Pt2 14:37:36
  • Pt1 14:50:11
  • Full beam 14:59:23

Someone update the article please, counterclockwise full beam injection successfully at 14:59, I'm going for a beer. Khukri 15:14, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Woohoo! Thanks for the updates. Seraphim♥Whipp 16:15, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Is this not wikinews (to which there should be a link) rather than wikipedia stuff? Kittybrewster 09:41, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
The information was provided to add to the Large Hadron Collider#Test timeline. Seraphim♥Whipp 11:24, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
i've heard lots of rumours of what time it actualy started e.g 13.30.[[User:shaun k7| 12:07 12 september 2008 (UTC)

simple english[edit]

I think someone should write this article in SImple English for the people who don't understand this. And I'm not saying I'm one of them. lol. Gorillazx1 (talk) 08:42, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

See this discussion, further up the page... TalkIslander 09:02, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

The sentence on extra dimensions[edit]

Another comment on my pet section on the research goals of the LHC: in the sentence <Are there extra dimensions indicated by theoretical gravitons, as predicted by various models inspired by string theory, and can we "see" them?> I would drop <indicated by theoretical gravitons>. First of all because it sounds weird in English. Second, and most important, because gravitons are not a characteristic of extra dimensions only. I mean, even in four dimensions the field-theoretical description of gravity involves the graviton as the carrier of gravitational interactions. Ptrslv72 (talk) 09:48, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Circle or ellipse?[edit]

From the section "Technical design": "The collider is contained in a circular tunnel..." and "Some 1,232 bending magnets keep the beams on their circular path...". However the picture at the top right appears to show an ellipse. Axl ¤ [Talk] 11:59, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

It's a diagram rather than a scale map. Perhaps we could tweak the caption. --Ged UK (talk) 12:14, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Being pedantic, it's an octagon with what's called the 8 LSS (long straight sections), with all the corners rounded off. The diagram. But yes your right for a new reader it is misleading. Khukri 12:16, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Ah now I understand how so few magnets could achieve that effect. Can someone suggest a reference that details the shape I'll then correct the article. ϢereSpielChequers 07:41, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

LHC@Home / BOINC[edit]

I suggest to add to the "Computing Resources" paragraph that LHC@Home on the BOINC platform can be used by everyone with a computer connected to the internet to help tune the LHC and analyze the huge amount of data coming from the experiments. This is not well made clear from the current text. As the LHC page is viewed a lot at the moment, this addition could contribute a lot to the number of people contributing to LHC@Home, thus helping the experiments. I don't have an account overhere on Wikipedia so I can't add it myself, so I hope someone who does could make the addition. Bart —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:21, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Key LHC Creators Were Not All Physicists[edit]

Should the statement that the project involved over 8000 physicists also reflect the number of engineers and technical specialists? I was on a team at Los Alamos that worked on RHIC, SSC (terminated) and the LHC. Many of the most important contributors were engineers and technical specialists who actually knew how to build the magnets and detectors. We physicists did our best to keep up with them. I remember Walt Sondheim with particular awe. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:58, 10 September 2008 (UTC)


It's stated that the LHC tunnel has 27 kilometers of circumference, and 8.5 meters of diameter. That's simply impossible. circumference is Therefore, it should be either 27 meters of circumference or 8.5 kilometers of diameter. What is the actual size? 27 km of circumference and 8.5 km of diameter? or 27 m of circumference and 8.5 m of diameter? (talk) 15:54, 10 September 2008 (UTC)Flor

Kilometers... I'll fix it... TalkIslander 15:59, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
... actually I won't :P. The sentance refers to the diameter of the tunnel, i.e. the width of what you walk through, and not the diameter of the circle the tunnel makes. TalkIslander 16:01, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

But I think anyone with a good grasp of geometrics would understand what is meant, no?. We're already getting messages this article is too complicated and the lay person can't understand it, if we follow that route, they stand no chance. Khukri 17:31, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Why don't you just write that the tunnel has 27km of circumference and is 8.5-meters wide? Ptrslv72 (talk) 17:50, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

BTW, somebody is right, the tunnel is indeed 3.8-meter wide, see this authoritative source ;-) (which by the way states that the tunnel is "3.8m in diameter") Ptrslv72 (talk) 17:58, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

I finally understand the shape of this thing. Still think it could be phrased more clearly, or it could add an image to make it easier to understand. (It's like a gigantic ring buried underground). (talk) 18:17, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Clarification required on assumed recreation[edit]

With due respect The gravitation forces of the earth, our locale, within our 'solar system' are interpreted as a by-product of the expansion of the universe. Theoretically. In LHC case a 'recreated' simulation of the environment is assumed. Particle dispersion resultant from this experiment,unduly compromises time/space continuum. Blackhole outcome is negative. Fractures in the infrastructure of known/assumed time/space is a given. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:36, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

it would appear from re reading , my IP address has been linked to comments relating to Guantanamo Bay articles, this is not true and poses questions as to why my IP is related to this article. As a disclaimer this is my first post to Wikipedia, so unsure why my IP would be linked. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:58, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
dynamic IP, your ISP will update your IP every so often, mine does it, this results in your public IP adress changing every so often, leading to confusion on many programs that rely on it. I was banned for 2 days from editing once for something I didn't do —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:26, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

too technical[edit]

Someone now has gone and added both {{confusing}} and {{tootechnical}} to the article. Is there a way of making the article easier to read, or is it a case of it's difficult to dumb down something at the cutting edge of science? Not sure myself but I'm on the inside (slightly) so have a different viewpoint. Any change that makes it more accesible to more readers the better, any ideas? Khukri 16:43, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, that someone in fact is myself. I am a fairly scientifically minded fellow who has studied physics personally as well as taken college level courses, but most of the material was still too much for me. I believe simplification is doable: if you search for the word "equation" under A Brief History of Time, you will see that the entire book included only one and was thus quite readable. However, this article:
  1. Includes the 7 TeV measure of the electrons in the lead sentence.
  2. Contains a glutton of numbers as well as a good amount of speak about quadropole magnets, GeV, Proton Synchrotron, etc. Most of these numbers are useful, but they should probably be placed in some sort of table, not given as prose (e.g., 1232 dipole magnets).
  3. Other sections contain a excess of data (the cost section for example) and unexplained jargon as well, making the reading clunky. Magog the Ogre (talk) 17:16, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
What ever is done has to be tempered, to meet the best of both worlds as there are some who do come to find the details. Khukri 17:34, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Agreed completely. That is why I suggested a table. Magog the Ogre (talk) 18:17, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Simplifying the First Paragraph[edit]

1)I think the mention of the center of mass energy of the collision can be safely taken out of the first paragraph. It is important to physicists that the center of mass energy will reach 14 TeV but this is not something that is intelligible or interesting for a lay reader. These details appear later anyway. 2)The phrase: "the observation of which could confirm the predictions and missing links in the Standard Model" does not make sense. Again, while it is true that the Higgs is the only SM particle yet unobserved, I think, for the first paragraph it suffices to say that the discovery of the Higgs will explain how other particles obtain mass. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jacob2718 (talkcontribs) 17:06, 10 September 2008 (UTC)


Perhaps I'm being a little ignorant, but I would just like to clear up what is meant by the title "Large Hadron Collider". Does it mean "a collider that collides large hadrons" or "a large collider that collides hadrons", essentially is it a 'Large Hadron' Collider or a Large 'Hadron Collider'. Although English allows this ambiguity, when translating into other languages, it may be necessary to be more clear. Eb.eric (talk) 17:29, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

A large collider of hadrons, there is no such thing as a large hadron ;) The article already has most interwiki links to other languages, which should clear foreign langauge anbiguity. But if you want to see a specific change, suggest it or get stuck in and go for it yourself. Cheers Khukri
Thanks, that is exactly what I wanted to hear. I did look at the other translations, but admitted the small chance that none of the translators spotted the ambiguity. As you said, it's only ambiguous when you don't know much about hadrons! Thanks again. Eb.eric (talk) 17:42, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Hence the Very Large Hadron Collider. Kittybrewster 20:48, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

So who payed for the LHC?[edit]

I am curious about who payed for the LHC, and about CERN's funding in general. This page gives no details, and neither the CERN web page nor Google helped. Who payed the the €3.2 to €6.4 billion for the LHC? I imagine European countries payed a large chunk of it from their science budgets, but which ones and how much. And who else is contributing? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:34, 10 September 2008 (UTC) i reckon some of it is tax payers money :( i'm not against using tax payers money so long as it goes to a good cause. does anyone agree or is it just me?Shaun 13:13 12 september 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shaun k7 (talkcontribs) 12:16, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

The CERN yearly running costs come from the member states, the LHC is from all over the world, universities, members states, observer states, etc. The full break down of costs is available on the CERN site somewhere, think it's in the yearly report. Khukri 12:21, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm somewhat confused...[edit]

I think we studied that only massless particles can reach the speed of light. But now protons and other particles are to bo accelerated to (approximatly) the speed of light! This is one thing I'd like to understand. On the other hand, is it possible to say that all the laws (including absolute speed of electromagnetic waves, momentum and energy conservation) may become relativistic too since they are just re-built on the most recent experiments?

Tariq A (talk) 18:34, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

  • They accelerate the particles to almost the speed of light. RogueNinjatalk 22:07, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
WP:TALK, people... TalkIslander 22:08, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

First Reference[edit]

The article from National Geographics in ref.[1] is a good one, but I think that the LHC booklet from CERN (currently ref.[4]) would be more representative in that position. I mean, it contains all the information on the LHC that we give in the sections "Design" and "Purpose" in a very clear language for the laymen. I would move ref.[4] in the first position and give the current refs.[1,2] as refs.[2,3] immediately afterward as a sort of additional reading. In my opinion we might also lose refs.[2,3], but I will not insist on that. I'll implement the change, anybody feel free to revert if you don't agree. Cheers Ptrslv72 (talk) 23:19, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

On a second thought, the former ref.[2] - the 2005 article from symmetry magazine - feels really outdated, starting with "in less than three years..." so I removed it. Ptrslv72 (talk) 23:28, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Sorry everybody I forgot to describe the changes above in the edit summary... Ptrslv72 (talk) 23:34, 11 September 2008 (UTC)


Does the LHC begin collisions at a higher energy level than the RHIC. I know they start low level collisions very soon, some say this week, but I don't what qualifies as first high collisions in October. Is that the full 14TeV, or the pre-winter shutdown 10TeV? Anyways, once we start collisions past the line we know is safe and into the unknown that is the time to worry, if any, right? This is not a forum type question, I think it should be included in the article when it is expected to become the most powerful accelerator in use. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ahhhhhhhhh-lhc (talkcontribs) 00:04, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

If you can find out and add it to the article with references, that would be great thanks. Khukri 05:03, 12 September 2008 (UTC)


The article needs, I suggest, a lot more about the detectors. How do they work? These are, as I understand it, very complicated devices that also involve programming to consider some things significant and some things irrelevant. How then can we really say the LHC has produced something or detected something? The supposed "results" could be simply an artifact of how the detectors were designed or programmed. I assume something has been done to try to prevent such false results, but what? Otherwise how will we know if a Higgs B has been discovered or not?DeniseMToronto (talk) 06:57, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

The experiments themselves all have their own articles giving their details; ATLAS, ALICE, CMS LHCb, TOTEM, and LHCf and are linked in the article. Khukri 11:42, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

How many detectors?[edit]

 Done ϢereSpielChequers 12:22, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

This section starts talking about six detectors, two of which are one thing and the other three something else, then it cites an article that refers to all four of them. Are one or more of these detectors made of dark matter? Have some detectors strange properties that entangle them as one detector in some parallel universes and leave them separate in others? Have one or more detectors detected a mini blackhole by being subsumed within it? In any event I suggest that someone count how many detectors you have at that place and rewrite the section accordingly. ϢereSpielChequers 07:37, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Nice work User:Khukri it makes sense now. ϢereSpielChequers 12:22, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
No problems at all, I think with the amount of changes the article has seen in the last couple of days it's only natural the lego effect creeps into the article. But thanks for pointing it out and for the barnstar ;) Khukri 12:43, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Number of changes, surely. Because they are counted, not weighed. Kittybrewster 14:32, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes you are correct, please accept my most humble and sincerest apologies for my error and your need to point it out. Khukri 15:11, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Purpose section needs some refreshing[edit]

I think that the Purpose section (in particular the first paragraph) shows some signs of strain due to the many successive modifications. I am quite new to this Wiki business, thus - before editing the section - I would like to know what the original editors meant by some sentences that seem confusing or questionable to me.

1) <The verification of the existence of the Higgs boson would be a significant step in the search for a Grand Unified Theory, which seeks to unify...>

Surely (as is written in the lead) the discovery of the Higgs boson would provide a confirmation of the Standard Model. We might reiterate this point. However, mentioning here the GUT seems a bit besides the point to me. Why would the Higgs discovery provide a significant step forward in the search for a GUT?

2) <The Higgs boson may also help to explain why gravitation is so weak compared with the other three forces.>

what does this sentence exactly mean?

3) <In addition to the Higgs boson, other theorized particles, models and states might be produced>

"models" are not produced at the LHC. "states" is obscure (does it refer to new states of matter?).

4) <Physicists hope to use the collider to test various grand unified theories>

why this obsession with GUTs? This is not the first thing that would come to my mind when listing the physics goals of the LHC (especially in comparison with the other topics listed just below that sentence)

5) <Will the more precise measurements of the masses of the quarks continue to be mutually consistent within the Standard Model?>

I am not sure what this sentence refers to. If it refers to the determination of the parameters of the Cabibbo-Kobayashi-Maskawa matrix we should at least write <...of the masses and mixing angles of the quarks...>

Cheers, Ptrslv72 (talk) 17:38, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Is my first wikipedia addition, so forgive me if I do it wrong.
1) Here I'm not a specialist, maybe someone can help with sources. I think it is because knowing the properties of the Higgs will allow scientist to discard some GUT models and refine other. They should be reliable source about it.
2) See, maybe one should had a link
3) This is also unclear for me, especially how can one experimentally produce a model. For states, it means other quantum states of existing particle, as the Delta baryon is, I think, an other state of the nucleon. This should be refined indeed. Something like
<In addition to the Higgs boson, other theorized particles, or new states of known particles, might be produced. Others models might also be confronted to experiment>
Spizzer (talk) 18:12, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Will it be used to produce X-rays e.g. for crystallography? Narayanese (talk) 18:18, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi Spizzer, thanks for your contributions. Here are some replies

1) maybe. Still, I think the emphasis here should be on the fact that the discovery of the Higgs confirms the Standard Model (as I mention, the original editor seemed to have a soft spot for GUTs)

2) it does not seem to me that the link you sent clarifies the sentence. Discovering the Higgs, by itself, would not explain WHY gravity is much weaker than the other forces (btw, this is also called the hierarchy problem). It is true however that the discovery of the Higgs would help framing the hierarchy problem in a definite model (i.e. a theory with a fundamental scalar such as the SM, as opposed e.g. to technicolor). I'll think of a better way to rephrase this.

3) your proposal seems fine to me. Go ahead and do your second Wikipedia addition on this sentence ;-)

Hi Narayanese, the answer is no.

Cheers, Ptrslv72 (talk) 18:36, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunatly, the page is protected, so I cannot change it myself ^^. For (1) Your are right, the emphasis on GUT is too strong I think. For (2), even the [hierarchy problem] page isn't more helpfull unfortunatly. If you could find something that would be a great addition. --Spizzer (talk) 22:12, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Timescale for Higgs?[edit]

One question I haven't seen answered in press reports about the LHC is the likely timescale for the discovery (or non-discovery) of the Higgs boson. Obviously, they're not going to see it as soon as they turn the thing on (as the fictional LHC scientists in the Torchwood radio play Lost Souls did) — they'll have to interpret the data provided by the detectors, and they won't be able to start on that until they start actually colliding those proton beams (next month, as I understand it). They won't be able to look at a monitor and say, "look, it's a Higgs boson!" But how long will the analysis take? Are we talking weeks, months, or years? Are the results likely to be definitive (yep, that's definitely a Higgs boson) or inconclusive (well, it could be a Higgs boson, but it only existed for half a picosecond so we can't be sure)?

I know that these questions are heading into WP:NOTAFORUM territory, but I suspect I'm not the only layman wondering about these questions today. And if we have any idea what the timescale for these discoveries is likely to be (that is, if it's been discussed in reliable sources), it would be great to have it in the article (probably under "Test timeline"). —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 20:37, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

"Although the particle collision rate at the LHC will be very high, the production rate of the Higgs will be so small that physicists expect to have enough statistics only after about 2-3 years of data-taking. The Higgs boson production rate strongly depends on the theoretical model and calculations used to evaluate it. Under good conditions, there is expected to be about one every few hours per experiment. The same applies to supersymmetric particles. Physicists expect to have the first meaningful results in about one year of data-taking at full luminosity."
Maybe one should had a word about this somewhere in the article --Spizzer (talk) 22:22, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, please. That's exactly the information I was looking for, and given the tone of some of the coverage of the launch I suspect I won't be the only one. I'll defer to people with a better understanding of the subject than I have to find the best wording, though. If folks here can propose a good wording, I can add it to the article. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 22:27, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Very interesting. Thank you both. Do please add it. Kittybrewster 22:41, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Here's a possible wording, but I won't add it unless I get an OK from someone who knows the science better than I do:

Once the supercollider is up and running, CERN scientists estimate that a Higgs boson may be produced every few hours. At this rate, it will take two to three years before enough statistics have been gathered to produce meaningful results. Similarly, it will be approximately one year before sufficient results concerning supersymmetric particles have been gathered.

Does that seem right? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 04:58, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Well, the amount of statistics required to unambiguously discover the Higgs boson does not just depend on its production rate, but also on the way it decays into lighter particles. This, in turn, depends on its mass, which is an unknown parameter of the Standard Model. If the Higgs boson is heavy enough to decay into two W bosons - which can subsequently decay into leptons, say muons and neutrinos - its decay products will be easy to recognize and it might take less than the time that you mention to declare discovery. If on the other hand the Higgs cannot decay into W bosons it will mostly decay into two b quarks. These events are much more difficult to see over the background of the other events produced in the proton-proton collision. One would therefore have to rely on the much rarer decay of the Higgs boson into two photons, and in that case I guess that it might indeed take two/three years. However I am oversimplifying, because the search for Higgs boson will indeed combine all the possible decay modes (not just the two that I mentioned), but also because a main ingredient of the search for new particles (including the Higgs boson) is the good understanding of the background. I mean, the events involving known particles that might 'mimic' the signature of new particles. At present it is thought that - drawing e.g. on the results from the Tevatron - the background can be properly modeled even at the energy of the LHC, but who knows. Throw in the possibility of delays due to hardware problems and you see that every time estimate has to be taken with a grain of salt... Anyway I am talking (writing) off the top of my head, if the paragraph quoted above comes from the CERN website they know what they say. Ptrslv72 (talk) 11:41, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it comes from their LHC information flyer (for the general public) --Spizzer (talk) 18:43, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
So, does my summary of the LHC information flyer seem accurate? (If added, it would, of course, include a ref to that PDF.) Would it be better to say "it may take up to three years..." ?—Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 19:14, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Hi Josiah your summary looks fine to me. Actually, it might be better to be slightly more explicit and say "it may take up to three years to collect enough statistic to unambiguously discover the Higgs boson" or something to that effect. But I see now that somebody is starting a new article on the timeline... Ptrslv72 (talk) 10:45, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
I've added a bit with that wording. Thanks. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 15:17, 12 September 2008 (UTC)


I am watching a photo in this article that says FERMILAB. Is there a major contribution of FERMILAB to this CERN apparatus or is this a way to link FERMILAB to the succes of CERN or what? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:51, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

FERMILAB has had much to do with the LHC as the Wright Brother's first plane had to do with space shuttles. It has a historical importance and influence, but that's about it. The LHC was 100% funded by European countries and European agencies for science. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:07, 10 September 2008
Magnets from the SSC, couple of thousand physicists, lots of stuff, can't be bothered looking it up.Khukri 22:10, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
It also says KEK on the same photo. Could be mentioned in the caption though (it already is in the text later on). --Tone 22:41, 10 September 2008 (UTC)


Photos a'plenty at google .gov. {{PD-USGov}} may apply to .gov images, so get to up loadin', ya'all! -- Suntag (talk) 00:53, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Start with the Extra large Images since they usually are of the best quality. -- Suntag (talk) 01:10, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
color="0000FF">☎]] 23:39, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

[Layman's explanation requested][edit]

It would be great if someone could provide a sentence or two about what all this means to regular people right up front. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:42, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

That's not what Wikipedia is for. Try the Simple English version. Avnas Ishtaroth drop me a line 07:15, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Are we allowed to have a link there? Kittybrewster 09:45, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
They haven't written it yet. --Closedmouth (talk) 10:22, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Actually that is what Wikipedia is for. Simple English is supposed to be a different language, not a different way of explaining things. The question is whether there's anything we can do to make the article more clear (but still correct), and I'm not sure there is. One thing we shouldn't do is add a lot of introductory material that would apply equally to other particle accelerators, since there are other articles for that. This article isn't meant to stand on its own. -- BenRG (talk) 10:59, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

OK, who the hell are these people that are claiming that this article is 'too technical'? Is Wikipedia for 12-year-olds with developmental disabilities? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:25, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Okay there's a youtube video clearly explains how LHC works in very VERY simple english (well, at least to people who actually study physics), Enjoy your MacBig Bang. PS: Now can we please clear up everything in this page relating on "explain in simple english" request?--Johndoe789 (talk) 11:34, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

There is a simplified shorter explanation here. ϢereSpielChequers 14:58, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Girl suicide 'over Big Bang fear'[edit]

Can we add this somewhere? BalanceΩrestored Talk 12:09, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Might be worth a brief mention over at Safety of the Large Hadron Collider, but it's not really relevant here. TalkIslander 12:12, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
It might be sad, but it is in no way relevant to anything. In the very unlikely event that the earth is destroyed, she would still be dead, so her suicide was completely pointless. Michael.Urban (talk) 12:21, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Err, not the most tactful comment ever... regardless, turns out it was already mentioned right at the bottom of Safety of the Large Hadron Collider, so I've just added the BBC reference. TalkIslander 12:27, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Ignorant people + sensationalist media = tragedy every time. --Closedmouth (talk) 12:43, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

This used to be mentioned in the "in popular culture" section, but was deleted, with the edit summary, "I'm not sure I believe this suicide story; even if true, it doesn't seem worthy of inclusion". It's clearly true (BBC News is about as reliable a source as you can get); worth of inclusion is debatable. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 19:12, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I maintain that it's not at all worthy of inclusion here in this article, but should be (and is) briefly mentioned over at Safety of the Large Hadron Collider. TalkIslander 20:04, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 20:11, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
The action taken is right. As the BBC ref makes clear, this tragic event is about Indian media coverage, not the LHC or its safety. The girl was distressed by sensationalist predictions on TV that her village would be swallowed up. Strayan (talk) 00:11, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Sad, but a good reminder of what sensationalism and ignorance can lead to. Hurricanefloyd (talk) 09:37, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
I think removing the story raises a WP:BIAS issue. From the point of view of Indian readers (and we have plenty), this story pretty much defines the issue of the LHC in popular culture. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 13:40, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Sheffield Steel, wikipedia suffers chronic bias, lets try and address the issue, which here would mean including the story. Thanks, SqueakBox 14:31, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, also I think it should be here as opposed to the safety article itself, but have a sneaking suspicion it will get removed after a suitable length of time has passed. Khukri 13:54, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
I fail to see how this is relevant to this article, though... Safety of the Large Hadron Collider, yes - this girl killed herself because of fears of the safety. However, seriously, what place does it have here? TalkIslander 14:18, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
It is not relevant here. Kittybrewster 14:30, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
It is relevant to the article because the article is about LHC in all its aspects, and people's reactions in India and elsewhere is part of what the LHC is in the world right now. Thanks, SqueakBox 14:33, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
She reacted to a sensationalist story and/or to her fears - not to the LHC. Kittybrewster 14:40, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
This girl did not die because the LHC is dangerous; she wasn't killed during construction, hit by a strangelet, or sucked into a black hole (the issues covered in the safety article). She died because she was worried and depressed after seeing an inaccurate portrayal of the LHC in popular media. Responses to her death are also raising the profile of the LHC in popular media. I think this is more related to the media, and the portrayal of the LHC, than it is to actual safety issues. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 14:50, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

(untab) "This girl did not die because the LHC is dangerous; she wasn't killed during construction, hit by a strangelet, or sucked into a black hole (the issues covered in the safety article). She died because she was worried and depressed after seeing an inaccurate portrayal of the LHC in popular media." If anything, in my opinion you've just shown why it shouldn't be included in either article. This is a matter regarding the media, and not the LHC. They could have stated a million reasons why the world was going to end on Wednesday - the fact that they chose the LHC is, in my opinion, somewhat incidental. TalkIslander 15:39, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

You're right, the media could have picked any of the millions of available "end of the world" scenarios to write about. If they'd chosen to write that the flying spaghetti monster was going to eat the world, and that caused a suicide, perhaps we would be having the same argument on a different Talk page. But they picked this one. Reliable sources have made a connection between the LHC and this girl's death, whether we think the two are related, incidental, or whatever.
I've probably said enough on this subject. If there's a consensus among other editors, I'll respect that. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 16:04, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
How the LHC is portrayed in the media is highly relevant. The real issue seems not to be whther it is safe but whether it is portrayed as being not safe, and the fact that it is portrayed as being not-safe, even if inaccurately portrayed, is highly relevant. Kitty, she reacted to a sensationalist story about the LHC and that is why it is relevant to the LHC. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:54, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Suggestion on how to include this[edit]

Most of the objections to including the suicide story here have to do with the fact that it's connected to popular perceptions of the LHC, rather than the facts about the LHC. But there are facts, noted by reliable sources, about the popular perception of the LHC, and as such they merit inclusion in a comprehensive encyclopedia article about the LHC.

I suggest that we retitle and refocus the section currently titled "In popular culture" to be about notable popular and fictional perceptions of the LHC. The section would contain a summary of what reliable sources have noted about reactions to the LHC in the culture-at-large. (This would have the added benefit of helping prevent the section from becoming a trivia magnet — a section called "in popular culture" is more likely to attract every passing mention in a webcomic than a section about cultural responses.) The popular perception of the LHC is different from the scientific question of whether it's safe . I'm not sure what the best title for such a section would be — "Cultural responses" or "Popular and fictional perceptions" might work, but I'm open to other suggestions.

I do think that such a topic should be under the scope of this article, viz., an encyclopedic treatment of the Large Hadron Collider — not just what it is in scientific terms (although that should, of course, be the primary focus) but also what it means in cultural terms. Similarly, I'd expect an article on eclipses to include information about how they have been viewed as bad omens in various cultures (although I note that our articles eclipse, solar eclipse and lunar eclipse lack this content). I do see a section on "Religious attitudes to heliocentrism" at heliocentrism, though. Obviously, the suicide of one girl in India, although tragic, doesn't have the same scale as the reaction to the heliocentric model of the universe, I assert that it's part of the same social perspective on science, and as such, may merit inclusion here. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 16:41, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

A discussion of the suicide should not in this article.
  • It is not about the LHC.
  • It is not about the safety of the LHC.
  • It is not about the press coverage of the safety of the LHC.
  • It is about reaction to the press coverage of the safety of the LHC.
If it must go somewhere, put it in the safety article. At least there, it will have only two degrees of irrelevance, instead of the three degrees it would have being discussed here. TJRC (talk) 20:58, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
No. If it must go somewhere (and why must it?), it goes under press, stupidity, ignorance, creationism, india, education, propoganda, etc. Kittybrewster 02:29, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
...creationism? Did I miss some aspect of the story, or did you just throw that in because it goes with the "stupidity" and "ignorance"?
The suicide is not about the actual LHC, but it is about the perception of the LHC. The Indian girl's suicide has exactly as much to do with the LHC as the attempt to assassinate Ronald Reagan had to do with Jodie Foster — in a rational mind, none at all, but in the mind of the person who committed the deed, a very strong connection. There's an entire section in Jodie Foster about the Reagan assassination attempt, even though she had nothing to do with it. Now, the suicide of one girl is, for better or worse, probably not as notable as the attempted assassination of the President of the United States. But if the event is at all notable, I think it merits inclusion here.
When a subject becomes the topic of heated media attention, and that media attention leads to a death, those events are part of the story about said subject. They're not the most important part of that story, but they're part of it. I think that the media treatment of the LHC, in India and elsewhere, is part of the story of the LHC, and this girl's death is too. I think we can afford a single sentence about it here. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 05:09, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Again, to the extent that this is material to the LHC at all (and I hold the view that it is not), it is material to the safety issues, and so would fall into Safety of the Large Hadron Collider article. You should be having this discussion at Talk:Safety of the Large Hadron Collider, arguing to include it in that article, if it isn't already there. TJRC (talk)05:44, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
It's there, and that's fine. I don't feel strongly enough about this to push the point any further, but I wanted to make it clear that SheffieldSteel wasn't the only editor who thinks that this might merit inclusion here as well. I don't think there's really a consensus here either way. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 05:49, 14 September 2008 (UTC)