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Author Topic: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse  (Read 3104 times)

polobeer

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The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« on: September 21, 2008, 12:53:23 pm »

The £3.6 Billion Big Bang machine overheats. But thank Heavens folks, it will only be out of action for two months! Phew! Now that's what I call value for money. I'm glad to see that such a trifling sum of money is being used so wisely...

 {-)

BBC - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7626944.stm
Link added - Martin


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das boot

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2008, 01:51:39 pm »

The Big Bang machine overheats. But thank Heavens folks, it will only be out of action for two months!

You been talking to my g/friend.....?    {-)

Rich
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polobeer

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2008, 02:02:49 pm »

Dunno... what does she look like?

 :o

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polobeer

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2008, 02:16:19 pm »

Thanks for the link Martin! At least it was only helium that leaked (which no doubt would have caused much hilarity within the complex). "What are you laughing at?" "Me? I'm not laughing; I'm hysterical! We've only lost £1.3 billion... it could have been worse... we might have vapourised Switzerland!". "Yeah, you're right and at least now we know what happens when magnets blow a fuse, we get the Big Bank and re-create the dawn of the Hadron Collider...".

 {-)

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Colin Bishop

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2008, 03:54:46 pm »

Does that mean that if I switch off my fridge all the magnets will explode?  :o
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White Ensign

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2008, 04:44:58 pm »

...hmmm, probably all that "helium-powered" voices now found a boy-chorus.... ::)

Jörg
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polobeer

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2008, 06:09:07 pm »

Yes some true castrati singing is very likely: "Who the hell touched that switch marked... "Do Not Touch This Switch?" Wait till I catch the little ****** then they'll experience some Mad John Colliding!
 
>>:-(

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malcolmfrary

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2008, 10:42:56 am »

At least someone remembered to fit an "OFF" switch.
Memories of "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", Showers of sparks everywhere and people leaping about, not always in sync with the rocking camera, to simulate the sub rocking.
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craftysod

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2008, 05:34:39 pm »

What a complete waste of money,should be spent on cancer research or other medical problems that need sorting,if you want a big bang get a massive hammer
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ronkh

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2008, 07:04:12 pm »

Had one in my garage (boat-shed) on Sunday. Working away totally absorbed, heard a strange hissing/rattling noise at the end of my bench, looked down and under and                         BANG.               
Bl##dy heater went :o :o :o :o  Bits in my hands went every-which way, chair shot back 100 mph and I almost hit ceiling! Gave up after that as had to let the ticker slow down and hands stop shaking!! Such is life.

Ron.
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RipSlider

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2008, 03:24:02 pm »

What a complete waste of money,should be spent on cancer research or other medical problems that need sorting,if you want a big bang get a massive hammer

In a way it is. Most of the radio-active isotopes used in medicine - like medical imaging etc come from a few ( a very few ) nuclear reactors, mostly in canada - needs a very specific design to make them. However, with about 2/3 of the worldd production reactors shut down currently - due to a number of unrelated issues - then there is a world shortage - been a lot about it in the paper recently. People are dying because no one knows they are sick.

The LHC will produce vast amounts of these isotopes when a couple of times a year. It should come close to doubling the world supply. And it's far better supported than most nuclear reactors and so should be a fairly stable source.


And, even if you don't care about the science itself - and it could end up being pretty important - the LHC is already being useful.

The last machine that used the same hole - LEP - was the catalyst for the world wide web to be created. Setting aside issues such as without LEP you wouldn't be reading this site, the internet saves lives, in a minor way becuase of clever technology that uses it ( of all the contracts I've done, I'm most proud that I ran a project that "joined up" a number of ambulance services over the WWW in 2006, which saves approx 400 lives/year ) but far - FAR -  more importantly because people like cancer researchers can now share and collaborate on research that they could never do before, and vast numbers of lives have been saved by this, and vast numbers of cancers halted or cured.


The LHC will go one better - it is creating The Grid, which will be the most vast super-computer ever in terms of power and storage. And a whole new structure that it is highly likely that most computer applications will move over to in time. No more desk top PC's in the future - just the grid, or a copy of it.

The Grid will allow modelling and research to be done - and protien folding for cancer theapy is the first "non-atom-smashing" role it's being lined up for. No more research taking years in a lab, it will now take days or even hours on the Grid.

And also, something as powerful as the grid will make drug testing much easier, which will make it easier to get good medicine certified by the US. Which means lots of other countries - like the UK - will follow it's lead. And then lives REALLY start getting saved.


incidental to this, the LHC will also tell us how the world works. Either it find the "Higgs boson" you've probably read about, and in the process discovers super-symetry, and then a whole new world of micro-chips, encryption, optics and god knows what else opens up in front of us - and who knows what sort of amazing things will come from all that, or we find that there's no Higgs there. And turn particle physics and big dollops of quantum theory on it's head. And that will be REALLY good - becuase then we'll have to find what really is going on. All the electronics over the last 60 years have come from the current version of quantum theory, which came from particle theory ( plus some other stuff, but mostly particle physics )

Transistors, LED's, Hall probles, diodes, binary theory, computers, MRI scanners, flouesent light...... everything. If we have to scrap it and start again - who knows what we'll find. But it'll be fun watching it happen!


Steve
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Colin Bishop

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2008, 07:14:28 pm »

Well said Steve!
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craftysod

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2008, 09:55:43 am »

Sorry steve for thinking it was a waste of cash,because you explained how useful it could be for medicine [obviously you know what you are talking about - i'm just a dumb truck driver]
it shows how useful it will be  O0

mark
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wombat

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2008, 07:59:57 pm »

Hi Mark,

I think that many people do not appreciate the benefits of these big capital projects. Part of this is because the media focus on the gee-wizzery without looking at the background.

For example RipSlider (Steve) mentioned MRI scanners - these came directly from High Energy Physics - it is the atom smashers that drove the development of the powerful magnets that are fundamental to MRI - also the SQuIDs (Superconducting Quantum Interferometer Devices) that perform the sensing operation.

What these projects do is drive the development of technologies that can be exploited and developed for other applications elsewhere. They represent an investment in the future technologies that will shape our society. Of course people will say that companies should be investing in this - but even the biggest companies cannot support this level of investment - it is an opportunity that would be lost - particularly for the SMEs that develop alot of the technology. For example the technology used to control of the beams of protons that are collided will probably feed into hard disk drives, CNCs, engine management systems and so on.

One of the things that I suspect will come out of the LHC is the next or next-but-one generation of database systems.

Perhaps it is better to look at the value of these projects less in terms of the research itself and more in terms of the spin-offs - for example I can see in a few years that the technology for detecting some of the pulses of energy in the LHC will feed into the power industry improving the quality of monitoring of the distribution equipment leading to longer life of the electricity system and more reliable and efficient power supplies.

Wom
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malcolmfrary

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2008, 11:32:53 pm »

As a society, we will get our moneys worth from these projects, no matter what the opinion of the tabloid editors, most of whom could not be trusted to find their own respective backsides with both hands, a periscope and GPS.  Of course, they would have vehemently opposed the cost of the research that allowed not only GPS, but the machinery that allows their product to be created.
The important thing to remember is that when big-time basic work like this is carried out, there is no telling what discoveries will be made, what conclusions reached, or what future products will become possible. 
That's the nature of the future.  For some great illustrations of this, have a read of Asimov's Foundation Trilogy (all 51 parts, if you get into it) and ponder the 1940s view of wrist watches and word processors.   Then seek out Aldiss's "Cities in Flight" and laugh your socks off at the sudden plot change brought about half way through its writing by the electronic industry gaining a liking for silicon in the mid '60's. 
A large machine has been built to do something that has never been done before.  It follows that there is a good chance that something will go "phut", but in finding out why, we will learn a great deal, some of which will come in very useful.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2008, 10:20:22 am »

I thought Cities in Flight was by James Blish?  ::)
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malcolmfrary

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2008, 10:45:01 am »

I thought Cities in Flight was by James Blish?  ::)
Well read, that man.  O0 Silver moment.  :o Again.   ::)
It is nice to know I'm not the only one who read it.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: The Big Bang machine blows a fuse
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2008, 10:53:50 am »

Some of the old Sf classics seem to be coming back into print. Memories!
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