Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Large Hadron Collider: Experiments underway

A friend writes to say that the protons have completed the first circuit of the Large Hadron Collider:
By next month, the LHC should be running at more than 10 times the energy used today, though it will not reach its maximum energy of 14 teraelectronvolts until next year. The first experiments that could discover new physics, as opposed to showing the detectors are working, could start in the late autumn.

The first scientific discoveries could well concern supersymmetry, the theory that all particles have twins known as "sparticles". The search for the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" that is believed to give matter its mass -- will take longer, with no results expected until late next year or the year after.
My friend wonders how this will affect local energy use. I will advise him to check his bill for mysterious extra charges.

In fact, everyone, check your energy bill for mysterious extra charges! Energy companies are not to be trusted blindly. You could be paying for the Large Hadron Collider - or the large heated pool next door.

See also:

"No escape from philosophy through equations"

"And what if the Large Hadron Collider doesn't find the Higgs boson ... ?"

"Large Hadron Collider: And what if, $3 billion later, they don't find the God particle?"