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Large Hadron Collider

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#1 petrus45

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 04:09 PM

1. Anyone know of a good article that sets forth PRACTICAL applications for the Large Hadron Collider, or PRACTICAL applications of the discoveries expected from the LHC?

2. What does it mean that a particle is "consistent with the Higgs Boson," and how does that quality as a discovery of anything whatsoever? For instance, there are particles of dust on my keyboard that are probably "consistent with the Higgs Boson." Doesn't seem like much of a discovery.

I am very excited about this project involving the largest magnet collection in the world, huge amounts of electricity, vast funding, and fertile ground for science fiction imaginations, but I still dont understand what it actually does.

#2 Joad

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 05:38 PM

The LHC is an enhanced version of the old cyclotrons and linear accelerators: it enables the study of sub-atomic matter by accelerating particles and studying their collisions. The old fashioned slang term for such devices is "atom smashers," which is, in effect, what they do. And they are essential for any further progress in empirical nuclear physics.

And the discovery "consistent with the Higgs Boson" was a huge one. One of the purposes of the LHC super collider was to provide an experimental means for testing the equations that predicted the existence of this fundamental phenomenon.

As for "practical results," well, many practical developments in science and technology first require advances in theoretical and "pure" scientific research. Take the discovery of the structure of DNA. That had to come first before all of the practical applications of that knowledge could follow.

#3 deSitter

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:48 PM

1. Anyone know of a good article that sets forth PRACTICAL applications for the Large Hadron Collider, or PRACTICAL applications of the discoveries expected from the LHC?

2. What does it mean that a particle is "consistent with the Higgs Boson," and how does that quality as a discovery of anything whatsoever? For instance, there are particles of dust on my keyboard that are probably "consistent with the Higgs Boson." Doesn't seem like much of a discovery.

I am very excited about this project involving the largest magnet collection in the world, huge amounts of electricity, vast funding, and fertile ground for science fiction imaginations, but I still dont understand what it actually does.


In this case, there are essentially no practical results. What has been confirmed is a theory that is crippled in terms of calculating anything with the nucleus, and more or less ambiguous regarding neutrinos. That doesn't mean it is not useful. It means nothing of any real practical use will come of it. What practical value that could be extracted from scattering experiments (study of high energy collisions), was extracted long ago.

Now, if the LHC shows an anomaly, and there is some indication it already has, then yes, something practical might come of it because it would mean new physical ideas. But so far - zilch.

-drl






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