Feeds

LHC boffins crank beams to 3.5 TeV redline

'Dump cores' catch and stop moving aircraft carriers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Big news from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) overnight. The titanic proton-punisher has once again smashed all records to achieve the most powerful particle beams ever generated by the human race, at energies of 3.5 Tera-electron-volts - the maximum redline power at which the mighty machine can currently be safely run.

Slide from LHC 0830 morning briefing Friday 19 March 2010.

Uncontrolled emotion was shown by the scientists

The LHc narrowly nudged ahead of the planet's second-most-puissant atomsmasher towards the end of last year's proton billiards season, generating 1.18 TeV beams. The rival Tevatron, located in America, can manage only 0.98 TeV: last night's 3.5 TeV beams at the LHC have now moved particle physics firmly into a new league.

The LHC is actually designed to be capable of still more outrageous 7 TeV beams, which can be crossed over almost head-on to produce unimaginably violent particle collisions at 14 TeV energies. However, following the machine's original fire-up in 2008, a blown power connection led to a disastrous liquid helium superfluid explosion mishap which flung multi-tonne magnet pipes about like cardboard poster tubes and crippled the Collider for months.

Following that incident, engineers painted the new half-power 3.5 TeV redline on the Big Dial. The plan is to work within this limit this year, and then strip out and replace all the relevant power connections around the entire 27km underground tunnel which houses the LHC. This will be a long job, so CERN boffins are keen to get in a good run at 3.5 Tev first so as to pile up some data for their mighty supercomputing grids to crunch in the meantime.

It's worth noting that last night saw no actual particle collisions as such. However, in the natural course of things it's not safe to simply switch off the magnets having created such powerful beams. A full 7 TeV beam contains as much energy as a Royal Navy aircraft carrier steaming at 12 knots; thus a half-power 3.5 TeV one like last night's has as much energy as the same huge ship going at 8 knots (kinetic energy being proportional to the square of velocity).

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.