Feeds

LHC boffins crank beams to 3.5 TeV redline

'Dump cores' catch and stop moving aircraft carriers

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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).

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.