Entries in String Theory (5)


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Early universe


in LHC was

superhot liquid




The early universe was an extremely dense and superhot liquid, according to the surprise first findings of the ALICE experimentat the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland.

The experiment to probe the early moments of the universe started up on 7 November, smashing together the nuclei of lead atoms inside the LHC's circular tunnel to produce incredibly dense and hot fireballs of subatomic particles at over 10 trillion °C. The idea behind ALICE is to recreate the exotic, primordial "soup of particles" known as quark-gluon plasma that appeared microseconds after the universe's birth. Gluons and quarks went on to become the constitutive "bricks" of neutrons and protons inside atomic nuclei.

Many models have suggested that the flow of particles from these subatomic fireworks produced in high-energy nuclear collisions should behave like a gas and not a liquid. "These observations keep surprising us," says David Evans of the University of Birmingham, UK, a member of the ALICE team.

A further surprise was the density of subatomic particles created by the smash. One major school of thought suggests there is an upper limit on how many interacting gluons can be packed into a given volume: when this saturation point is reached during a collision, no more new debris particles should therefore be produced.

But to the surprise of the ALICE scientists, the lead ions' mini big bang produced more subatomic particles than expected. "This means that if an upper limit exists, it has not yet been reached at the energies used at LHC," says Evans.

Now our LHC investment is paying off.  Fluid matter fixes many of our Theories about the building blocks of the universe.  String Theory even supports this, but it was dismissed as being impossible.


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Trapped at CERN

First Time in History



Physicists working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, have succeeded in trapping antihydrogen — the antimatter equivalent of the hydrogen atom — a milestone that could soon lead to experiments on a form of matter that disappeared mysteriously shortly after the birth of the universe 14 billion years ago.


The first artificially produced low energy antihydrogen atoms — consisting of a positron, or antimatter electron, orbiting an antiproton nucleus — were created at CERN in 2002, but until now the atoms have struck normal matter and annihilated in a flash of gamma-rays within microseconds of creation.

The ALPHA (Antihydrogen Laser PHysics Apparatus) experiment, an international collaboration that includes physicists from the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), has now trapped 38 antihydrogen atoms, each for more than one-tenth of a second.

Now we are getting our moneys worth out of the LHC, lets hope it does not destroy the earth.



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CERN Preparations are under way for the restart

of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) the world's most

powerful particle accelerator.


Geneva, 1 July 2009. Preparations are under way for the restart of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) the world's most powerful particle accelerator. One of the most important systems needed to support the experiments that will utilise this great machine is the global computing grid: the worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG). After months of preparation and two intensive weeks of 24 x 7 operation the LHC experiments are celebrating the achievement of a new set of goals aimed at demonstrating full readiness for the LHC data taking run expected to start later this year. Whilst there have been several large-scale data-processing tests in recent years, this was the first production demonstration involving all of the key elements from data taking through to analysis. Records of all sorts were established: data taking throughput, data import and export rates between the various Grid sites, as well as huge numbers of analysis, simulation and reprocessing jobs – ATLAS alone running close to 1M analysis jobs and achieving 6GB/s, of "Grid traffic", the equivalent of a DVD worth of data a second, sustained over long periods. This result is particularly timely as it coincides with the transition of Grids into long-term sustainable e-infrastructures, clearly of fundamental importance to projects of the lifetime of the LHC. With the restart of the LHC only months away, one can expect a large increase in the number of Grid users: from several hundred unique users today to several thousand when data taking and analysis commences. This can only happen through significant streamlining of operations and the simplification of end-users' interaction with the Grid. STEP'09 included massive-scale testing of end-user analysis scenarios, including "community-support" infrastructures, whereby the community is trained and enabled to be largely self-supporting, backed by a core of Grid and application experts.

WLCG combines the IT power of more than 140 computer centres, the result of collaboration between 33 countries.

Sergio Bertolucci, director of research and computing at CERN1 said: "The 4 LHC experiments – ATLAS, CMS, ALICE and LHCb – have demonstrated their ability to manage their nominal data rates concurrently. For the first time all aspects of the experiments' computing were exercised simultaneously: simulation, data processing and analysis. This gives them the confidence that they will be able to efficiently analyze the first data from the LHC later this year."

Bob Jones, director of the EGEE project remarked "such a significant achievement is also a valuable testament to the state of maturity of the EGEE infrastructure and its ability to interoperate with major Grid infrastructures in other parts of the world. Ensuring that this level of service continues uninterrupted as we transition from EGEE to EGI is clearly essential to our users, including flagship communities such as High Energy Physics."


 Lets get ready to see some results.


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What is Higgs Boson?


The theories and discoveries of thousands of physicists over the past century have resulted in a remarkable insight into the fundamental structure of matter: everything in the Universe is found to be made from twelve basic building blocks called fundamental particles, governed by four fundamental forces.

Our best understanding of how these twelve particles and three of the forces are related to each other is encapsulated in the Standard Model of particles and forces. Developed in the 1960s and 70s, it has successfully explained a host of experimental results and precisely predicted a wide variety of phenomena. Over time and through many experiments by many physicists, the Standard Model has become established as a well-tested physics theory.



This is a Picture of a Particle Collision....

Let's see you can tell the Particles apart


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They want to Rename the "God Particle"



I once asked a brilliant physicist at Manchester University what he thought of the name the media use for the Higgs boson, the mysterious particle that is regarded as the universal origin of mass. That name, of course, is the God particle.

It is partly with thanks to names like “God particle” and spurious end-of-the-world scenarios that the Large Hadron Collider at Cern near Geneva got so much coverage when it was switched on last year. And broke…

But back to the physicist in Manchester. He paused. He sighed. And then he said: “I really, really don’t like it. It sends out all the wrong messages. It overstates the case. It makes us look arrogant. It’s rubbish.” He then added: “If you walked down the corridor here, poked your head into people’s offices and asked that question, you would likely be struck by flying books…”

Below I’ve set out the best criteria I can find for how to come up with a good name for a new particle. Depending on the number of entries, we’ll select the winner by: consulting physicists; testing the entries on the humanities graduates who run the Guardian’s newsdesk, aka “The Gate Keepers”; or by printing them out on a sheet of paper and asking the chef to throw a dart at it*.

The winner will receive a copy of Science: A Four Thousand Year History by Patricia Fara, and a surprise Higgs boson-themed gift.

Three simple rules:

1) Names should be serious and accurate
2) It is good to name things after people, but only if you can resist the pressure to hyphenate with two or three extra names
3) Names should be evocative and inspiring.

The closing date is midnight Monday 1st June 2009

Click the link above to cast your vote