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Message Subject Cern Power___Colder than Space
Poster Handle ShadowDancer
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seems I am not hearing much...so I assume they are quite busy...

Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg is worried. It's not that he thinks the LHC will create a black hole that will engulf the planet, or even that the restart will end in a technical debacle like last year's. No: he's actually worried that the LHC will find what some call the "God particle", the popular and embarrassingly grandiose moniker for the hitherto undetected Higgs boson.

"I'm terrified," he says. "Discovering just the Higgs would really be a crisis."

Why so? Evidence for the Higgs would be the capstone of an edifice that particle physicists have been building for half a century - the phenomenally successful theory known simply as the standard model. It describes all known particles, as well as three of the four forces that act on them: electromagnetism and the weak and strong nuclear forces.

It is also manifestly incomplete. We know from what the theory doesn't explain that it must be just part of something much bigger. So if the LHC finds the Higgs and nothing but the Higgs, the standard model will be sewn up. But then particle physics will be at a dead end, with no clues where to turn next.

Hence Weinberg's fears. However, if the theorists are right, before it ever finds the Higgs, the LHC will see the first outline of something far bigger: the grand, overarching theory known as supersymmetry. SUSY, as it is endearingly called, is a daring theory that doubles the number of particles needed to explain the world. And it could be just what particle physicists need to set them on the path to fresh enlightenment.

So what's so wrong with the standard model? First off, there are some obvious sins of omission. It has nothing whatsoever to say about the fourth fundamental force of nature, gravity, and it is also silent on the nature of dark matter. Dark matter is no trivial matter: if our interpretation of certain astronomical observations is correct, the stuff outweighs conventional matter in the cosmos by more than 4 to 1.

Ironically enough, though, the real trouble begins with the Higgs. The Higgs came about to solve a truly massive problem: the fact that the basic building blocks of ordinary matter (things such as electrons and quarks, collectively known as fermions) and the particles that carry forces (collectively called bosons) all have a property we call mass. Theories could see no rhyme or reason in particles' masses and could not predict them; they had to be measured in experiments and added into the theory by hand.

3 into 1....HMMMMMM

The hierarchy problem is not the only defect in the standard model. There is also the problem of how to reunite all the forces. In today's universe, the three forces dealt with by the standard model have very different strengths and ranges. At a subatomic level, the strong force is the strongest, the weak the weakest and the electromagnetic force somewhere in between.

Towards the end of the 1960s, though, Weinberg, then at Harvard University, showed with Abdus Salam and Sheldon Glashow that this hadn't always been the case. At the kind of high energies prevalent in the early universe, the weak and electromagnetic forces have one and the same strength; in fact they unify into one force. The expectation was that if you extrapolated back far enough towards the big bang, the strong force would also succumb, and be unified with the electromagnetic and weak force in one single super-force.

Blood brothers?

String theory and supersymmetry are two as-yet unproved theories about the make-up of the universe. But they are not necessarily related.

It is true that most popular variants of string theory take a supersymmetric universe as their starting point. String theorists, who have taken considerable flak for advocating a theory that has consistently struggled to make testable predictions, will breathe a huge sigh of relief if supersymmetry is found.

That might be premature: the universe could still be supersymmetric without string theory being correct. Conversely, at the kind of energies probed by the LHC, it is not clear that supersymmetry is a precondition for string theory. "It is easier to understand string theory if there is supersymmetry at the LHC," says Edward Witten, a theorist at Princeton University, "but it is not clear that it is a logical requirement."

If supersymmetry does smooth the way for string theory, however, that could be a decisive step towards a theory that solves the greatest unsolved problem of physics: why gravity seems so different to all the rest of the forces in nature. If so, supersymmetry really could have all the answers.

[link to www.newscientist.com]

[link to macedoniaonline.eu]

A top scientist at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) says that the titanic machine may possibly create or discover previously unimagined scientific phenomena, or "unknown unknowns" - for instance "an extra dimension".

"Out of this door might come something, or we might send something through it," said Sergio Bertolucci, who is Director for Research and Scientific Computing at CERN, briefing reporters including the Reg at CERN HQ earlier this week.

The LHC, built inside a 27-km circular subterranean tunnel deep beneath the Franco-Swiss border outside Geneva, functions like a sort of orbital motorway for extremely high-speed hadrons - typically either protons or lead ions.

The differences are, firstly, that the streams of particles are moving at velocities within a whisker of light speed - such that each stream has as much energy in it as a normal car going at 1000mph. Secondly, the beams are arranged in such fashion that the two streams swerve through one another occasionally, which naturally results in huge numbers of incredibly violent head-on collisions.

These collisions are sufficiently violent that they are expected to briefly create conditions similar to those obtaining countless aeons ago, not long after the Big Bang, when the entire universe was still inconceivably small - it was smaller than a proton for quite some time, seemingly, still with all the stuff that nowadays makes up all the supra-enormity of space and galaxies and so forth packed in somehow.

dimensional portals now they decide to let the curious in a bit-dimensional portals/vortices/torus/all kinds of unknowns could "walk through" as I have said-seems it is not so far-fetched after all.

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