[Marxism] Large Hadron Collider: Swindle of the Century?

Anthony Hartin hartin at mail.desy.de
Mon Oct 19 22:31:10 MDT 2009


Its not such a big point but the timeline presented in an earlier post 
here about magnet problems at the LHC was not right. The problem in the 
fermlab triplet which occurred mid 2007 was resolved in a few months. The 
current problem with the quench in Sep08 that lead to several magnets been moved
from their mounts has taken about a year - thats largely because they have
now tested every splice and have developed and installed a computerised 
quench protection system. Probably that should have been done before but I 
expect there was a certain amount of management pressure to get the thing 
rolled out last September. There are 5000 superconducting magnets and 
1000s of other magnets and the machine itself is its own prototype and 
prodution machine rolled into one, so I'm only surprised that there hasnt 
been more problems - but maybe they are still to come.

By the way, if the Higgs exists then it most likely will not be discovered 
(statistically significantly that is) until about 5 years of runtime - 
that doesnt mean that there wont be lots of interesting surprises in the 
meantime.

I'm not sure its that wise particularly for physicists to put all there 
eggs in big baskets like the LHC - its too easy for the big projects to be 
sabotaged by government funding agencies like the SSC and the ILC were. 
And its too much like "big physics" for me - too many managers and 
career bureaucrats.

> in single electron diffraction, the electron interacts once with the
> slits and then hits the target, and in fact you do not see the
> interference pattern until many different electrons pass through. this
> experiment, by the way, is a great way to introduce quantum behavior
> to undergraduates.

I still think that Young's double slit experiment is fascinating. The cool 
thing is that if you know which slit the electron/photon passes through 
then the diffraction pattern "collapses"




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