10 Quick Facts about the LHC

GENEVA - JUNE 16:  A model of the Large Hadron...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Due to a coolant malfunction, the first collisions in the LHC have been postponed until the spring of 2009.

Spock’s Eyebrow

The human race seems rather fascinated by the LHC today. This morning, the 1st beams focused around the 27km facility were called an unqualified success. Over the next several weeks preparations will be made to produce the 1st collisions, scheduled for October.

Researching for future pieces about the individual experiments planned for the LHC, I’ve come across some interesting, even fascinating details about the whole LHC program. Much of this stuff won’t fit easily into those future articles, so I’m just posting a huge blockquote here as background info. You can read more interesting stuff over at the CERN website. As you’re reading through these, don’t be surprised if you raise your eyebrow and mutter to yourself, “Fascinating…”

“10 Fascinating Facts About The LHC

Fact 1: When the 27-km long circular tunnel was excavated, between Lake
Geneva and the Jura mountain range, the two ends met up to within 1 cm.

Fact 2: Each of the 6400 superconducting filaments of niobium–titanium
in the cable produced for the LHC is about 0.007 mm thick, about 10 times
thinner than a normal human hair. If you added all the filaments together
they would stretch to the Sun and back five times with enough left over for
a few trips to the Moon.

Fact 3: All protons accelerated at CERN are obtained from standard hydro-
gen. Although proton beams at the LHC are very intense, only 2 nanograms
of hydrogen(*) are accelerated each day. Therefore, it would take the LHC
about 1 million years to accelerate 1 gram of hydrogen.

Fact 4: The central part of the LHC will be the world’s largest fridge. At a
temperature colder than deep outer space, it will contain iron, steel and the
all important superconducting coils.

Fact 5: The pressure in the beam pipes of the LHC will be about ten times
lower than on the Moon. This is an ultrahigh vacuum.

Fact 6: Protons at full energy in the LHC will be traveling at 0.999999991
times the speed of light. Each proton will go round the 27 km ring more than
11 000 times a second.

Fact 7: At full energy, each of the two proton beams in the LHC will have a
total energy equivalent to a 400 t train (like the French TGV) traveling at
150 km/h. This is enough energy to melt 500 kg of copper.

Fact 8: The Sun never sets on the ATLAS collaboration. Scientists working on
the experiment come from every continent in the world, except Antarctica.

Fact 9: The CMS magnet system contains about 10 000 t of iron, which is
more iron than in the Eiffel Tower.

Fact 10:The data recorded by each of the big experiments at the LHC will
be enough to ill around 100 000 DVDs every year.

(*)the total mass of protons is calculated at rest”

There’s lots more fascinating stuff to be found over at the CERN website. Some of it I’ll be writing about here @ Wordout over the next month or so, but like it says at the top of this page, it’s best when viewed with your own two eyes.

So use that link up there and head on over to CERN. Their site is great for everyone, regardless of your education, age or location. I’ve been bounding around in there for days now, and I am still finding great little jewels of knowledge and fun.

I am, and ever will be, just Jon.

Want more about the LHC? Check out LHC Live – 1st Beam A Success or CERN LHC Goes Live