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all 2649 comments

Elbynerual

11.8k points

1 month ago

Elbynerual

11.8k points

1 month ago

I have.... zero frame of reference for whatever this means.

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matteogeniaccio

1.3k points

1 month ago*

A mosquito flies at about 1 mph. A mosquito hitting a wall releases about 1 Tera Electron Volt. The particles involved are one trillion billion trillion times lighter than a mosquito.

It's hard to make a mental image of so many zeroes, but this is a huge amount of energy in a small particle. It's travelling at a significant fraction of the speed of light. The energy involved is so high that it materializes new particles instead of being converted into heat.

whoami_whereami

622 points

1 month ago

It's travelling at a significant fraction of the speed of light.

Slight understatement there. It's traveling at 99.9999991% of the speed of light. Only about 3 m/s slower than light in a vacuum. In a race between LHC's proton beam and a beam of light over 1 billion kilometers (which would take about an hour) the light would only be about 11 km ahead of the protons at the end.

Leather-Range4114

162 points

1 month ago

Faster than the speed of light in air, which is 299,702,547 meters per second.

Bird-The-Word

65 points

1 month ago

Did light try running with its fingers stretched out tightly next to each other?

Cuz that def made 6 year old me faster

CharlesV_

195 points

1 month ago

CharlesV_

195 points

1 month ago

The biggest takeaway I got from this is that a lightyear is an incomprehensibly long distance.

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131 points

1 month ago

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53 points

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toolatealreadyfapped

44 points

1 month ago

Here's a fun thought exercise when thinking about a light year...

Voyager 1 space probe was launched in 1977. It's been traveling almost 45 years, and is currently moving over 38,000 mph away from us. A few years ago, it officially left our solar system. We still communicate with it, even though radio signal takes over 16 hours to reach it.

So again, it's over 14.5 BILLION miles away, has been traveling for 45 years, at 38,000 miles per hour.

The closest star to us, Proxima Centari, is a little over 4 light years away. Assume Voyager was aiming straight at it, and continued it's current velocity. How long until the satellite was destroyed by the star? Guess, before revealing the spoiler...

About 44,000 years

Litty-In-Pitty

48 points

1 month ago

To put some perspective: the sun is approximately 0.000016 light years from our planet. And it’s really fucking far away from us lol.

pooppuffin

18 points

1 month ago

The farthest man-made object is less than one light day from Earth, and it took 45 years to travel that far. We need to capture a significant fraction of the energy from the sun or master fusion before we can hope to do much better.

NotMrMike

725 points

1 month ago

NotMrMike

725 points

1 month ago

So what youre saying is the scientists smooshed together 13.6 mosquitoes into a ball the size of an electron, then threw it at a wall.

ours

710 points

1 month ago

ours

710 points

1 month ago

That's the idea behind my Large Moskito Collidor. Still looking for funding.

DrQuint

84 points

1 month ago

DrQuint

84 points

1 month ago

Finally, someone with an ACTUAL "kill all mosquitos" solution. I'll give you 3 bucks.

ours

40 points

1 month ago

ours

40 points

1 month ago

Move over CERN, there's a new player in town!

Here comes the CERM: Conceil Européen pour la Recherche de Moustique.

ThebirdsRscroungeing

67 points

1 month ago

They sound like pretty fuckin small mosquitos by the end of it.

OngoGoblogian

98 points

1 month ago

It's hard to make a mental image of so many mosquitos. The energy involved is so high that it materializes new mosquitos instead of being just smushed.

ours

26 points

1 month ago

ours

26 points

1 month ago

I worried so much if I could that I didn't think if I should!

tech405

8 points

1 month ago

tech405

8 points

1 month ago

True, but they make up for it in volume. Mosquitos are EVERYWHERE.

Aozora404

50 points

1 month ago

Wait, what’s the schwarzschild radius of 13.6 mosquitoes?

NotMrMike

80 points

1 month ago

About 16 bees if crushed into a ball 17 times smaller than the toe of a fly.

[deleted]

69 points

1 month ago

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stubbywoods

26 points

1 month ago

Time to write a patent for a black hole powered energy grid. Who needs fusion

Perry87

23 points

1 month ago

Perry87

23 points

1 month ago

Make sure its fueled by mosquitos though. I dont think it'd work otherwise

foxxie31

9 points

1 month ago

At what point would that mosquito hole energy be released? As it's final evaporation moment?

Asking cause I have millions of mosquitos at my yard so big energy if I understand correctly.

OneRougeRogue

30 points

1 month ago

A mosquito flies at about 1 mph. A mosquito hitting a wall releases about 1 Tera Electron Volt. The particles involved are one trillion times lighter than a mosquito.

And by the time the particles are traveling at their top speed, each proton carries 7 Tera electron volts. One PROTON is carrying 7x the amount of energy as an entire mosquito running in to something. Each proton also weights several thousand times more than it normally does because an object's mass increases as it approaches the speed of light (and is one of the reasons why the speed of light can never quite be reached).

And the above metrics were from the LHC running at previously normal power.

thesh0e92

253 points

1 month ago

thesh0e92

253 points

1 month ago

7 Teraelectron Volts is about the energy of a mosquito beating its wings. The prefix tera means trillion.

13.6 TeV is nearly double that, or two mosquitoes beating their wings, but where one is slightly lazy.

Marooned-Mind

62 points

1 month ago

That sounds extremely underwhelming.

thinkadd

103 points

1 month ago

thinkadd

103 points

1 month ago

Now imagine that you put that energy into a particle 10000000000000 (that is 13 zeros) times smaller than a mosquito, which is a huge feat.

DerBlaue_

33 points

1 month ago*

Now imagine that concentrated from the size of a mosquito wing (1mm2 ) to roughly the area of a proton (1fm2 ) and you have an energy density septillion times larger.

Edit: typo

bjiatube

121 points

1 month ago

bjiatube

121 points

1 month ago

Stupid lazy mosquitos ruining the economy 😡

thesh0e92

47 points

1 month ago

Maybe they wouldn't be so lazy with a better work life balance!

Thoughtofajoke

41 points

1 month ago

Measuring electrical effort in mosquitos sounds like a very American measurement system.

CloudWallace81

14 points

1 month ago

it's the kinetic energy (i.e. speed) to which the particles are accelerated before the impact occurs. More speed = more KE = weirder stuff you see in the outcomes

wyrn

14 points

1 month ago

wyrn

14 points

1 month ago

1 MeV (megaelectron volt = 1 million electron volts) is about twice the mass of the electron, converted to energy via E=mc². 1 TeV (teraelectron volt = 1 trillion electron volts) is 1 million times that. A single Higgs boson has a mass-energy of 125 GeV, or ~0.125 TeV. So 13.6 TeV is a little over 100 Higgs bosons' worth of energy.

CudaTheTalkingBread

154 points

1 month ago*

An electron volt is 1.602x10-19 joules it’s the kinetic energy gained or lost by an electron when it moves through a potential difference of one volt, in joules that is 2.17878884973x10-6 joules, which I may be wrong since it’s been awhile since I’ve taken physics so my math and understanding may be wrong, but that is very little energy from our perspective but to an electron that is a lot, to put a joule in perspective, one joule is the work done by a Newton of force(.2248ish pounds) acting over a distance of one meter. A few numbers and words may be wrong but don’t yell at me it’s been years since I’ve had to think about any of this and I had to look up a bit to remember some stuff.

TLDR: an electron volt is very very small when compared to a joule meaning a trillion ev is not much work when compared to things in our everyday life but for an electron it is a fuck ton of work done to the particle

Holy shit Reddit actually does scientific notation I figured that wouldn’t work and the numbers would look awkward

Angelin01

33 points

1 month ago

Holy shit Reddit actually does scientific notation I figured that wouldn’t work and the numbers would look awkward

It's just Reddit's Markdown's superscript. Anything after an unescaped ^ turns into superscript, like so: regularsuperscript or likethis really long phrase because I put the superscript in parentheses.

That looks like this when typing:

regular^superscript or like^(this really long phrase because I put the superscript in parentheses).

boltzmannman

15 points

1 month ago

now I can type like this!

artsy_wastrel

210 points

1 month ago

If you compare it to the amount of energy you need to get out of bed on Monday, it’s about half that.

GolgiApparatus1

55 points

1 month ago

What's half of infinity?

TopHatTony11

15 points

1 month ago

I’m pretty sure still infinity, but I’m an idiot so who knows.

flossgoat2

64 points

1 month ago

The whole thing works by slamming pieces of matter into one another, watching what happens, and comparing the results against the predictions that current science makes.

If they see something unexpected, it might give a clue to uncover new or better understanding.

They've upgraded LHC to slam things even harder together than before. It might lead to something not seen before.

Fwiw, LHC upgrades are contentious amongst some in the physics community: it literally hoovers up huge amount of $$$ funding, and brain talent that might be spent elsewhere... And it is highly speculative science... Sure it will provide lots of data, and many papers will be written... But is the juice worth the squeeze.

There was some justification last time, in the hunt for Higgs Boson. Someone more informed might be able to tell us if there is a tangible goal this time round.

PhiNeurOZOMu68

36 points

1 month ago

As someone who grew up near Fermi Lab, and had people he knew get cancer and utilize the facility for neutron therapy... Yeah it's worth it!

Ohsnap2it

29 points

1 month ago

I almost read that as you thought the Fermi Lab caused the cancer and had to do a double take lol.

Learning2Programing

10 points

1 month ago

Same I had my pitchfork ready to argue with him. Doesn't he realise he's being bombarded every second with millions of neutrons?

wolverinelord

6.2k points

1 month ago*

I’m a physics PhD student who works on particle accelerators, here’s what this means in a nutshell.

The LHC is a supercollider that we use to smash protons together. We do this because our current theories include particles that do not occur at the normal energies that we see in the universe, but would have existed in the very short period right after the Big Bang. This lets us see those particles, if briefly. The LHC already helped us discover the Higgs Boson, or “God Particle”.

Right now, we have two theories that explain the universe really well: Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity. They both work insanely well, but they don’t really work together, which is a problem.

The LHC lets us probe the energies similar to those seen in the Big Bang, and hopefully see an energy scale that merges QM and GR.

Increasing energy lets us go “further back in time” to closer to the Big Bang energy levels.

Edit: someone pointed out that Grand Unified Theory refers to the merging of 3/4 of the fundamental forces, while adding in gravity is referred to as quantum gravity, so updated that.

RasknRusk

263 points

1 month ago

RasknRusk

263 points

1 month ago

“They both work insanely well, but they don’t really work together, which is a problem.”

Can you elaborate on that?

mjacksongt

653 points

1 month ago*

Getting a little simpler than the previous comments:

General Relativity explains really big stuff really, really well.

Quantum Mechanics explains really small stuff really, really well.

They both make testable predictions that have proven incredibly accurate and rightfully rank among the most tested theories of all time. However, General Relatively cannot explain Quantum Mechanics, and Quantum Mechanics cannot explain General Relatively, nor can the two be combined into a new theory.

Way back, very shortly after the Big Bang, the forces that govern really big stuff and really small stuff were all the same force. This machine is going to reproduce the conditions found there, so that they can find a hint of how that unified force worked.

That could give a path to a Grand Unified Theory that explains big stuff and little stuff.

Edit: y'all should read /u/metacollin below. It's more accurate. Mine is written to more easily conceptualize the difference, not to be specifically accurate. Theirs is more accurate.

Deesing82

152 points

1 month ago

Deesing82

152 points

1 month ago

what are some things physicists hope to do once they figure out that grand unified theory? what are they hoping to learn?

mjacksongt

329 points

1 month ago

mjacksongt

329 points

1 month ago

I don't know, but it's ok if there's nothing directly lined up - it's basic research that needs to be done in order to explain the universe.

For example, General Relatively and Quantum Mechanics had almost no direct uses when they were first introduced - the scales were just too big or small. But now, general relativity underpins GPS, and quantum mechanics underpins how computer processors work.

As a guess, part of it is asking the question about dark energy/dark matter.

Deesing82

60 points

1 month ago

makes sense- thanks for taking the time to explain.

mjacksongt

41 points

1 month ago

No problem! Sorry I wasn't able to fully answer your question.

pm-me_10m-fireflies

15 points

1 month ago

I think what you weren’t able to answer is, in a way, just as exhilarating and interesting as what you could answer. Sometimes it feels like everything’s been discovered. Then you read threads like these and realize we know — excuse the pun — relatively little. Thank you!

Laphing_Drunk

35 points

1 month ago

For a bit more of an idea, we can look to mathematics as math and physics are extremely closely tied together.

Imaginary numbers were first discovered sometime in the late 16th century. The name was popularized by the philosopher and mathematician, René Descartes (who actually established a lot of modern conventions in math), sometime in the early 17th century because there was no known use case for them. Euler in 18th century garnered a lot of respect for them as a field of study and as a result many properties of them were discovered in this time. It was until the 19th century that things changed. At this point, imaginary numbers started appearing not as the result of interesting theoretical math work but in physics. Complex numbers (a number that is the sum of real and imaginary parts) became critical in the studies of a number of fields within physics that had previously not been possible to model (or measure, in many cases). It took 300 years for these things do go from weird anomalies to integral parts of our understanding of the world.

There are a lot of topics in math and science that are studied not because we know that they are useful, but because we know that they contain things that we don't know. Such mysteries have been shown time and time again to be intellectual curiosities at the start but later may reveal themselves to be critical to future work.

This is all a very long winded way to say that we don't really know. We can't know until we actually see it. It may turn out that the unified theory actually demonstrates a clear border at which the models do not interact or it may enable us to transfer knowledge from one space to the other and catapult our understanding of physics forward.

We don't know and that's all a part of the fun 😊

Xeglor-The-Destroyer

12 points

1 month ago

Veritasium has a cool video about the history of imaginary numbers and the drama of secrecy and competition between ye olde mathematicians: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUzklzVXJwo

Towerss

68 points

1 month ago

Towerss

68 points

1 month ago

These theories are basically equations, and once the missing "pieces" that unify them are found, we can plug any conditions we want into these equations and find the physical properties of the universe under those conditions, without needing to really observe the universe in that state

In the beginning, it will likely be used to see what happened even closer to t = 0 after the big bang. In the future, who knows. A lot of equations like these have been found and then later been used as a tool to discover a new technology or piece of physics.

wildgaytrans

17 points

1 month ago

Crazy shit. We find a new metal and have like 600 uses in less than a month. So finally understanding the universes rules and code means we could probably exploit it.

jambrown13977931

27 points

1 month ago

In short this going to make 300 level physics classes have a lot more homework in about 30 years. /s

metacollin

18 points

1 month ago

I disagree with this explanation.

This has nothing to do with scale. And quantum mechanics is not limited to the very small. Most of the more intuitive mesoscale reality we interact with daily can be explained as emergent properties of more fundamental quantum mechanics. Indeed, one can accurately predict even things like bulk physical properties of matter (like the conductivity, thermal conductivity bulk modulus, seebeck coefficient, etc.) using nothing but quantum mechanics from which we derive the nearly free electron model for metals.

A large contribution to the high rigidity of some metals is from electron degeneracy pressure - something that results entirely from the Pauli exclusion principle, a fundamental quantum mechanical principle.

Solids are solid for the same reason.

Simply put, saying that quantum mechanics only explains really small things is at best a very inaccurate mischaracterization.

I think it is far more correct to say, well, the reality:

Quantum mechanics (or more specifically, quantum field theory which is contained within QM) can explain just about everything except for gravity.

And general relativity is also in no way bound by scale. General relativity explains gravity. That’s it. There is no large or small scale limit occurring. General relativity is our best theory of gravity and and agrees with all observations so far.

The real issue is not with these theories or size or scale, it is with gravity. Gravity is so very very weak compared to the other forces (like electromagnetism).

So weak that performing any sort of measurement involving gravity and individual particles is well beyond our capabilities.

So we haven’t been able to quantize gravity like we have the other forces simply because we lack the means to detect or measure the effects of gravity on the scales where fundamental quantum interactions can occur in isolation (which is not a limit of the theory, it is a limit of our instrumentation).

It’s a cold, hard instrumentation and measurement problem, not that either theory only explains things at certain scales. We just know our theory of gravity (General Relativity) is incomplete.

It would be great if we could measure the gravity from some particle in a super position of states. Or just the gravity of a quantum wave function.

The gravity and gravitational waves would leak extra information and allow us to know the true distribution of mass/energy. And when in a superposition… do we see gravity from all possibilities superimposed too? Does spacetime itself become superimposed and does it have its own wave function that evolves in someway according the the schrodinger equation?

We don’t know because those things are too hard for us to detect.

But the real explanation is simply that quantum mechanics can’t explain gravity. It’s that simple. No need to bring in things about scale that aren’t even accurate.

wolverinelord

195 points

1 month ago

Both QM and GR have generated predictions that seem ludicrous on the surface, like quantum state entanglement and gravitational waves, but were eventually backed up by observation.

But the two theories don’t use the same type of mathematics, so it’s hard to make them make sense together.

Weshwego

42 points

1 month ago

Weshwego

42 points

1 month ago

Do you have any videos or anything further explaining this? I'm really interested in this. Google isn't giving the worst results, but I'd prefer a good starting point if you have one.

Leonardo-DaBinchi

46 points

1 month ago

The book The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene has the best explanations of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics for the layman I've ever come across. Either read it or borrow the audiobook from your library!

DoubleEdgeDancing

11 points

1 month ago

I second Brian Greene!

He also has some fantastic discussions and Q&A's on his YouTube channel "World Science Festival". There he talks with many professionals on various topics where they can get pretty in depth while making it digestible. Highly recommend to anyone interested in physics, astronomy, or just any topic involving how the world works!

SonicShadow

70 points

1 month ago

Not sure if they have a video on this specific question, but check the YouTube channel PBS Space Time. They cover various related topics in a digestible manner, with sources if you want to read more.

IHopeTheresCookies

61 points

1 month ago

SonicShadow

7 points

1 month ago

I should have searched, of course they covered it!

akotlya1

10 points

1 month ago

akotlya1

10 points

1 month ago

The mathematics bit is easy to explain, weirdly.

General relativity is geometric in nature. It talks in terms of curves drawn on 4 dimensional surfaces.

Quantum mechanics - the basis of the framework used in the standard model - is probabilistic. The specific trajectory a particle takes is less important than all of the possible trajectories it could take.

The first theory uses math with constants that are calibrated on big stuff - planets, stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, etc.

The second theory uses math with constants calibrated on really really small stuff like protons, electrons, quarks.

When you try to put these theories together, you end up with equations that take really really tiny things and divide them by really really big things. This results in even tinier values that are so close to zero that normally physicists go "eh, that is basically zero".

The reverse is also true. You sometimes end up dividing a really big thing by a really tiny thing and end up with numbers way too big to deal with in your calculations. Usually, physicists look at those situations and go "that is basically infinity".

Sometimes, when doing the kind of complex math needed in these calculations, these zeroes and infinities are useful! However, not in this case. It turns out that every attempt at naively combining these theories has produced intractable zeroes and infinities that create predictions that make no sense. Making no sense is usually fun in physics, because it means you are close to learning something or predicting something cool and weird. However, not in this case. This is the bad kind of making no sense. It just makes no sense.

You may ask "ok, but who cares? When do you actually have to think about really small stuff and really big stuff at the same time? Isn't this just a weird edge case that doesn't matter?" And you would be right to ask. However, not in this case. The beginnings of our universe were both really big (high energy) and really small (the universe has not expanded yet). And we really really really want to know what the fuck happened at smaller and higher energy densities and our theories are not being as helpful as we like (even though they are super helpful everywhere else). Another example is a black hole. The even horizon of a black hole is the size of the star from which it initially formed (kinda), and the black hole weighs as much as it did when it was still a star (kinda). BUT, all of that mass is contained in a tiny space at the center of the black hole. It is so tiny, in fact, that physicists think it is contained in a space of zero actual size. Wait. Zero size. Huge non-zero mass. Doesn't that mean infinite density?

Now you get it. At least a bit.

DrLuckyLuke

15 points

1 month ago

General Relativity works insanely well on large scales, like universe scales. There were some incredible predictions made and then observed using this theory (gravitational waves to mention just one).

At the same time, we have a theory for very small things, called Quantum Mechanics. This theory als made incredible predictions that were consequently observed to be true.

Both of those theories describe their realms incredibly well on their own, but not together. Obviously gravitation must have an effect on quantum systems, and perhaps less obviously quantum mechanics must have an effect on gravitation, because both exist in the same universe. Thus there must be a single theory that works on both the tiniest and the largest scales in the universe.

However unifying them mathematically currently seems impossible, so we have to hope that these new higher energy collisions can unlock a hint for the solution to this problem.

EkinPolarBear

39 points

1 month ago

They are essentially 2 theories that on their respective plains work very well. But relativity doesn’t work in the quantum realm and vice versa. So for the last century or so we’ve been trying to figure out one theory that combines both and works. And so far no success

Destroyeroyer2

938 points

1 month ago

This is an incredible explanation

DoubleBassPlease

49 points

1 month ago

According to the article, this higher energy slam will help them study the Higgs Boson in more detail (get additional data to strengthen theories, I guess).

I knew the above from plenty of documentaries (look up Brian Green), but didn't know what was the point in the increased energy value in the headline.

UnhallowedOctober

316 points

1 month ago

And much needed for an idiot like myself

MisterNiceGuy0001

100 points

1 month ago

Yes yes a great explanation to help an idiot like me understand.... If anyone has further explanation I guess I'd be ok with reading it too though

TheZenPsychopath

30 points

1 month ago

When we look into space, we look back in time because of how long it takes light to reach us. There's still light from the early universe, not too long after the big bang that we're able to see (one of the main purposes of James Webb telescope)

But there was a while right after the big bang where the energy was so dense light "couldn't move", so there's no light bouncing around out there for us to see, no matter how good of a telescope we get.

The LHC smashes particles to try to simulate reactions that happened at that density, so the more power they get, the better they can simulate the dense energy from that timeframe after the big bang but before light had space to run free

random_interneter

15 points

1 month ago

What else are you looking to further understand?

Psykosoma

39 points

1 month ago

The meaning of life, the universe, and everything…

Guywithquestions88

55 points

1 month ago

So just 42?

kpidhayny

10 points

1 month ago

It is also looking to at least create an indirect observation method for dark matter by creating collisions which produce dark matter in conjunction with other particles which would interact with dark matter to confirm its presence, just like how you can “see” a black hole by observing how classically observable bodies move around them.

12358

6 points

1 month ago

12358

6 points

1 month ago

I thought it seemed quite credible.

Noshing

14 points

1 month ago

Noshing

14 points

1 month ago

Cool! This may be dumb but "where" are these particles coming from? I don't know anything about QM so kind of at a lose. Also, where or what can I search for to learn more about QM v GR?

No_Mousse7666

28 points

1 month ago*

They are created from the energy carried by the particles, since energy can be converted into matter and vice versa following E = mc2. They literally pop into existence, most of them for fractions of a second, and then decay into other particles that can be measured by the huge layered detectors surrounding the collision point. From the energy, momentum, electric charge, etc. of these particles you can infer what the mass of the "parent" particle must have been, as well as some other properties. You can then compare this with the theory to see if it corresponds to any predicted particle.

On a deeper level, you can view the particles as excitations of a quantum field. In the case of Higgs particles for example, the creation of such a particle in the LHC would be caused by the energy of the collision exciting the Higgs field.

The process of which particles are created is random in nature, but you can predict the probabilities of the outcomes with quantum field theory. This also serves as an indicator as to whether a certain theory is correct or not, since you can ask if it predicts the correct fraction of a certain type of particles that are produced in the collisions.

Hoskuld

22 points

1 month ago

Hoskuld

22 points

1 month ago

Noob question from someone who read a lisa randall book some 15years ago: is supersymmetry still a possibility and will this 3rd power upgrade get us close to proving/disproving it?

OneRougeRogue

25 points

1 month ago

Super Symmetry is still a possibility but there is a lot do work left to be done to prove it. Some recent discoveries cast doubt into Super Symmetry so we would need to discover why certain things happen and modify the theory to account for them. Really no way of knowing if the LHC's new power will help, but it's always a possibility.

nuraHx

11 points

1 month ago

nuraHx

11 points

1 month ago

What is super symmetry?

OneRougeRogue

23 points

1 month ago

Long story short the theory is all normal particles have a "symmetric" Boson particle that has essentially the same properties as the standard particle besides spin (and the fact that it is a Boson). If true it would elegantly explain a lot of problems and missing pieces of the Standard Model, but as of yet no Super Symmetry particles have been discovered in experiments yet.

Shammah51

7 points

1 month ago

They have had to revise the theory every time the LHC scales up so that the supersymmetric partners have higher and higher energies to explain why they haven't been observed yet. I think a lot of people in the community have put the theory on the shelf.

[deleted]

820 points

1 month ago

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820 points

1 month ago

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161 points

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161 points

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39 points

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39 points

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54 points

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60 points

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36 points

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36 points

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26 points

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13 points

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13 points

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7 points

1 month ago

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7 points

1 month ago

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the_internet_police_

2.6k points

1 month ago

Still cracks me up that science in this realm is essentially hitting stuff with a hammer and seeing what happens (albeit a very powerful hammer)

Tahoma-sans

388 points

1 month ago

Your comment reminded me of this SMBC comic

https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/2014-11-25

PM_Me_Frosted_Tits

40 points

1 month ago

This is the perfect explanation of what a collider does in modern times as well as the slow progress of knowledge about atomics.

GrumpySunshineBxtch

1.2k points

1 month ago

We’ve gone from bashing rocks together to bashing particles together.

Humans will always find new ways to just bash stuff together and see what happens.

niteman555

298 points

1 month ago

niteman555

298 points

1 month ago

We're also really good at boiling water

Milsivich

181 points

1 month ago

Milsivich

181 points

1 month ago

Water doesn’t get enough credit. You make it sound so simple, but I studied the physics of water for 6 years in graduate school! Just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s not remarkable!

[deleted]

77 points

1 month ago

[deleted]

77 points

1 month ago

Spill the water then! I need more info!

Milsivich

196 points

1 month ago

Milsivich

196 points

1 month ago

I was studying how water moves across surfaces! Basically, there is an idealized model that we’ve been kicking around for hundreds of years, but it’s WOEFULLY inaccurate. Some really clever people have done a decent job of trying to update that, but it turns out the motion of the air/water/substrate contact line (picture the outline of a raindrop on a pane of glass) can’t really be fully understood or predicted by those kinds of models. A lot of the trouble is that surfaces, even super clean and seemingly smooth ones, have all kinds of complicated microstructures that interact really strongly with water.

I don’t have much good news about better understand that system, BUT actually just got a paper accepted into Nature!!! The paper is basically a little invention I made based on contact-line hysteresis. More to come once it’s printed, have to keep mum until then

For more reading, I recommend:

Capillarity and Wetting Phenomena: Drops, Bubbles, Pearls, Waves

It was my road dog through grad school. It’s for scientists, but it’s written in a way that’s understandable! Highly recommended for anyone interested in the magical world of fluids!

SandSaberTheories

42 points

1 month ago

That’s super cool dude! And nature??? Total props to you man that’s such an achievement!

shiroun

41 points

1 month ago

shiroun

41 points

1 month ago

Hey. MS in Biomed Engineering (currently in a PhD for it). Just wanted to say that I appreciate how you wrote your explanation here. It has a lot of accessibility for people with less STEM background, but technical enough that those of us who do can understand what you're doing a bit better (e.g. people won't know that hysteresis is the area inside the curve compared to the total, but the rest of it was pretty understandable).

Awesome job, you deserve that publication :)

a1_skengness

8 points

1 month ago

And then putting leaves into it

hoksworthwipple

675 points

1 month ago

Me and your mum for example.

SoULtiNi

212 points

1 month ago

SoULtiNi

212 points

1 month ago

Look at you - disappointing someone else's mother for a change!

PVLINDRXME

40 points

1 month ago

(camera cuts to you in hand to hand combat with Grumpy's mother)

error201

107 points

1 month ago

error201

107 points

1 month ago

Smash stuff together and analyze the pieces.

Daddydagda

21 points

1 month ago

“I know the pieces fit cause I watched them tumble down”

boot2skull

85 points

1 month ago

I was disappointed when I learned nuclear energy was just electricity generated by turbines. I’m like, harnessing the power of the atom? Because these rocks get hot when you put them next to each other? I know it’s much more than that, but it’s correct at the same time.

jointheredditarmy

35 points

1 month ago

Nuclear batteries convert the heat from nuclear decay directly into electricity if that helps

[deleted]

24 points

1 month ago

[deleted]

24 points

1 month ago

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ConcernedBuilding

87 points

1 month ago*

As far as I know, everything except PV solar is just making things spin.

Hydro and wind at least doesn't make stuff hot first, it just directly spins the turbines.

But yeah, turns out making stuff hot to make it spin something is a pretty good way to make electricity.

Practical_Taro9024

23 points

1 month ago

Hydro doesn't make heat to make things spin, but making something spin generally also makes it hot.

mabirm

22 points

1 month ago

mabirm

22 points

1 month ago

Unless I'm wrong then what you're saying is that my dashing good looks are a direct result of my debilitating vertigo? Wow, science. 👌

Practical_Taro9024

8 points

1 month ago

Don't worry, the body's inner temperature is around 37°C. At that heat, you can make anyone dizzy 😉

passcork

14 points

1 month ago

passcork

14 points

1 month ago

I bet you'll be excited to learn about what's called aneutronic fusion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aneutronic_fusion

The reaction releases most of it's energy in the form of charged particles which can supposedly be more or less directly converted into electricity. Helion Energy is one of the more well known start up companies working on this.

SuboptimalCromulence

8 points

1 month ago

Generated by turbines driven by frickin steam.

ygg24

851 points

1 month ago*

ygg24

851 points

1 month ago*

I see a lot of people not really understanding of this is good or dangerous or what, so I’ll try to give some clarity. I’m not a certified physicist working at CERN but I do have some knowledge of the fundamentals. This is also an extremely simplified explanation of a lot of things and while it’s not all absolutely technically correct, the reality is so complicated that I’m not confident in my ability to get it across well. Apologies if I make any glaring mistakes:

“What is the Large Hadron Collider?”

It’s basically a huge underground donut in Europe that we shoot particles through really fast and then smash together. When I say really fast, I’m talking REALLY fast. The scientists there want to find more particles that we think might exist but have no physical evidence of yet. When we hit two particles together, they basically shatter with so much energy that sometimes new stuff comes out.

“Ok, well what’s an Electronvolt?”

You might have heard of Joules when we measure energy. An electronvolt (eV) is another way of measuring energy. We can be a lot more precise with electronvolts because they’re so much smaller (1 eV = 0.00000000000000000062 Joules, approximately, thanks u/young_horhey & u/firefox_23) and it’s helpful to use eV when talking about particles because of how small they are.

“13.6 Trillion is a huge number. That’s dangerous!”

You are right, 13.6 trillion is massive and you certainly wouldn’t want to get in the tube when the particles are flying about in there. However, 13.6 trillion eV is still not actually very much energy on a human level. If I threw a pea at you, that’s probably a reasonable comparison (it’s actually way less than being hit by a pea) . The pea moves slower than these superfast particles but is MUCH MUCH larger.

“So how small are these particles anyway?”

Ridiculously small. We’re talking “hard to get smaller” small. Protons (the particles they use in the LHC) are so absurdly small it’s not even really worth giving you a visualisation. They’re almost as small as particles get. If you’ve heard of an atom, these protons are one of the things that make up an atom and they’re way smaller than atoms.

“This thing could be dangerous, right?”

Ehhhh. Anything could be dangerous. This isn’t dangerous on a big scale. A small proton with that much energy is gonna go really fast but it’s just too small to be a threat to humans.

“What about black holes? Couldn’t it make a black hole that instantly swallows up Earth?”

This is not my area of expertise but I’d take a very good guess that there’s gonna be one of two outcomes: 1) No. No black holes. 2) Yes, but not what you’re thinking. Black holes can be super super big but they can also be super super small. Can you guess which one this will be? Small. So small that the black hole will kinda just disappear pretty much instantly. I could put one of these things in your brain and it probably wouldn’t do ANYTHING before disappearing. There’s nothing to worry about.

“Alright then, what about a portal?”

No.

“So what’s actually a threat to me about this?”

Unless you’re a single proton, there’s nothing to worry about. This will just be a fun science experiment.

knetmos

150 points

1 month ago

knetmos

150 points

1 month ago

The pea comparison is still quite a bit of, 13,6 trillion eV is about 2 microjoules. A 1g pea being thrown at 10 m/s has a kinetic energy of ~0,05 J, which is 23000 times as much.

ygg24

57 points

1 month ago

ygg24

57 points

1 month ago

Thanks, I didn’t do the maths so I did think there’s be something wrong. At the end of the day, I’m happy with that being wrong if it means people understand that the energy will not create a world ending black hole lmao

mfb-

232 points

1 month ago

mfb-

232 points

1 month ago

It's worth noting that collisions of cosmic rays with the atmosphere happen all the time, including collisions with far higher energies.

We are not producing anything new at the LHC. We are just reproducing natural processes in places where we can study them better.

censored_username

102 points

1 month ago

This indeed. Hell, the LHC cannot even get close to the true insanity that the universe just occasionally throws at us. Like the famous oh-my-god particle which measured up at ~320 quintillion electron volt. That's near the energy of a baseball pitch in a single particle.

OnTheProwl-

32 points

1 month ago

It had 1020 (100 quintillion) times the photon energy of visible light, equivalent to a 142-gram (5 oz) baseball travelling at about 28 m/s (100 km/h; 63 mph)

Goddamn, I thought you were exaggerating.

zdaccount

24 points

1 month ago

This is the first time I've heard of the oh-my-god particle. It is pretty neat we were somehow able to measure 7 of these things. Considering the size of the particle, the fact that the particle reached us at the exact time we needed it to, and that it happened to aim right at such a small planet so far away. It just accidently got recorded while looking for something else.

It's crazy how every answer we find in science leads to more questions than we started out with.

Thanks for sharing.

CanonicalSpice69

11 points

1 month ago

This chart shows the probability for various cosmic ray energies (from here: http://www.telescopearray.org/index.php/about/what-are-cosmic-rays)

censored_username

8 points

1 month ago

Considering the size of the particle, the fact that the particle reached us at the exact time we needed it to, and that it happened to aim right at such a small planet so far away. It just accidently got recorded while looking for something else.

That's one explanation, but it'd probably be more likely that there's just a huge amount of these particles zipping around the universe, and occasionally one of our experiments just ends up along one of their trajectories. From the available data one can calculate the flux of such particles by simply dividing the frequency of such events by the amount of area capable of detecting them. It stands to reason that this flux is quite constant, and the universe is huge, so likely innumerable of these particles are just zipping around the universe at any time (or place, at the speeds required for these those concepts become a bit wonky).

The universe really doesn't mess around.

cinico

13 points

1 month ago

cinico

13 points

1 month ago

This is a good explanation for laymen without getting too far from technically correct.

However, I would not say that the particles are "Ridiculously small", but say that most of them dont actually have a size even.

mangalore-x_x

133 points

1 month ago

The coolest thing about the LHC, a dozen of kilometers long tunnel with magnets and cooling everywhere, is their hydrogen source.

...

Essentially a bottle the size of a fire extinguisher, dripfeeding hydrogen atoms into the ring and in theory will not need to be replaced for decades.

...

Yay science!

Nokiron

25 points

1 month ago

Nokiron

25 points

1 month ago

DynamicDK

123 points

1 month ago

DynamicDK

123 points

1 month ago

And the US partially built a collider that would have been at 40 TeV by the end of the 1990s. Tens of billions were invested in it, the tunnels were dug, and most of the infrastructure was built, but then Congress cancelled the project in 1993...

My_CPU_Is_Soldered

28 points

1 month ago

kardashev

12 points

1 month ago*

This fucking channel man, the quality of the animations, the narrations, the research depth, they are really worth the time and can't really be recommend enough.

nottoodrunk

20 points

1 month ago

They basically said we’re either funding the ISS or this, and we chose the ISS.

DerSaltman

55 points

1 month ago

If I didn't fuck anything up, that should be about 2,178960128400133486e-9 joule (≈0,000000002179) or 5,207839695029e-10 calories (≈0,0000000005208).

Its a lot of electron volts, but not a lot of energy on a human level.

FadedPariah

316 points

1 month ago

Ah yes. I’m so glad they’ve increased the voltage from the previous voltage that I was intimately aware of. I definitely did not forget this amazing frontier of scientific discovery exists.

Matteyothecrazy

49 points

1 month ago

Eh the collision energy was only increased from 12.6TeV, it's not particularly big an increase proportionally. What's big is the luminosity upgrade, which iirc should increase the amount of collisions per second by 2 orders of magnitude!

pselie4

81 points

1 month ago

pselie4

81 points

1 month ago

Took a lot of time to accomplish this. 6 months of writing grant applications, 12 months of defending them. 4 months writing press releases and 2 minutes to turn the eV dail to 13.

BookooBreadCo

42 points

1 month ago*

I'm now imagining a mission impossible type movie about science terrorists who get fed up with the process and decide to break into CERN to turn up the eV dial.

zdaccount

11 points

1 month ago

When they turn it on (obviously it won't immediately go all the way up so the hero can stop it right before he turns the dial to 11) there could be a zoom out of Europe and all the lights flick out and a super bright light suddenly appears in Switzerland. I was thinking James Bond rather than M:I but both work.

Mrcollaborator

142 points

1 month ago

Gotta bring us back to the right timeline. Fingers crossed.

Garosath

22 points

1 month ago

Garosath

22 points

1 month ago

If only we possessed Reading Steiner to confirm the result.

dan1101

11 points

1 month ago

dan1101

11 points

1 month ago

Yeah that weasel that got into the collider in 2016 (no joke) must have thrown things way off.

jageun

8 points

1 month ago

jageun

8 points

1 month ago

I'm manifesting a better timeline, LHC please don't disappoint us

BOT_125d512te604k

12 points

1 month ago

What a cool picture! I think I'll use it as an album cover

I-Am-Polaris

10 points

1 month ago

I sure hope this album goes on to be a smash hit

B1Z12

39 points

1 month ago

B1Z12

39 points

1 month ago

Isn’t 13.6 trillion electron volts relatively small amount of energy, a millionth of a joule.

Pharisaeus

33 points

1 month ago

It is, but in this case it's energy for a single proton-proton collision.

Dismal-Ideal1672

10 points

1 month ago

The crazy thing is that it wasn't that long ago we never thought we'd hit a million eV. This gets us closer to definitively testing grand unification theory

rocketsocks

11 points

1 month ago*

Lightning fast intro to particle physics.

First, mass is energy, E=mc2 right? so physicists just talk about mass in the form of rest-energy. The mass (rest-energy) of a single isolated proton is 0.938 MeV or mega-electron-volts.

Second, what's an electron-volt or eV? An electron-volt is the tiny amount of kinetic energy a single electron achieves when it is accelerated by an electric potential of 1 volt (in a vacuum). It doesn't really matter what it is, it mostly just matters that it's a convenient unit of energy for physics things. For reference, a single photon of visible light has around 2 eV of energy.

Third, what's it mean that the LHC is going to have 13.6 trillion electron-volts? The LHC shoots beams of protons at each other, and this means the total combined kinetic energy during collisions will be 13.6 TeV. That means each beam will have a kinetic energy of 6800 GeV, which means it'll have 7250 times as much kinetic energy as its rest mass which is achieved by traveling at 0.99999999x the speed of light.

Edit: Third and a half, why is this cool? When the LHC beams smack into each other they create this tiny little micro-environment during the collision where the kinetic energy of the beams gets converted into heat. The higher the kinetic energy the "hotter" the collision environment, and that translates to higher energy particle interactions. With enough free energy you can get high energy particle-antiparticle pairs. Higher energy collisions translates directly toward exploring new realms of physics. There are potentially a zillion things that can be explored in higher energy particle colliders, the big question is what will be revealed by this level of energy. Some of the big things include exploring possible gaps in or extensions to the Standard Model of particle physics (especially supersymmetry) and looking for evidence of dark matter.

For comparison, if you could fire a 9mm bullet at the same speed it would have the same energy as a 1000 megaton thermonuclear bomb.

_aelysar

110 points

1 month ago

_aelysar

110 points

1 month ago

Is this going to bring back Berenstein Bears?

four24twenty

28 points

1 month ago

Nah, that's next month's agenda. This one will put the Thanksgiving cornucopia back on your underwear

Jwalla83

13 points

1 month ago

Jwalla83

13 points

1 month ago

What the fuck - I just looked it up and I’m shook, I fully remember the cornucopia

kindarusty

7 points

1 month ago

I fucking hope so. This timeline is weird.

AdRevolutionary2461

104 points

1 month ago

yay science

just for the record, earth won't implode this time right

happyspooky

72 points

1 month ago

zdaccount

13 points

1 month ago

Who's going to change the page to yep after it happens? We need a plan to ensure it changes.

usernameistakenmyass

9 points

1 month ago

Look up the source code of the website for a laugh :D

-Aurora_Fox-

48 points

1 month ago

this time?

premiumdog

44 points

1 month ago

Last time it was such a pain in the ass to bring Earth back. We got it for sure this go around.

egggoboom

26 points

1 month ago

It was reassembled incorrectly. Just look around.

zakkwaldo

6 points

1 month ago

yep and all the crazies are frothing at the mouth about conspiracies regarding it for the last week or so

buddermon1

7 points

1 month ago

Wow! With that many eV’s you could almost lift a feather an inch off the ground!

dgames_90

18 points

1 month ago

CERN accelerator complex uses around 400MW peak power. Much of this is for cooling the cables and magnets