Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Terrestrial Power Record Set, Followed by Power Failure

The Large Hadron Collider, built by the international science community along the Franco-Swiss border, has set a record for earthbound energy accelerators, reaching 1.18TeV (teraelectronvolts - or a million million electron volts). The procedure was part of a series of safety tests and milestones needed to safely reach the 7.5TeV range where they will begin searching for the Higgs Boson, which is still a point of debate for concerned earthlings. The LHC highest energy collisions could create miniature black holes that are not containable.

The phased power up procedures and low energy collisions being undertaken by the LHC crew was to aim for 3.5 TeV and hold for extended data collection and system check-outs before increasing power to 5 TeV and then an eventual upgrade to 7.5TeV.

Unfortunately, just after the record breaking event, the LHC experienced another failure - the previous being a bird dropping a baguette into some wiring causing power failure. This failure, however, was purely mechanical. A high powered line failed, raising concern for the cryogenic cooling system. If the cooling system fails, the LHC could suffer massive electro/mechanical failures. Fortunately for the system, the power failure was minor, and power was able to be re-routed to continue testing as scheduled.

The good news is that we have all survived the low energy collisions, which began on November 23rd, eliminating concerns of "strangelets" being created during the low energy collisions.

For those interested (and still reading), the science behind this device is almost as impressive as the possibility of results. Though scientists have acknowledged the uncertainty in the outcome of the tests, including the potential for ending life on earth (similar to the first atomic weapon), they have also revealed some amazing expected results. Some of the results will not only help understand fundamentals questions in particle physics, but will help humankind to understand the very fabric of space-time leading some to speculate if we may be on the verge of time travel or advanced space travel.

Either way, we are on the verge of some of the most profound science that will forever change humankind! Interestingly enough you would be hard pressed to find this REAL NEWS in any headlines... Here's to rising out of the gutter, if only for a brief moment!

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