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What Are Must-Sees For Open Day At the LHC? 210

Posted by kdawson
from the don't-miss-the-hadrons dept.
ribasushi writes "The last open day at the Large Hadron Collider is one week away. While I have a solid chance to go, I am dumbstruck by the insane amount of things to see during the 10 hours of the event. Since I do not know all that much about physics, I am turning to the knowledgeable crowd here at Slashdot — what do you think are the most awesome 5 must-see things on the agenda next Sunday?"
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What Are Must-Sees For Open Day At the LHC?

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  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by evanbd (210358) on Monday March 31, 2008 @12:08AM (#22917762)
    xkcd []
  • Black Holes (Score:4, Funny)

    by thegrassyknowl (762218) on Monday March 31, 2008 @12:10AM (#22917782)
    Why not go see the black holes. You'll finally be able to answer the question of what's on the other side of one!
    • by lahi (316099) on Monday March 31, 2008 @12:21AM (#22917878)
      Nah, black holes suck!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by arth1 (260657)
      The whole reason they're called "black holes" is because they're invisible. You can only observe them by the effect they have on their surroundings, outside the event horizon.

      I suspect that for most people, there isn't anything of interest to see at the LHC. Miles of corridors, rather non-impressive machinery, and a bunch of workstations. The receptionist might be the most spectacular sight. The results from the LHC will be interesting, but those you don't have to go to the site to see.
      • Re:Black Holes (Score:5, Informative)

        by HuguesT (84078) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:25AM (#22918664)
        Black holes are not invisible on two accounts.

        1- They emit black body radiation at the Hawkings temperature due to quantum evaporation, which for a tiny black hole is very high. A black hole created by an accelerator, composed of the mass of a few particles would likely be extremely hot for a very short time, and so would emit gamma rays. Wikipedia has the calculation for a 1kg BH : the lifetime is approximately 10^{-16} seconds, and the energy output equivalent to the complete anihilation of the 1kg mass (you don't want to be around). Small black holes are *fierce*, however subatomic ones don't really matter. After all accelerators anihiliate particles all the time.

        The above is the #1 reason BH potentially created by accelerators are not a concern.

        2- Even very large BH are in fact directly visible. They reflect light better [] than a highly polished metallic sphere.

        These two facts are direct illustrations that most people, including well-educated scientists, don't know the first thing about BH.

        • by bcmm (768152)
          I think you either didn't read the link you posted, or don't know what "reflect" means.

          Your link is talking about light being bent by the hole's gravitational field.

          Don't be so quick to criticise those "well-educated scientists".
        • because they bend the light via gravitational lensing. If a black hole is directly between you and a light source (like a distant galaxy) you see what's called an Einstein ring caused by the lensing.
        • Re:Black Holes (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2008 @09:56AM (#22920612)
          I am a theoretical physicist and 1) is entirely correct while 2 is misleading at least.
          First what is a black hole? Let's say we mean the event horizon. That does not reflect light at all. However, the gravitational field surrounding the BH will of course deflect light the same way the gravitational field around a massive star for example would. Therefore the OP was entirely correct, we can only see the effect of the gravitational field but not light emanating from the BH itself. (At least for astronomical BHs that are very massive and have correspondingly low Hawking temperature). Even taking Hawking temperature into account a BH never reflects light, it has a temperature and gives off perfect black body radiation (in the semi-classical approximation which is the only thing we really know about). That is the black hole information paradox, the outgoing radiation seems to have no information about the ingoing one.

          A super-massive blackhole in empty space would be one of the darkest objects you could think of (arbitrarily cold, negative specific heat, yadda yadda). Put some infalling matter around it and you get very bright and energetic processes so BHs can power very bright objects in their vincinity. Put some galaxies and stars behind it and it can lense the light coming from these, put some stars in front it and it can deflect a small amount of light so strongly that it comes straight back at you. That is really due to the space time structure induced by its mass, you don't need a BH for either of these effects. Furthermore you wouldn't say a lense is very bright would you? Nor that it reflects light.
          • by HuguesT (84078)
            Hi, thanks for the reply. Your points are well taken but besides mine.

            Why don't you read the book chapter I linked to and reply to the points it makes ? I find it very enlightening ;)

            I'm only a mathematician and computer scientist, but J.P. Luminet, the author of the chapter I linked to in the GP, is definitely a physicist and a specialist on BH as well as a great writer. In it he compares the light output of a number of bodies, including a perfectly black, matte sphere, a highly polished metallic sphere an
        • by arth1 (260657)

          1- They emit black body radiation at the Hawkings temperature due to quantum evaporation, which for a tiny black hole is very high

          You don't see the black hole itself, you see the effect of gamma rays hitting nearby matter. Or did you imply that gamma rays are visible to you?

          2- Even very large BH are in fact directly visible. They reflect light better than a highly polished metallic sphere.

          This claim requires a reference.

          You also seem to forget that black holes curve light around them. If you have a black

          • by HuguesT (84078)
            Hello everyone,

            BH have a non-zero temperature, so they emit black body radiation. BB radiation emits at *all* wavelengths, regardless of the temperature, so including visible wavelengths. This is so regardless of the mass of the BH. At the right mass, a BH can emit mainly in the visible part of the spectrum, and so be very visible in all senses of the word.

            I have provided a reference to the "reflected light" claim. Please go read it, or look for "Luminet Black Holes" in Google. Happy reading.
  • Ask them... (Score:2, Funny)

    by vought (160908)
    If you can see the Xener Diode assembly and the Flux Capacitor.
  • by gc8005 (733938) on Monday March 31, 2008 @12:10AM (#22917790)
    You have *got* to see the flux capacitors! I realize that you're a bit new to physics, but please press hard to see the flux capacitors. Your guide may laugh uneasily - just keep pressing and don't take "No" for an answer. You won't be sorry.
  • Crowbar (Score:5, Funny)

    by apankrat (314147) on Monday March 31, 2008 @12:16AM (#22917830) Homepage
    Make sure you know where to get one in case of an emergency.
    • Re:Crowbar (Score:5, Funny)

      by plover (150551) * on Monday March 31, 2008 @12:45AM (#22918008) Homepage Journal
      They say they'll have cake for the visitors.

      Bring a can of spray paint, just in case.

    • by necro81 (917438)
      That could be counter-productive. Most of the important parts of the LHC [] use powerful superconductive magnets. The main accelerator ring has 1600 superconducting magnets along its length for steering the proton beams. Most of the experiments have very strong magnetic fields in them to cause deflections on the particles left over from collisions.

      So, if you want to use a crowbar, just be sure it is made of something (more or less) non-magnetic, such as 300-series stainless steel or titanium alloy.
    • by douglips (513461)
      Make sure it's a non-ferrous crowbar.
  • by Mandovert (1140887) on Monday March 31, 2008 @12:16AM (#22917832)
    Please, don't move carts with odd-looking crystals in teleporting devices.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 31, 2008 @12:18AM (#22917858)
    See if you can goad the physicists into destroying the universe by creating a black hole. You know you want to.
    • by CrazyJim1 (809850)
      There are pretty big black holes out there, and they haven't destroyed the universe yet. Even if they scientists manage to destroy the Solar System, they're still a long way off from destroying the universe.
  • by Moridineas (213502) on Monday March 31, 2008 @12:20AM (#22917874) Journal
    Asking a Judge to Save the World, and Maybe a Whole Lot More

    But Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho contend that scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, have played down the chances that the collider could produce, among other horrors, a tiny black hole, which, they say, could eat the Earth. Or it could spit out something called a "strangelet" that would convert our planet to a shrunken dense dead lump of something called "strange matter." Their suit also says CERN has failed to provide an environmental impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act. []
    • by CSMatt (1175471) on Monday March 31, 2008 @01:43AM (#22918252)

      The Large Hadron Collider is designed to fire up protons to energies of seven trillion electron volts before banging them together. Nothing, indeed, will happen in the CERN collider that does not happen 100,000 times a day from cosmic rays in the atmosphere, said Nima Arkani-Hamed, a particle theorist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
      Yes, and it is only by the grace of God that these cosmic rays have not killed us yet.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jd (1658)
        Wear a radiation badge when you next fly international. I'd love to know if passengers or crew are exposed to levels in violation of accepted limits. Since none have obviously mutated into X-Men-like characters, it may be hazardous but it's not world-threatening.
        • by CSMatt (1175471)
          What a shame they didn't mutate. That would be awesome.
          • by jd (1658)
            It's not on the same timescale, but you can accurately date inorganic objects that have been exposed to cosmic rays, because the material actually does mutate. The isotopes change. It takes a few thousand years, but the only Stones not likely to be around that long seem to have found other methods. It's a useful technique in archaeology and geology when carbon dating isn't possible (no carbon or too old or too young).
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Dr. Cody (554864)

        Yes, and it is only by the grace of God that these cosmic rays have not killed us yet.
        Well, that's what they taught me back in Kansas...
  • You should definitely go visit the on-staff botanists. There's no plants there, but they're on-staff because they're experts on physics (one of them even "discovered" a magnetic monopole []!) and used their skill with identity theft [] to get themselves on-staff.
  • Appreciation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Monday March 31, 2008 @12:34AM (#22917958)
    I think the most valuable "things" you could see on your visit would be 5 physicists who actually do know enough about the subject to appreciate it, and who could maybe pass a smattering of that knowledge and appreciation on to you. Do not misunderstand me... the fact that you asked at all demonstrates that you value the experience and do not take it lightly. I know people who would give a lot to see what you will see.
    • Re:Appreciation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EEDAm (808004) on Monday March 31, 2008 @01:00AM (#22918088)
      You are right that five physicists who actually know enough about the subject would be an awesome find. But since the poster is asking for guidance on what to see I suspect what would be even more awesome for them is a technically very able physicist who can translate their knowledge into plain english. If there is one thing that would spread the influence of science more than today, it is that rare ability to make it understandable to the general populace.
      • A valuable find indeed.
        • Re:Agreed (Score:5, Informative)

          by perturbed1 (1086477) on Monday March 31, 2008 @08:11AM (#22919794)
          Well, OK. I can claim to be one... But I will out of own for the Open Day... unfortunately.
          The thing is that at CERN almost everyone is clueful but about "one thing" mostly. It is hard to find someone who has the "large picture"... The ones who do are generally people who have not been working on the LHC for the past 15 years but those who have been working on it since 2-3 years and before that was working at Fermilab or somewhere else like that. Then they can tell you what's new or revolutionary and put things in better perspective.
          Honestly, it looks like the OpenDay will be a mad house. We are expecting at least 40,000 people. The queues are going to be awfully long! I feel like we should have a couple more of these OpenDays to accommodate this huge interest but hey, I am not in the management!! I am just a post-doc!
          That said, I have given lots of tours at CERN already. I have taken at least 400 people underground just this past year. (Only 12 people are allowed to go at a time with one guide... ) I think the well-known things like ATLAS and CMS will be completely and utterly packed. So I would like to point out a rare gem... It's the LHC-b cavern where you can actually see the insides of the experiment which installed before LHC-b was installed and is now decommissioned and sitting nearby. The problem with ATLAS and CMS is that they are "done" -- meaning, the experiments are assembled wholly and therefore, it is hard to see it's guts. But you can see the guts of this decommissioned detector, which is kind of neat. I work for ATLAS and I love ATLAS to pieces but I think to try to see it on Open Day, one would need to be at CERN and queueing at 8am... or earlier.
          If you have never seen a tape reader with robots running around before, the tour to the Computing Center is really cool -- but then again, since there will be no radiation there, you can visit that even after the 1st of May. (1st of May is the date set by the LHC management board to be the last day of public tours to the LHC and experiments. The rest of CERN will still be "visitable" after that.)
          If you can not see ATLAS or CMS on the OpenDay or cant be here on the OpenDay but want to see them, there is a cheat... Most of everyone's requests goes through CERN Visitors Service. And they have a pool of guides but the experiments also have a pool of guides. The visitors service is no longer offering tours as they are completely booked until the 1st of May with their guides. But the experiments might still allow for visitors. The way to increase your chances of getting a private tour to one of the experiments is as follows: Find 11 other people who are interested in seeing the experiment with you and then e-mail the ATLAS or CMS secretariat asking for a tour for 12 people on a April xxth at xx:xx. Then they will forward this request to their pool of guides and someone (like me) might actually give you a tour. We like 12 people tours as this is the maximum we can take down and it is a much better "waste" of our time if the tour group is at maximum number... The e-mails for the secretariats are as follows: and
          Good luck!
          • Do you know if visitors are allowed to take pictures (with a tripod, preferably) and show them online?
            • Yes, visitors are allowed to take pictures. Tripod will be a bit tricky as it will be crowded -- but I dont see why not. Everything at CERN is public so yes, you can take whatever photos you like and show them online.
  • Please... (Score:5, Funny)

    by SeekerDarksteel (896422) on Monday March 31, 2008 @12:50AM (#22918044)
    The LHC is just a tourist trap. It's like Times Square. You go thinking it's gonna be all fun, then you realize it's just a bunch of bright colors and earth eating black holes, and there's nothing to do there but shop for overpriced bosons you could've picked up for half price at a more nondescript collider.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Ah, but the LHC has the hard to find Higgs Bosons. You can't get those anywhere else at *any* price, although I think Fermilab sells a decent knockoff.
    • by TeknoHog (164938) on Monday March 31, 2008 @04:03AM (#22918826) Homepage Journal

      there's nothing to do there but shop for overpriced bosons you could've picked up for half price at a more nondescript collider.

      Actually, a lot of bosons are free of charge.

      • by Doug Neal (195160)

        Actually, a lot of bosons are free of charge.
        Heh. Reminds me of a classic joke... For those who haven't heard it before:

        A neutron walks into a bar.
        Neutron: One beer please
        Barman hands neutron a beer
        Neutron: How much is that?
        Barman: To you? No charge!
    • by houghi (78078)
      All this to sell a A superconducting key ring! I kid you not. It is on the website. It is a scam. A normal keyring works just as fine as a superconducted one.
    • by Lxy (80823)
      Does that mean that the LHC has a "7 T-shirts for $10" guy? I would love to own my very own "I visited the LHC and lived to tell about it" T-shirt.
  • by gwait (179005) on Monday March 31, 2008 @01:21AM (#22918170)
    Standard slashdot response - no one follows the link,
    which shows that it's a large open house event with many activities.
    Anyhoo, the Atlas detector looked very cool in a magazine I read recently (National Geographic?).

    Personally I'd also try to see one of the pulse power supplies that drives the LHC injector kicker magnets, because my father's team designed them. []

    Yes you can tell I'm proud of him!

  • by Tuoqui (1091447) on Monday March 31, 2008 @01:27AM (#22918196) Journal
    The On switch/button :D

    You can get the answer by repeatedly asking 'What does this button do?'
  • What should you see when you visit the LHC? Why not see what everyone else is hoping to see - the Higgs Boson!

    If that doesn't work out, you can ask to see just about any other particle they make around there, there's certainly enough of them. But whatever you do, don't bring up Lexx...
  • see the detectors (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ruck (156392) on Monday March 31, 2008 @01:33AM (#22918214)
    If you get a chance, try to visit the caverns of either of the two main experiments (ATLAS or CMS). I saw CMS while it was still above ground (it was assembled there first, unlike ATLAS), and it was a sight to behold. ATLAS is probably even more impressive and maybe more convenient since it's at the main site. Aside from that, I'd try to get a peek at the computer center and take in some of the general lectures.
    Have fun!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by flogistic (1264904)
      I went to LHC on a visit (school field trip by all standards) just last week and there's quite a lot to see indeed. I would also recommend the detectors especially since they're probably the most important part of the whole experiment and they also include a visit of the actual LHC tunnel. The two sites I would recommend are those in Meyrin where the main campus is (their cafeteria is pretty decent as well) and where the ATLAS experiment is located. While it may be quite impressive to see it, ATLAS is unfor
      • Also, I think CMS is simpler to understand just because it's got a simpler setup than ATLAS. You *just* made my day... I am forwarding this now to all my CMS buddies.. I dont think they will like to think that they have a simpler setup than ATLAS... :)
      • While personally I'd be more interested in seeing the Oscillation Overthruster, the fnords, and the white hole that'll be created after they fire the thing up, I'd say than an article by somebody who's actually seen the LHC really does deserve some Mod Informative points.
  • I'm always amused by the idea of going and seeing scientific exhibits in person. Especially if you have no technical knowledge of them. I mean it's not like it really should be any better than just reading about it on wikipedia or the discovery channel but nevertheless I often find it rewarding.

    So I've done a bit of thinking about this and my conclusion is that it's a combination of placebo effect and the presence of knowledgeable scientists who are good public speakers. In other words we could tell you
    • by Urkki (668283)

      I'm always amused by the idea of going and seeing scientific exhibits in person. Especially if you have no technical knowledge of them.I mean it's not like it really should be any better than just reading about it on wikipedia or the discovery channel but nevertheless I often find it rewarding.
      Shouldn't the same apply to, say, the Grand Canyon (unless you're a geologist) or the Great Wall of China (unless you're a historian or a construction engineer)?
  • Go see the detectors (Score:3, Interesting)

    by joshamania (32599) <jggramlich@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Monday March 31, 2008 @02:10AM (#22918342) Homepage
    Go see the ATLAS detector. The detectors are one of the coolest parts at Fermi's accelerator imho.
  • A serious answer (Score:5, Informative)

    by confused one (671304) on Monday March 31, 2008 @02:16AM (#22918366)

    If you have any interest at all in the detectors or accelerator, now's the time. Spend your time there; because, you won't be able to "tour" it later. Once it's been running the equipment will become activated (as in radioactive) and the public will no longer be able to tour the underground facilities. There will likely be physicists and technicians on hand who will be happy (excited even) to talk about what they've built.

    you can always go back and look at the computer center, control rooms, or whatever at a future open house event (which I'm certain they'll have regularly, to keep the public interested).

    For what it's worth, I worked as a technician at a U.S. DOE facility

    • by mako1138 (837520)
      Depending on the materials, the activation may not be particularly long-lived. At RHIC, the STAR detector comes out of the hall during cooldown for maintenance. I imagine the detectors at the LHC will need to be serviced at some point as well, or upgraded.
      • Your right that the activated materials are short lived, typically with half-lives on the order of hours. At JLab (which is a very low energy facility compared to some others) we typically allow a cool-down period of a week or so, after the accelerator has shut down, before we start the serious work on the detector systems. There's very little risk associated with working around the equipment.

        My point was, however, that once beam has been introduced into the end station, we no longer allowed people into

        • A reply to myself, I had further insight...

          This lack of willingness to allow mass numbers of visitors in during the open houses might be more "political" than anything else. You could certainly rope off safe areas where you could run guided tours. Unfortunately, here in the U.S., the general public still has some irrational fears concerning anything "nuclear" or "radioactive" and you can't help but be exposed to the signage, placards, warning labels, etc.

          Maybe your in a better position in Europe?

          • by mako1138 (837520)
            Well, I'm at RHIC, which is at Brookhaven, in New York. Perhaps it has more to do with our schedule. RHIC is in shutdown during the summer, which is when all the BNL open house stuff happens. During the Run, certainly everyone out at the ring has to be authorized.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by trip11 (160832) *
      I'm a student here working on ATLAS (and I'll be one of the volunteers on the 6th) and I agree with the parent. The two big 'Must sees' are the detectors and the accelerators. The detectors are going to be much more impresive looking. That said, here's my $0.02 ATLAS (point1). This is the biggest detector (and my favorite, though I'm not biased or anything....) but it will also be the most crowded by far. CMS (point5). Almost as big as ATLAS and still damn impressive. It won't be as crowded because i
      • Nicely Formatted (Score:5, Informative)

        by trip11 (160832) * on Monday March 31, 2008 @07:05AM (#22919502) Homepage
        Once again, with formating (really need to hit that preview button)...

        I'm a student here working on ATLAS (and I'll be one of the volunteers on the 6th) and I agree with the parent. The two big 'Must sees' are the detectors and the accelerators. The detectors are going to be much more impresive looking. That said, here's my $0.02

        ATLAS (point1). This is the biggest detector (and my favorite, though I'm not biased or anything....) but it will also be the most crowded by far.
        CMS (point5). Almost as big as ATLAS and still damn impressive. It won't be as crowded because it's a lot further away. It will still be packed though I'm sure.
        ALICE (point2). Smaller detector for heavy ions. My guess is this will be pretty crowded to since St Genis is close to CERN
        LHCb (point8). Another smaller detector for b quark physics. Between Ferney and Meyrin... no idea if people will go see it.

        Those are the 4 detectors ranked (in my opinion) in order of coolness. I'd try to go see 2 of them if you can. Look up info on them online (they all have websites), find out which ones you want to visit. You should also try to see the accelerator somewhere. Point 6 would be my recomendation since the beam dump is also located there (this is where the beam is evacuated in case of emergency. When you realize the energy stored in the beam, this becomes pretty impressive).

        Another thing I recomend is the acelerator chain tour (point1): []

        There are a lot of other things open, but most of them you can still go and visit when the LHC is running (and the crowds aren't there). One last recomendation. I'd start out going to see things out on the ring, then come back to point1 (Meyrin) and explore it with all the rest of your time. That way you should be able to get the most out of it. See you Sunday!

  • by adamkennedy (121032) <adamk@c[ ].org ['pan' in gap]> on Monday March 31, 2008 @02:16AM (#22918368) Homepage
    "I visited the Large Hadron Collider and all I got was this radioactive T-Shirt"
  • The energy of the beam is 725 MJ, and the magnetic field is 725 MJ. This is the same as 160kg and 2.5 tons of TNT.

    I would recommend to be in the vicinity of the "beam dump" when the beam for on of about a million failsafe conditions is aimed there.

    If nothing happens, you can probably induce a beamdump in any of a thousand ways. Use your imagination, or just look for big red buttons.
  • I mean, Jeebus, anyone can see that it's large.

    "Oh, excuse me, Dr. Physicist, I wouldn't have known if you hadn't told me." Stupid physicists.

    (Though perhaps it's that physicists contracted out to the folks who classify up, the "Jumbo Hadron.")

    "Mmmm...Jumbo Hadrons"
  • Simple (Score:3, Funny)

    by antifoidulus (807088) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:05AM (#22918564) Homepage Journal
    ask for the keys and take it for a test collide!

    Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week, try the fish!
  • Things to check out (Score:5, Informative)

    by mlassnig (204316) on Monday March 31, 2008 @03:37AM (#22918714)
    Since I work here.... I might give a few clues:

    - before you do anything, check the Microcosm museum in the reception building. This one will explain a lot what's happening.
    - this one is a must: be sure to make a trip to either the ATLAS or CMS cavern (those are the two bigger detectors attached to the LHC)
    - the ATLAS control room
    - the LHC control room
    - the computing centre in the IT building

    - and if you have time, stop by for a tea in building 40 :-)
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by qc_dk (734452)
      >the ATLAS control room
      >and if you have time, stop by for a tea in building 40 :-)

      Blatant ATLAS propaganda. ;-P
      No no, you should come to the computing centre, or CMS.

      In all seriousness I agree with my colleague above. Microcosm is worth a visit, but the must-see is one of the caverns(ATLAS,CMS).
      They are not quite so impressive now that they have been filled completely with detectors, but still very interesting. As mentioned
      in another post above the control rooms and computer centre will probably stay
  • Must See (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I took part in their summer student programme last year and during that time we've been visiting all of the places that you can go visit now during the open day. My recommendations are:
    If you're interested in detectors you have enough time to visit at least two of the four major experiments. CMS is a bit far away, it takes you some 20 minutes by bus to go there, ALICE and LHCb are closer and ATLAS is just across the road opposite the main entrance. I would recommend ALICE and ATLAS - ATLAS is, just like CMS
  • How sad that someone asks a questions about one of the coolest science projects in the world and the Slashdot community only wants to vote up the "Funny" replies. Poor form. Stop being so guarded and show us your geek. Seriously, how could you miss: "The levitating scooter, which will take volunteers for a ride suspended in the air" []
  • Christmas Jones []. I've been told she works there?
  • ...THE BUTTON (TM) (C) 2008. All Rights Reserved. Patent Pending. You know the one. Big, Red, Round. Has a PostIt note on it reading "DO NOT PUSH THIS". I mean...cmon...Its just gotta be there somewhere! Its just gotta..
  • Recycling? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Msdose (867833) on Monday March 31, 2008 @05:13AM (#22919148)
    Ask them if the big bang was caused by an experiment to discover the Higg's boson.
    Ask them if this is the last chance to perform this experiment before physicists realize that it will cause a big bang and inflationary event which will recycle the present universe.
    Ask them if this is the same experiment that was done 20 billion light years away and that put on a show called the Star of Bethlehem 2000 years ago.
    Ask them if the only proof that they will cause a big bang is that there cannot be any proof until the experiment is performed. (See also 'The Hound of the Baskervilles')
    Ask them if it is necessary to do the experiment because we've been doing it for infinity and if we don't the universe will fade away forever.
    Ask them if we have to do it because if we don't some other nearby civilization will beat us to it and we'll eat their dust.
  • I thought a superconducting key ring would be a cool souvenir.
    They don't sell it over the net.
    So I tried eBay.

    No luck, but there was some superconducting parafinelia for some $10K. So I asked

    How much to ship to Iran

  • The CERN has a very nice cafeteria.

    Also have a look at Mont Blanc, which you can see when you're in front of the LHC building. It's a very nice view.
  • I know that most think it extremely unlikely, but I for one would like some advance notice of when they are going to crank this thing up for real so that I can at least make sure I live the few days before that to the fullest.

    Ever wondered what it would be like if they generated a large, non-disappearing black hole?

    Would the world die?
  • But I fear it got annihilated by one of those pesky little black holes they make there.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen