Wait...what the...the world did not end, everyone still here. sigh :-(
It's been more than 3 years since I last wrote anything on the Large Hadron Collider, LHC. The ATLAS detector was still being built then, 2005 was the International Year of Physics and there wasn't much fanfare regarding the LHC at all. That is until tomorrow...where the world might end, or some real physics gets done.
And here we go, tomorrow (Sept 10 at CERN, Geneva) the first attempt to circulate a beam around the LHC will take place, which I fail to understand how it could destroy existence in the first place, because the first collision of two beams, or at a target isn't even scheduled until the 28th of October. So everyone still has good time left to do what you love, quit your jobs, etc and wait for the world to end.
What does LHC do or create? For that, we have to go through 1000 pages of Particles and Fields of Phys Rev D. I lost it at the first few chapters years ago, so we better not for the moment. Basically the LHC is a particle physics experiment aimed at discovering the superstar particles; Higgs Boson (the ghost particle :P now you know where the nick came from), gravitons, magnetic monopoles, deciphering energy fields, the CP violation, and earth destroying black holes. The physics is pretty exciting, the experiment itself is huge, its expected to generate 15 million Gigabytes of data annually!!! and the whole mechanism and how the experiments will be executed is well laid down on the web. So head on to the links and have fun.
[+] LHC Outreach (~laymen info)
[+] LHC Grid Computing
[+] LHC At Home
[Updates - WIRED] [Cern_Gallery][Best & Worst Case Scenario]