The purpose of the LHC is to get lots of protons moving very, very fast. The magnet system is the core piece of technology that makes this happen. More than 1,200 magnet sections, each weighing 10 tons, bend proton beams through vacuum pipes around the 17-mile-long underground tunnel near Geneva. Since these protons are going so fast—99.9999991 percent of the speed of light—superconducting coils of niobium and titanium must produce a magnetic field that's about 200,000 times as strong as Earth's to bend them. A power supply feeds these magnets with 12,000 amps of current, and a constant flow of liquid helium keeps the entire machine just 1.9 degrees above absolute zero. The conditions are both colder and emptier than deep space.
See all of PopSci's coverage of the Large Hadron Collider at popsci.com/lhc.
This technology is just mind boggling that we are even able to achieve this. I never had any idea that we where even capable something at almost speed of light and keeping it under control, or even producing that strong of a magnetic field. Just mind boggling...
Think of the possibilities of particle accelerators! Bringing spaceships up to speed with low fuel consumption, an improved rail gun... we got the internet from CERN, just imagine what we could get from this. Google also changed their home page, take a look.
I'm just as excited as the rest of you. Imagine the possibilities. We are entering a new era of human discovery. We are no longer concerned with the physically observable. We have moved on, we are now looking at the very fabric of the universe. The very essence of all matter and energy.
This seems like the typical secret government project...except not secret!
"...we got the internet from CERN, just imagine what we could get from this..." - Dustin2127
Actually the internet was invented by DARPA (Google ARPANET). The French don't deserve credit for that. :)
@Atela: I belive he means we got modern webpages from CERN. The first ever webserver was a nextcube at CERN. DARPA developed the communications protocols.
I thought Al Gore invented the internet....?
So I got one main question: Although all this is really amazing, purely for OCD reasons, what is the actual speed that these particles will be achieving. I have read that it will be %99.997, %99.99, %99.99998, and now %99.9999991. All I would like to know is the actual speed.
to j3toler: partial speed in the LHC is 186,247.9 MPS.