What actually happens inside a Large Hadron Collider.....how accurate is this?

I was wondering, perhaps KelseyMH could enlighten me further, how accurate the information is from this article.  I realize it is slated for the general public so it may not be as detailed as it should be, but barring that, how good a job does it do? 

Large Hadron Collider:  how it works

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kelseymh4 years ago
That is a very good short description!
How many quarters do you have to put in the machine to get the ball rolling?
Goodhart (author)  caitlinsdad4 years ago
About a billion, for 6 seconds of play time.....
ilpug Goodhart4 years ago
I hope the "Continue? Insert quarter" screen lasts for longer than ten seconds.
Goodhart (author)  ilpug4 years ago
Best to make sure with a truck load of quarters all lined up to go into the slot as you tilt the bed......that way, you get to see it actually run :-)
iceng Goodhart4 years ago
I enjoyed it too.

Don't you wonder how a proton was discovered to be composed of
only 3 Quarks and about 20 glueons ?
kelseymh iceng4 years ago
Well, that "20" is a bit absurd :-) It's like saying that the attraction between a north and south magnetic pole is done by 16 photons. The three valence quarks in a nucleus are held together by a constant exchange of many, many gluons.

If you shoot a bullet like another proton at the nucleus, sometimes it will interact with one of the valence quarks, sometimes with one of the gluons, and sometimes with one of a virtual quark-antiquark pair (the so-called "sea quarks"). By doing this over and over, and carefully analyzing the distributions of particles which come out of those collisions, you can measure the relative fractions of valence quarks, gluons, and sea quarks, as a function of energy.

The thing is, those measurements depend on the energy of the projectile. At low energies, you see almost exclusively the valence quarks, with a small fraction of gluons. At intermediate energies, the gluon fraction dominates, and at very high energies, the distributions all become more or less indistinguishable.

If you want to read about this in more detail, the search term is deep inelastic scattering.
Do you find the Standard Model a bit "messy"?
It seems to have needed a lot of "patching" through the addition more particles, and as an abstract-concept it's rather complicated these days.

It's not quite as messy as it seems if you start from the symmetry groups. The force carries are nicely elegant: SU(3)c × SU(2)Y × U(1)B. The SU(2)×U(1) are the electroweak part: the neutral member of the SU(2) triplet and U(1) singlet mix and split into the Z0 and photon, leaving the charged W's. Color SU(3) automatically gives you the eight gluons from the simple octet representation.

The part that seems a bit ad hoc are the matter fields. The fact that they are all doublets for spin (fermions), isospin (quarks) and weak isospin (electron/neutrino) is a nice symmetry.

Why there are three generations is not obvious (nor is the mass hierarchy explained), though it is in the minimum number needed in order to have a complex phase in the cross-generation mixing matrix. The fact that both quarks and leptons (neutrinos) have fully-populated mixing matrices is another nice symmetry.
Yes, it''s much clearer to me now....
The theorems fit the results and existing theory, so one thing inevitablly leads to another (particle. Or dimension if you're a String-theoreticist)

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