This year’s TED conference produced dozens of exciting talks, touching on topics such as education, transportation, poverty, and artificial intelligence.
Here are some of the most mind-expanding talks thus far.
"Don’t fear intelligent machines; work with them" by Garry Kasparov
Twenty years ago, Garry Kasparov, one of the greatest chess players ever, lost a match to IBM’s Deep Blue robot. It was a humbling experience, but one that Kasparov believes will happen far more often (and in many more areas of life) as time goes by.
Kasparov’s talk encourages people to think differently about a robot-dominated future. Instead of seeing AI as a force of evil, he sees it as a way to remove uncertainties and difficulties from our lives.
"The future we’re building — and boring" by Elon Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk discusses the myriad projects he’s working on at any given moment with head of TED Chris Anderson. He talks about driverless cars, going to Mars, and the future of LA traffic (or lack thereof) thanks to his tunnel-carving enterprise, the Boring Company.
The entrepreneur raves about his plans for the future and how much better he hopes it will be.
"Poverty isn’t a lack of character; it’s a lack of cash" by Rutger Bregman
Historian Rutger Bregman makes the case for universal basic income (UBI), a wealth-distribution model that involves giving people a set amount of money to use however they want.
Bregman’s talk traces the history of UBI, including an experiment carried out in Canada in the 1970s that managed to effectively eliminate poverty. Bregman imagines would would happen on a global scale if everyone could have their needs met in the same way.
from SAI http://read.bi/2tMwXqx
The report was based on data from a survey of 1,000 people in the United States who use email regularly as part of their job.
More than half (54%) of respondents say they receive more work emails now than they did three years ago.
Some 75% of respondents say they have sent work emails after 6 PM, and 23% say they have sent work emails after midnight; 59% say they receive work emails from their co-workers after hours.
Three-quarters of people say they check email on the weekends, and 61% say they check while on vacation.
Check out the infographic for more findings from the survey:
About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 1,000 people in the United States who use email regularly as part of their jobs.
Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.
LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji
from Marketing Profs – Concepts, Strategies, Articles and Commentarie http://bit.ly/2uOcgYe
It’s getting easier all the time to be paid in cryptocurrency. As of Monday, July 3, Bitwage, the Bitcoin payroll and international wage payment service, announced that it is launching services in the U.K. While there might be irony given that earlier this year Bitwage also announced it would offer European Union (EU) IBAN numbers to workers anywhere in the world receiving wages from EU companies, the latest news suggests that the United Kingdom is ready for cryptocurrency. But Bitwage has been saying that for two years.
“For domestic workers, we are providing the easiest way for users to obtain digital currencies,” Jonathan Chester, founder and president of Bitwage, told Bitcoin Magazine in a recent interview. “It is just ‘set it and forget it,’ as your savings of bitcoin, ether or litecoin increase over time. This is great timing to allow all the new U.K. users that have come into the ecosystem due to the recent price rise.”
The Brexit Impact
“For international workers, this comes at a good time during the uncertainty of Brexit,” said Chester. “Once the U.K. leaves the EU, it will be much harder to receive payments from U.K. companies throughout Europe. Our solution will help reduce the cost and delays for workers receiving wages from the U.K., despite the impending consequences of the U.K. leaving the EU.”
If Brexit leads to a significant change in the exchange rate, businesses will need to account for the most efficient payment process possible to reduce the likelihood of errors, delays or any other costs within their control.
Adoption in the Workplace
While entire companies can easily switch their entire workforce payroll onto Bitwage, this scenario is not entirely necessary. Individual employees can create accounts for themselves. “If someone is interested in getting their wages or a portion [of them] in cryptocurrency, all they have to do is sign up to Bitwage and provide the bank account provided to their employer,” explained Chester. “[Employers] don’t even need to know the difference.”
However, a great way to spread cryptocurrency adoption in the workplace would be to discuss the advantages of Bitcoin with fellow employees and management. As Chester put it, “Bitcoin is a much better store of value than gold [because it’s] easier to use and store, and it’s much more scarce. For employees, taking a portion of wages in cryptocurrency would be an investment.” Because users have the option of allocating the portion of their wages that are paid out in crypto versus fiat, it is an easy way to automatically start holding small amounts of cryptocurrencies.
1. Cryptocurrency Lowers International Payment Costs
“If you are paying a lot of workers, it is about saving money on wire fees and not being limited on the amount you can send,” said Chester. “Systems that save you money on wire fees, but do not leverage blockchain [technology], have to use a method called ‘float.’ This essentially means they are holding money in the other country to pay out when they receive the funds and then send a bulk wire to replenish the accounts in the payout country later. These systems have to limit the amount you can send so that they do not run out of funds to pay out. This is not the case with blockchain [technology].”
Chester said that, before announcing its U.K. launch, several U.K. companies had approached Bitwage, hoping to use their service to pay workers in the Philippines. They wanted a way to save money on wire fees, save their workers money on exchange rates and remove limits on the amount of money that can be sent.
2. Optionality Is a Powerful Marketing and Recruiting Tool
For many people, particularly millennials, having options can be a legitimate benefit. Offering employees more options for how they want their wages paid out is empowering. Furthermore, it signifies trust between employee and employer.
Bitwage can also receive and pay out in a wide range of other currencies such as gold, silver, USD, Euros, GBP, BRL, PHP, INR, MXN, ARS, VND, NGN and UAH. Choice of currency could be a formidable recruiting tool to attract a much wider pool of talent. For instance, international employees, the unbanked, gold bugs, silverites and of course the crypto community might appreciate the option of getting paid in the currency of their choice.
Chester pointed out that once more than 50 percent of employees at a business are getting paid in cryptocurrency, an employer might even decide to provide an incentive package “like a bitcoin 401k.”
It is important to note, however, that once businesses receive bitcoins from a Bitcoin transaction, it becomes that entity’s responsibility to report capital gains. If a business receives all of their transactions in another designated currency, no additional reporting is required. Before making these choices on the type of payment, payment processor and preferred currency for Bitcoin transactions, and before making any changes to their settlement, it’s a good idea for business owners to discuss their intentions and their options with their accountants.
Furthermore, employees should pay careful attention the Bitwage’s fee structures, since there are some costs associated with the service.
The post Get Your Wages in Cryptocurrencies: Bitwage Expands to the U.K. appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.
from Bitcoin Magazine http://bit.ly/2stj50E
Fidget spinners have been keeping fingers and thumbs very busy lately. But, now it seems another part of one’s anatomy can be used for fidget spinning: Your nipples.
The creative individual behind this stroke of genius has dubbed her invention “Fidgetiddies,” which are fidget spinner nipple covers, a.k.a. pasties.
“Hi everyone I have been working on something that absolutely no one asked for,” wrote Fidgetiddies inventor, @caritadepincel, who posted a video of her fabulous creation in action.
This invention is proof that the fidget spinner craze is completely and utterly out of control. These days, you can let your fidget spinner swipe on Tinder for you, and there’s even fidget spinner nail art.
The fidget fun doesn’t end there though. The inventor also posted a highly useful tutorial so you can make your own Fidgetiddies at home. Get out those craft supplies now, people.
You’ll need some pasties, some velcro, and — very importantly — some fidget spinners.
Fix the hook part of the velcro to the — errr — tip of the pastie. Next, fix the loop part of the velcro to the fidget spinner. You’ll then be able to attach your fidget spinner to the pasties and, hey presto, you’ve got yourself a Fidgetiddie. All that remains to be done is attaching the Fidgetiddies to your breasts.
Your next party trick, perhaps?
from Mashable! http://on.mash.to/2tUPeCE
AlphaBay, a dark web marketplace that sells drugs and guns, has gone offline — sparking fear amongst its users that it is an "exit scam" stealing their funds.
However, a staff member has denied that the team behind the site has done a runner, writing on Reddit: "Will be back online soon. Servers under update."
Dark web marketplaces, accessible only via anonymising software Tor, let unscrupulous vendors sell almost anything — and are notorious for scams and fraud.
In March 2015, Evolution suddenly shut down in an apparent exit scam, stealing $12 million-worth of digital currency bitcoin that it was holding in escrow for vendors.
AlphaBay lets its users sell drugs, guns, counterfeits, stolen goods, and instructions for making bombs, among other items. (You can see what it looks like here.) But its sudden disappearance sparked concerns among its users that its admins too could be running off with their illicitly earned cash. Amid the chaos and panic, some threatened dark reprisals.
"If it’s an exit scam i’m gonna make a fundraising company to find and bomb them :)" said one Redditor.
"I’m not even in a position to loose any money and i would still donate to this if it meant, putting them in their f–king graves," wrote another.
A third assumed the worst: "they are sunning themselves with our f–king money."
Some, however, seemed to take pleasure in the chaos AlphaBay’s downtime has been causing. "So lemme get this straight… You’re surprised, and upset, that an illegal marketplace, which specialized in Fraud, and essentially stealing peoples money and identities, stole from you and you trusted them?" one user wrote. "Basically the reason such a place exists, and thrived for so long, is because of idiots like you… The f–kin irony man I love it."
The AlphaBay’s staff member’s Reddit post seems to have allayed many users’ concerns, at least for now. The marketplace is very likely holding millions of dollars-worth of cryptocurrencies in escrow — meaning any exit scam could be highly lucrative.. "In my vendor profile is approx 50k USD right now in escrow … 80 vendors like me is 4millions … i’m sure there is more then 500 vendors with such amount =]" wrote one Reddit user.
We won’t know for sure what’s happening though until it comes back online — or doesn’t. At the time of publication on Thursday, AlphaBay remained offline.
from SAI http://read.bi/2tLXFQ8
If you ask Ethan Kaplan, chief product officer of digital at Fender, about the death of the electric guitar, he gets a bit incredulous. And it’s easy to understand why. As he’s quick to point out, "for some reason, there’s still a guitar on every stage." But while he’s adamant his company and the industry is perfectly healthy, it’s clear some of the cultural cachet of the guitar has dried up. Fender is hoping to turn the tides.
The latest effort is Fender Play, a digital lesson platform designed to keep younger would-be guitarists coming back day after day, year after year. The company’s research suggests it’s not hard to attract new players, but it’s extremely difficult to keep them tied to the instrument for the rest of their lives. In fact, Kaplan says 95 percent of players give up in the first year. Most don’t even make it past the first three months. Play has been designed, then, not only to be simple, but to cater do an increasingly diverse playerbase, delivering relatively quick gratification.
Unlike other music instructional standbys like Mel Bay, Play doesn’t spend a ton of time early on teaching theory or how to read notation. Instead, once you’ve got the bare essentials down (how to tune your guitar, identify and strum the strings, etc.), it immediately starts teaching you a song. And we’re not talking about "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." Play focuses on hits from the likes of Bon Iver, the Rolling Stones, Brad Paisley, Sean Mendes, the National and — yes — even Disney. Fender pairs lessons on technique and theory with each track, but the explicit goal is to learn the song of your choice, not to master the pentatonic scale.
Instead of funneling every student down the same path, Fender tries to personalize the experience as best as it can. When you first fire it up, you’re asked to choose a path — rock, pop, country, blues or folk. (Don’t worry—you can pursue multiple paths or change paths at any time.) You’re also asked if you’re playing acoustic or electric, and based on these choices you’ll get different instructional videos, different song choices and learn different techniques. If you’re learning country on an acoustic, you might get early lessons on finger-picking. If you go with rock, you’ll focus on power chords and learn a Foo Fighters song.
This flexible approach is core to Play’s mission. Kaplan says it’s not Fender’s place to judge anyone’s musical taste, and goes out of his way to make it clear that the company doesn’t believe everyone has "to be a rock-guitar god. "It doesn’t matter if you’re playing it with a pick, a bow, an Ebow, a hammer. … We don’t just represent virtuosity," he says.
It’s refreshing to see a guitar company not just acknowledge, but embrace the idea that the goal for every player isn’t Yngwie Malmsteen or Steven Vai. Plenty of people are perfectly happy to strum the chords to "Let It Go" or bang out a couple of Taylor Swift tunes.
Fender has also focused a lot of energy on really nailing the production value, and it shows. It’s not the first company to invest in high-quality guitar-lesson videos, but it’s clear this isn’t some half-assed entry into the arena. Audio quality is top-notch, and there are clear 4K closeups on the instructors’ picking and fretting hands at the appropriate moments. Even tiny details like the set lighting are consistent across all the clips. That being said, at the end of the day, these are still just instructional videos. And, while they’re well-produced, they don’t deliver anything truly revolutionary.
Fender’s research says the 5 percent of people who start playing guitar stick with it for their entire lives. The ambitious goal of Play is to double that number. The company has a clear and admirable set of principles and theories in place. The song-oriented curriculum that respects restrained strumming as much as it does blistering solos is a welcome change of pace. But right now, Play is also very limited. It’s launching with a decent selection of songs, but lessons are focused entirely on the most novice of students. And while Fender has floated the idea of adding more interactive elements, like pop-out chord charts and tablature, right now it’s mostly just a collection of instructional videos.
If you want to test out Fender Play for yourself, it’s available starting today on desktop and iOS for $20 a month, though Fender is offering a free month of access in hopes of luring you into its six-string clutches.
from Engadget http://engt.co/2tPwUKe
Bitcoin, the decentralized digital currency dominated by white men, seemed on the verge of disappearing after every scandal, crash, or hack. But eight years later, it’s not only growing but accelerating, tripling in total value since January to over $45 billion. And it’s not the only cryptocurrency; competitors include Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Ethereum (a currency that supports “smart contracts”).
Bitcoin’s high volatility makes it terrible by traditional currency standards, fantastic as a risky investment vehicle, and fascinating as a cultural experiment. It’s a dramatic rethinking of how currency can work, and it’s very complicated and unfamiliar to the common person. Over the years, hundreds of news outlets have tried to explain it, which is lucky because it often takes several explanations to grasp. Here are some of the best, starting with the three most essential guides.
- How Bitcoin works, in five minutes: A straightforward guide that gets increasingly technical. Just hop off when the ride gets too fast.
- History of Bitcoin: Timeline of Bitcoin’s invention, growth, and major hacks.
- A beginner’s guide to Ethereum: Describes a newer blockchain with applications outside of digital currency, including automatically executed contracts, identity management, computer usage sharing, DRM, and more.
- Lifehacker’s guide to Bitcoin: A practical guide to mining, buying, and using Bitcoin
- How the blockchain makes digital transactions work like physical transactions: A math-free guide to how cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin track transactions with a blockchain. Explains how to “give” a digital object to someone instead of just copying it.
- How blockchains record transactions: A slightly more technical explanation of how cryptocurrency users handle transactions without a central authority.
- How smart contracts work: Compares cryptocurrency to a digital vending machine, where the “rules” of a transaction are built into the machine itself. A great explanation of blockchain’s uses beyond currency.
- “Smart contracts” for programmers: A more technical explanation of Ethereum.
- Why Bitcoin is useful even when the price is volatile: How to use Bitcoin as an online payment method for traditional currencies.
- How people steal Bitcoin: Explains how hackers have stolen millions of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin, over and over.
- How to keep Bitcoin safe: Pros and cons for the best ways to keep your cryptocurrency safe (which usually involves physical storage).
- How Bitcoin pays people for recording transactions: Explains the “hidden transaction fee” of transferring Bitcoin; also read the response post, “USD is a terrible way to pay for stuff.”
from Lifehacker http://bit.ly/2ttkZzL
It’s been five years since physicists at CERN reported (in the understated manner typical of scientists) that they had observed a particle “consistent with the long-sought Higgs boson.”
The discovery capped decades of theory and was an important triumph for the Large Hadron Collider, the means by which the elusive particle was found. But they didn’t close up shop and go home after that — the LHC, the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider, is just getting up to speed.
You could be forgiven for thinking so, however. Shortly after the discovery of the Higgs, the LHC was shut down for two full years for a full servicing and upgrade. The extreme conditions created in the collider — think “big bang” extreme — were achieved at 8 teraelectronvolts, the unit of energy they use to gauge the power of the accelerated protons slamming into each other. You create greater forces snapping your fingers, but when you concentrate it into a space millions of times smaller, you can essentially puncture the fabric of reality.
8 TeV was already an immense increase over the next most powerful system — and the complex is now running at 13 TeV, with plans to go even higher.
“The design of the LHC was to reach 14 TeV, but the machine has been working very well, so everyone has the idea that we can push past that,” LHC physicist Arturo Sánchez Pineda told me.
Protons, accelerated to nearly the speed of light in the collider and smashed into each other (at those multi-TeV energy levels), produce all kinds of interesting effects because the forces and temperatures are so huge.
“The main problem five to seven years ago was looking for the Higgs boson, because it was extremely obvious it was missing in the theory,” he said. “But at the same time and in parallel, we have been looking for other things — like dark matter, supersymmetric particles, very heavy particles. It’s important from the point of view of the standard model and physics in general, but they don’t call as much attention as the Higgs.”
And with colliders, the more energy you have on tap, the better your chances of finding what you’re looking for: It’s only when forces of cosmic proportion come into play that you get protons splitting into their most exotic sub-particles.
Of course, you can’t just turn the dial and get more power out of a system so complex it’s basically its own city. Part of that is replacing the hardware. For instance, the magnets that guide the protons along their evacuated tubes have been upgraded to cryogenically cooled ones in order to accommodate the increased energy in the stream.
With great power, in this case anyway, comes great amounts of data. The LHC may have taken years to get started, but once it’s on, it’s on for as long as they can keep it running.
“I can tell you because every day I’m in the ATLAS control room: the experiment is running 24 hours a day,” Pineda said. Consequently, a lot of the advances are in how the reams of data the LHC produces are handled.
“You write code — everything is done by coding,” Pineda continued. “One guy could be next to me writing code looking for dark matter, while I’m writing code looking for the Higgs, a better way to measure it. The people who do analysis and try to find new stuff in this data, they’re all over the world.”
Pineda has himself been working on efforts to open up the LHC’s data — the more eyeballs, the better. It’s available at CERN’s open data portal, so help yourself if you think you know how to sift through the event logs and find suspicious energy signatures.
The computers themselves have been upgraded over the last few decades, as well. From supercomputers to embedded control systems to user-facing interfaces, everything is constantly rolling on to the next version.
“The control systems [i.e. in control rooms] are Windows, but the majority of experimental systems are Red Hat Linux,” Pineda told me. “We’ve migrated from scientific Linux to CentOS” (for anyone counting).
“Of course security patches are important,” he added, but it’s more against preventing the systems from being taken offline than any fear of hacking. The LHC isn’t exactly a ripe target. The data is often freely available, duplicated publicly on servers all over the world — and even if you got in, “We have a custom C++ framework to analyze the data… you could save it, maybe as an Excel table or something, but it would be incredibly big.”
Considering the LHC is among the largest and longest-running experiments out there, it would be strange if there weren’t plans for the next few decades. The existing experiments and detectors will keep running for many years; Pineda said ATLAS should keep running until 2034. But two major improvements apart from the latest power boost are coming down the line.
The first change is the transition to what they’re calling the High Luminosity LHC. This involves the introduction of a new type of quadrupole cryomagnet into certain portions of the LHC’s ring — just before the ATLAS and CMS detectors. The stronger magnetic fields will squeeze the proton bunches into even finer threads, increasing the rate of collision by as much as an order of magnitude. Installation of the kilometer or so of these magnets is planned for 2024.
But at an unspecified date in the future comes the big change.
“The LHC is not a single ring,” Pineda explained. “There are several smaller ones, each one adding more energy, to finally be injected into the biggest one. There’s a point, though, even in the 27 kilometers of the main ring, where you can’t reach a higher energy. So the next step is to use the LHC as a pre-accelerator of an even bigger ring.”
How much bigger? The LHC’s successor will be somewhere around 100 kilometers long – 62 miles in circumference.
The scope of this planned collider — let’s call it the XLHC — is even more mind boggling than the original, and the original is pretty mind boggling. But even if you had all the money today and the plans finalized and approved by the governments and institutions involved, it would take decades to assemble.
We have that to look forward to, then, but in the meantime we can enjoy the constant stream of science issuing from the LHC. You can keep up with the latest news from CERN and the LHC here.
Featured Image: CERN
from TechCrunch http://tcrn.ch/2sPEWP1
How do things work? To find out, we observe them and we take them apart. But not everything is easily observed, and until recently some things couldn’t be taken apart.
It’s the culmination of a theory that has its genesis in ancient Greece. The philosopher Democritus posited that if you divide a piece of matter enough times, at some point you’re left with something that can no longer be divided — this theoretical form he called atomos, or indivisible. The word of course went on to designate the atom, which we now know is not indivisible, but that’s an issue of terminology; the concept is sound.
But Democritus couldn’t have known (though he may have suspected) that the “atomos” might prove to be far more complicated than just the thinnest slice of matter possible, and that no knife would be sharp enough to make that cut. But if you explained carefully, he would certainly understand what a particle accelerator like the Large Hadron Collider does. It is the latest and most powerful, but by no means the final, tool we have built to disassemble the world around us.
A matter of scale – the scale of matter
Imagine you have a toy car. You can inquire into its physics on several levels.
If you want to know how the car rolls or how it fits together, it’s sufficient to watch it in action and maybe pull it apart to look at the pieces.
If you want to know why it weighs what it weighs, or why one material bends and another is rigid, you have to look closer — closer, in fact, than your eyes are capable of. That’s why we invented microscopes and tests for things like how something is made up chemically.
If you want to know why those materials act the way they do, you must look closer still at the building blocks of those materials — atoms and molecules. To do this you need things like scanning electron microscopes and detailed observations of charge.
But while we can split molecules into their constituent atoms, and shave electrons and protons off of those, we soon reach the limit of what our ultra-precise electric tweezers and carefully configured radiation knives can accomplish.
And yet in all our delving we had not reached the true atomos, the indivisible. How could we go deeper? Smaller? The solution we arrived at is as brutal as it is elegant.
Little Big Bang
Particle accelerators were thought up quite a long time ago — going on a century now — and are in some ways remarkably simple.
Introduce particles like protons into a tube in which is kept a vacuum, and guide them along its length by means of magnets, all the while pushing them faster and faster. When they get going fast enough, put something in their way and… BANG.
Look closely at the point of impact, and you see the traces of particles very small indeed. Protons and other subatomic particles, exposed momentarily to forces and temperatures on the order of the Big Bang’s, explode into a menagerie of exotic components: positrons, antiprotons, muons, taus, charm and strange quarks, and of course bosons. The building blocks of the building blocks of the building blocks of… well, you get the idea.
In early days, this tube was a straight line, and the particles in these linear accelerators would impact against something like a thin foil of metal. But the faster you make particles go, the higher the energy of the collision. And it turns out that, in order to bring particles up to the relativistic velocities required for certain experiments, a tube longer than the circumference of the Earth would be needed.
Perhaps a drag race toward the speed of light was the wrong approach, then. Better to build a track around which the particles can travel over and over, with the pedal to the metal the whole time: a ring.
But here’s the best part. With a linear accelerator, the best you can hope for is that a particle hits something at some significant fraction of the speed of light, which for objects with mass is impossible to equal or succeed. But by cleverly engineering your ring, you can get particle streams going both clockwise and anti-clockwise. Instead of putting an obstacle in their paths, you just steer them toward each other, like two lanes of traffic going opposite ways around a ring road.
Result: a particle going 99 percent of the speed of light going West hits a particle going 99 percent of the speed of light going East — and you get a head-on collision at effectively twice the speed of light. Now there’s something you don’t see often in nature.
Ring around the proton
The greatest of these rings is the Large Hadron Collider.
Built over three decades, its 27 kilometers span the border of France and Switzerland. The vacuum-filled ring (if something can be said to be filled with nothing) is cooled to 2 degrees above absolute zero.
An incongruously small bottle of pure hydrogen feeds protons into the ring, where they are kept in their lanes by thousands of superconducting electromagnets. Each segment of the ring contains a radio-frequency radiation field that oscillates at 400 megahertz, boosting particles as they enter and switching direction to boost the particles going the other way a fraction of a second later. In this way they achieve 99.9999991 percent of the speed of light.
Dotted around the ring are the house-sized detectors, vault-like rooms lined with millions of mind-bogglingly sensitive instruments that can detect a single sub-sub-atomic particle.
Although there are thousands of bunches of protons, and each bunch may have as many as 100 billion protons in it, and although they are forced into a stream half the width of a human hair, these particles are so incredibly small that the chance of collision is actually quite small — perhaps one collision for every 500 million that miss. But because they’re moving so fast around the ring (they circle it more than 11,000 times per second) and there are so many of them, that still averages out to about a billion particle collisions every second when the beams are aligned.
The vast majority of these collisions produce particles that physicists already know about, but every one also has a chance to produce rare particles like the Higgs — which, like many particles, isn’t directly observed but indirectly inferred by the presence of certain other rare particles into which it is theorized to decay.
The higher the force with which the protons collide, the more likely it is that they will produce certain high-energy particles. And the larger the ring and stronger the magnets and accelerating radiation, the more force can be imparted on the protons. Which is why the LHC, eventually, may be relegated to being merely one in a stage of accelerators leading to an even larger one — 100 kilometers around.
As is often the case in scientific endeavors, the more we learn, the more we realize we don’t know. The search inwards, toward ever more fundamental truths about the way our world fits together, seems to have no end in sight — so Democritus’s theory of the atomos may stand for decades or centuries to come.
Featured Image: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch
from TechCrunch http://tcrn.ch/2uNqvg7