Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'm a fourth year Physicist at Bristol University and my Masters project is part of the LHC project.

My project is computer based, simulating what they should see if the Higgs Boson has a mass of 165GeV (decaying to two W bosons which each decay to a lepton and a neutrino). I didn't know a huge amount about CMS (the detector) or the programming aspects before I started so it was a big learning curve. With three weeks to go until I have to stop doing practical work I'm reconstructing the Higgs Mass ok, just need to play around with my electron reconstruction and cuts.

I think to be honest a lot of the best real world applications of the LHC will be indirect, much like the Apollo missions contributed a lot to developments in technology not originally intended for the uses it ended up in. The LHC will process so much data every second that in a year it'll be something like 1/6th of ALL of the world's yearly information going through the detector and its computers.

The research that's gone into the various parts of the detectors (calorimeters, silicon trackers, etc) as well as the magnets, computers, triggers (that rapidly choose which of the billions of collisions are worth keeping and which should be chucked), all of this will have other applications, half of which probably haven't even been thought of yet.

So even if the physics discovered doesn't directly contribute practically, the engineering behind it definitely will.

by darrkespur on Thu Feb 21st, 2008 at 01:26:40 PM EST

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