Question: What Happens if You Cross the LHC Stream with Your Hand?

You've already heard of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the biggest, baddest, and highest-energy particle accelerator anywhere on the planet. The LHC sits in a circular tunnel 27km in circumference buried around 50m to 175m beneath the earth. It's purpose isn't to destroy the world, like so many doomsayers thought it would when physicists flipped the power switch, but to collide two counter rotating beams of protons or heavy ions to recreate the conditions just after the theorized Big Bang. By doing so, physicists hope to gain a better understanding of all sorts of geeky topics, like quantum mechanics, general relativity, the structure of space and time, and other things that would make your head spin. So naturally, the one question that comes to everyone's mind is...what would happen if you stuck your hand in front of the beam?


Maybe that isn't the first question everyone thinks of, but as it turns out, it's a damn good one. This is exactly what the inquiring minds at Sixty Symbols asked, who then video interviewed the answers from several scientists. The general consensus? Lots of theories, but no concrete answers. Possibilities range from nothing at all to feeling a pin prick as the concentrated beam travels through your hand. Or it could rattle your entire being and kill you in an instant.

Given the vast uncertainty (not of the universe, but of what would happen to your hand), perhaps the real question is who will be the first to try and palm the beam? Check out the amusing video below.

Comments
inspector 4 years ago

Interesting... lol. I might want to be the first to try it...j/k :)

When we figure out how to build a universe... can i buy one? xD

Supernova... i would love to experience one before i die :(. Of course as long as it doesn't affect earth.

MathiasTodd21 3 years ago

If you want to see a supernova then watch Beetlegeuse. It is supossed to go supernova in our sights(since light takes time to get here) any year now. It's one of the 2012 things. People think it'll be so bright we will have two suns for like a week.

brez 4 years ago

It already happened http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatoli_Bugorski here has a pic of where he got hit http://forgetomori.com/2008/science/hit-by-a-particle-accelerator-beam/ here is video of a man being hit by a particle accelerator beam http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JVkonHpxKk

WBernuy 4 years ago

I'll palm the beam!

DLucio 4 years ago

The answer, solved by a russian:

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.12/science.html

acarzt 4 years ago

That's pretty wild.

Sounds like the radiation did most of the damage.

I would expect a small entry wound and a large exit wound because of the speed of the molecule.

Eitherway I would expect a lot of damage lol

AKwyn 3 years ago

A Russian did it in 1978 but that then that was nothing. This is the LHC we're talking about! Who knows how deadly it'd be touching the big bang creating particle simulator.

Anyways, I'd do it if someone gave me a kick ass system from HotHardware. :P

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