What happens when you put your hand in the Large Hadron Collider’s proton beam? | The Daily Dust delivering the best bric a brac, daily news and events with a British flavour

What happens when you put your hand in the Large Hadron Collider’s proton beam?

Posted by on Sep 24, 2010 in Featured Post, Fun & Games | 0 comments

Forget about creating a black hole, how much damage would the LHC do to human flesh?

It’s always fun when you get scientists disagreeing on what the results of an experiment will be – that’s when they start building huge bits of kit like the Large Hadron Collider to try and test the deeper laws of nature.

But it’s the simple questions on the LHC that get them – and the first four minutes of this video see the team try to answer the sort of question an eight year old would ask them.

What would happen if I put my hand in the way of the beam of the Large Hadron Collider?

Remember they’re travelling at 0.999999991c, (or 3 meters per second slower than light), but they’re very very small. In the words of one scientist, each proton would hit with the energy of a single mosquito. But a very very small mosquito. Would you feel anything or would it be the force of hundreds of sticks of TNT? Or being hit by an aircraft carrier at 11 knots?

And did you remember to think about the dangers of cyclotron radiation?

I think we need to ask Prof Brian Cox really nicely to hang a burger in the beam next time he pops over.

Hat tip to Discovery Magazine.

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