This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – brightrecruits.com can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today

Blog

Could the LHC do the ‘Bosenova’?

By Hamish Johnston

Superfluid helium and magnetic fields are both in abundance in the Large Hadron Collider so it’s not surprising that some doomsayers have suggested that explosions called Bosenovae could occur in the accelerator’s cooling system.

Such explosions were first seen about ten years ago when an ultracold condensate of atoms was subjected to a carefully-selected magnetic field, which caused the normally-repulsive forces between atoms to become attractive. The condensate collapsed under these forces until it reached a critical density and then exploded outwards — much like an aging star becoming a supernova, but of course, on a much smaller scale.

So why couldn’t this happen in the LHC?

Well according to CERN’s Malcolm Fairbairn and Bob McElrath, this scenario is impossible because helium-4 atoms used to cool the LHC will simply not be attracted to each other when subject to any sort of magnetic field. The reason, according to the pair, is that the helium-4 nucleus does not have a magnetic moment and the atom has no unpaired electrons — both of which are needed to make the atoms attract each other.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Leave a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Guidelines

  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="http://www.google.com">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="http://iop.org/">IOP</blockquote>
IOP
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="http://www.worldwildlife.org/who/index.html">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text
WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux