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Not so much a thought experiment as a single neuron misfire.
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We're spending enormous amounts of money for larger and larger accelerators, new observatories such as the gamma ray observatory, etc.
I'm a wholehearted supporter of this kind of research, but since energetic radiation is everywhere, can't we hand out interested parties a metal plate with a sensor
and a way to upload the data? (and how is there not a physics category?)
Trigger Idea [theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004]
Surf for gravity waves
[theircompetitor, Feb 22 2005]
Distributed cosmic ray observatory. See "Other Similar Projects" section too. [wiml, Sep 14 2006]
No danger to Earth from tiny black holes
[theircompetitor, Sep 21 2006]
And here we are
[theircompetitor, Oct 07 2011]
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||This doesn't make a lick of sense to me, even after reading the "Permaglow" link below.
||I think [tc] is after a way to make "big physics" modular and distributed, along the lines of a distributed array radiotelescope.
||Not necessarily a bad or impossible thing, just highly unlikely that the appropriate sensors and timing structure could be connected over the internet.
||Sort of a nano-baked solution in search of a problem.
||Ah. This works for observatories, then, but not for accelerators - I guess the first sentence threw me off. Thanks for the explanation!
||Clearly this is not a distributed accelerator, but distributed detectors. As linked article points out, energetic collisions occur all them time.
||Apparently there's now app for that (evaluating
collision data). God particle, if you are out there, I
need a beer
||Not just the highly energetic particles -- also the
weakly interacting ones (neutrinos), no?