Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Strangelove Indeed or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Large Hadron Collider
At about 3:14 AM, EST (09/10/08) a large particle accelerator buried about 300 feet underground in Geneva will begin it’s 9 month – a year run of accelerating particles near the speed of light and colliding them with other particles running the opposite direction. Hilarity ensues.
Yup read all about it right here: http://science.howstuffworks.com/large-hadron-collider.htm#. An excellent article by Jonathan Strickland begins by saying, “One hundred meters (or about 328 feet) underground, beneath the border between France and Switzerland, there's a circular machine that might reveal to us the secrets of the universe. Or, according to some people, it could destroy all life on Earth instead. One way or another, it's the world's largest machine and it will examine the universe's tiniest particles. It's the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).”
…“One way or another”?
I have an interest in quantum physics – that is I enjoy the discoveries and the theories that blow conventional wisdom out of the water; such as time travel, particles that vibrate in two places at once and the ever popular parallel universe theories. As a card-carrying geek this stuff is like mother’s milk. I’ve got three story arcs bouncing around my neural passageways already with who knows how many short stories, essays and/or screenplays based on the LHC and what it may or may not do and/or find.
I do not want to cast any illusions here. I’m like Major Tom speaking to Ground Control or the ever-popular cow watching the passing train when it comes to the hard science that the team firing up the machine in Geneva live and breath. Its all well beyond my ken and understanding. “I’m just a singer in a rock and roll band.” Even so you can’t go and make statements like, “There is an incredibly small chance we’ll create a black hole within the earth” and not expect someone to glom onto it. That’s a loaded statement and don’t forget what Blue Oyster Cult said, “History shows again and again how nature points out the follies of man.” What about all those movies where science runs amok?!
Oh yeah, go go Godzilla.
There have been independent studies that have verified the safety of the LHC so chances are a rip in the time space continuum; universal overlapping and/or planetary implosion due to black hole creation at the planet’s core are hardly factors at all. When the Sleestacks become our overlords – don’t blame the scientists!
Just kidding – blame the scientists. Tomorrow’s always been a crapshoot, LHC or not. I’ll see you on the other side, Gentle Reader.