Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's the end of the world as we know it (but I feel fine)

Today, the world's largest particle accelerator started. Contrary to fears, the world hasn't been swallowed by a black hole or changed into a lump of strange particles yet. Of course, the accelerator is just in the shakedown phase; the main experiments will start later. But, as I've said before, I'm not worried in the slightest.

What are my thoughts on this?

  • Hats off to the Europeans, who forked over the money to see this project through. We gave up on ours years ago.
  • "The God Particle" is a dumb moniker for what the Large Hadron Collider is looking for. For most people, the term "God particle" brings up images of its properties that are far from reality. Besides, "Higgs boson" is more fun to say.
  • The LHC is not recreating the Big Bang. It will recreate conditions that were similar to those present shortly after the Big Bang, but we aren't going to be creating baby universes in Europe.
  • There is ZERO (0) chance that the LHC will destroy the Earth.
  • If you doubt me on that last point, check for up-to-the-minute updates.
  • If you'd like to read/watch all about a mad scientist making a mini black hole that threatens the Earth, look into The Krone Experiment. It was written by an astronomer. A darn good astronomer, too, though you can feel free to debate his literary talents. Note that the book is classified as science fiction.
  • One part of The Krone Experiment reminds me of a favorite Carnac the Magnificent segment, when "sis boom bah" is revealed to describe the sound an exploding sheep makes.

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