Wednesday, September 10, 2008

the end of the world as we know it

Big Bang Day has arrived. Today is the day scientists finally switched on the Large Hadron Collider at Cern. The Large Hadron Collider is not just the largest particle accelerator ever made, but its running constitutes the largest scientific experiment ever conducted. Some members of the scientific community believed that switching on the particle accelerator this morning would create mini black holes which could swell and devour the earth. As I am still sitting here typing and drinking my coffee I think we're in the clear. What may be world-changing about this experiment are the questions it could answer. Cern scientists hope to create a mini big bang and examine the resulting particles, possibly including the hypothetical Higgs boson or "God particle," which could help explain why objects acquire mass and help fill in the blanks in the Standard Model of particle physics. The scientists at Cern could get to see first-hand what happened during the creation of the universe and gain a greater understanding of how the universe works, which is tremendously exciting.


black hole!

In the very slim chance the worst does happen, here's some music for the end of the world.

8 comments:

brie aku sefakor said...

alright, that black hole graphic is fantastic! and i'll blast REM over the office system later this afternoon. i think it'll be appreciated.

crazy to think you might have sucked away before i did... what do you think the time delay would have been?

brie aku sefakor said...

although... doesn't time stretch or change in a black hole? can time then be a constant? who do you measure from? once you transfer position into a black hole, where do you measure from?

Crista Noel said...

There's still a risk. They've just been sending particles around one way, not colliding them yet.

One scientist theorized it could take up to 4 years for a mini black hole to grow and swallow the earth.

Perception inside the black hole and outside of it would be different. Quoth Hawking, "in the theory of relativity there is no absolute time".

Wait, is that someone throwing pine cones at us?

Rowan said...

Hi! I knew absolutely nothing about this. I have to read more news more often. Imagine if we'd been sucked, I would have been blissfully taken by surprise. The best way, I suppose. Could we survive in a black hole, for a bit?

Brilig said...

I was driving up the M1 listenting to the live broadcast on the Today programme as they switched on the beam. Just passing the Watford Gap services I thouigh about all the places I would rather be when the end comes...

Rima said...

Seems we are all still here then, mind you - what might it be like in a black hole... perhaps we are in a black hole!
I have been getting quite excited about quantum physics lately, and trying to read a book about it.. but I seem to have to frown whilst reading it and even then only manage to read the first sliver of pages over and over again!
Hope you're well and happy and busily creative :)
X Rima

Mmm said...

I would have wondered, "how did that happen?!"

Joel Stewart said...

Did you know it broke? And an awful lot of helium was released when it did. There must have been hilarious high pitched panic. Shame it broke, but I'm glad that it chose to do it to comedic effect.