Wednesday, April 02, 2008


posted by The Vidiot @ 12:47 PM Permalink

(I'm sure that Disney will not like that I've used their Chicken Little character in a blog post. Tough.)

Now I have something ELSE to keep me up at night. Seems there's a big experiment that's going to happen this summer.
Its purpose is simple but ambitious: to crack the code of the physical world; to figure out what the universe is made of; in other words, to get to the very bottom of things. Starting sometime in the coming months, two beams of particles will race in opposite directions around the tunnel, which forms an underground ring 17 miles in circumference. The particles will be guided by more than a thousand cylindrical, supercooled magnets, linked like sausages. At four locations the beams will converge, sending the particles crashing into each other at nearly the speed of light. If all goes right, matter will be transformed by the violent collisions into wads of energy, which will in turn condense back into various intriguing types of particles, some of them never seen before. That’s the essence of experimental particle physics: You smash stuff together and see what other stuff comes out.
Well, that's all well and fine and searching for the God particle is laudable. But what if.... well, you know.
Although CERN scientists have already ruled out the possibility in a safety review, Mr Wagner and Mr Sancho say there is at least a small chance of annihilation of the planet and perhaps the universe.
That's the worst of it I guess; being completely and totally obliterated, universe and everything. Frankly, if there are aliens out there and they have even one clue of what's going on and if they know that something bad will happen when they fire this thing up, then they'll have to intercede. I mean, it's their hides too, right? Maybe this will be the summer of disclosure that the various and sundry 'alternative' discussion groups have been bleating about.

But even if the universe doesn't collapse, there's the annoying possibility that your grandchildren will show up on your doorstep, fully grown, and asking for money.

Prof Irina Aref'eva and Dr Igor Volovich, mathematical physicists at the Steklov Mathematical Institute in Moscow believe that the vast experiment at CERN, the European particle physics centre near Geneva in Switzerland, may turn out to be the world's first time machine, reports New Scientist.

The debut in early summer could provide a landmark because travelling into the past is only possible - if it is possible at all - as far back as the point of creation of the first time machine.

That means 2008 could become "Year Zero" for temporal travel, they argue.

It's all good.

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