The CERN Large Hadron Collider…or…the end of life as we know it?

 

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The images you see above show photographs inside and out of a huge man-made machine called the CERN Large Hadron Collider. I would bet that there may only one or two of you out of  a hundred or even a thousand of readers of this blog who will not know what this machine does or why it was built. Guess what…I really don’t know either except what I have read or seen recently. And what I have read or seen recently gives me a bit of pause. Because sometime in March, next month, this baby is going to be turned on to full power. According to our friends at Wikipedia this is what this thing does:

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider, and the largest single machine in the world,[1] built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) from 1998 to 2008.

Its aim is to allow physicists to test the predictions of different theories of particle physics and high-energy physics like the Standard Model, and particularly prove or disprove the existence of the theorized Higgs boson[2] and of the large family of new particles predicted by supersymmetric theories.[3] The discovery of a particle matching the Higgs boson was confirmed by data from the LHC in 2013. The LHC is expected to address some of the unsolved questions of physics, advancing human understanding of physical laws. It contains seven detectors, each designed for certain kinds of research.

Ya got that? Good, because I really don’t (maybe I understand a bit) and I write I science fiction. This thing was built with about 9 billion dollars by 10,000 scientists from 85 countries. It’s been tried out to a lesser degree since 2008 and has had a few hiccups along the way. But next month the folks there in Geneva, Switzerland are going the throw the big switch and according to renowned physicist Steven Hawking and Astronomer Neil de Grasse Tyson doing so will end the existence of the universe. That means that all life on this earth, that’s you, me, your dog, your cat and everything else will cease to exist in a split second.

This Large Hadron Collider is 17 miles in circumference, underground, and is basically a 12 foot wide tunnel with a big 27km long tube surrounded by giant magnets that will smash two protons together at a very fraction less than the speed of light. And when they smash together, according to Hawking and de Grasse Tyson, life will cease to exist.

Now I don’t know about you but I have plans for April and May and especially during this coming Summer.

Will it happen, not my plans but the end of life as we know it? I sincerely doubt that we will just blink out. I just wish that Steven Hawking and Neil de Grasse Tyson would have kept their fears and doubts to themselves.

For a simpler explanation of what this LHC will do you may want to watch a 14 minute video from a TED conference about the subject. Here’s the YouTube link for that:

Bye for now, hope you are able to read my blogs next month. I’ll post up a few before that, no worries.

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