“Hurray for the European Court of Human Rights. It has rejected an emergency injunction to block the Large Hadron Collider from turning on on 10 September. It’s the latest legal case brought against the LHC by scientists who fear that the world’s largest particle accelerator will produce fearsome entities that could destroy the Earth.”
Now there is definitely money to be made here. A little mercenary of me, perhaps, but if my recent hits are anything to go by there seems to be a genuine fear/concern that the Large Hadron Collider really could mark the beginning of the end for us all.
In the past twenty-four hours or so alone, my last post on LHC has had in the region of 200 hits — nearly 500 since it was written on August 17.
Therefore, in the spirit of one who would wish to soothe and reassure these worried souls, I’m wondering if there are any T-shirt designers out there looking to make a quick profit with me. I’m envisaging nice, gaudy colours — “LHC” on the front and on the back, in blood-red letters, “We’re All Going to Die!”
Hell, we could even go for a full range of merchandise! Action dolls of the leading scientists involved? That say, “Jesus Christ! Run like hell, everyone, it’s just sucked up my clipboard!” when you pull a little cord at the backs of their necks? A scale model of the LHC — the MLHC (Mini Large Hadron Collider) — which produces mini-mini-black-holes? The possibilities are endless!
Christ, I didn’t realise this whole end of the world thing could be so dammed exciting!
Anyone fancy an end of the world mouse mat?
Better still, read your free sample of The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts here. And then pre-order/buy The Realm of the Hungry Ghosts before we all become ghosts ourselves !
Striking evidence has been found for the enigmatic “stuff” called dark matter which makes up 23% of the Universe, yet is invisible to our eyes.
Pah! I knew it was there all the time.
Finally it’s here. Well, just about.
On the tenth of September next month, the Large Hadron Collider will finally (possibly!) get kickstarted, booted up — or whatever the hell it is they have to do to get a collider doing what it’s supposed to do.
“This major milestone in the LHC project will be covered live by international broadcasters. UK media organisations will be at CERN and at a simultaneous media event in London.
Now that has to be worth watching. Why? Well, if some people are to be believed, the work of the Large Hadron Collider could in effect cause the end of the world/universe. Mini black holes may be created (fact) and they will grow and grow and grow, just like Alice, until we are all gobbled up (not fact.)
What LHC will largely be doing, in fact, is smashing together tiny particles called protons. When these particles collide, new particles are created. The scientists working at LHC are hoping to find a new particle called the Higgs. In short, the LHC will be asking some of the big questions about the universe, such as:
“How did our universe come to be the way it is?
“The Universe started with a Big Bang – but we don’t fully understand how or why it developed the way it did. The LHC will let us see how matter behaved a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang. Researchers have some ideas of what to expect – but also expect the unexpected!
“What kind of Universe do we live in?
“Many physicists think the Universe has more dimensions than the four (space and time) we are aware of. Will the LHC bring us evidence of new dimensions?
“Gravity does not fit comfortably into the current descriptions of forces used by physicists. It is also very much weaker than the other forces. One explanation for this may be that our Universe is part of a larger multi dimensional reality and that gravity can leak into other dimensions, making it appear weaker. The LHC may allow us to see evidence of these extra dimensions – for example, the production of mini-black holes which blink into and out of existence in a tiny fraction of a second.” — for more see here.
So make a date to be here at 8: 30 a.m. UK time on the 10th of September 2008. It should make for interesting viewing. I can’t wait to see the black hole gobbling up downtown Geneva!
(EDIT: Important update here. READ THIS, PLEASE!!!)
(EDIT: Possibly of further interest.)
Read your free sample of Children of the Resolution, please click here.
I haven’t done a science related post in a while, if memory serves me well, so today I thought I’d share this great YouTube series on the history of the universe with you. There is much in it that many of you will already be familiar with, but it is nonetheless an excellent, simple explanation of many complex ideas. A valuable refresher and an excellent introduction for the beginner.
WE NEED YOU! — I am looking for people who can “seed” the Made Easy series, either hosting it on their websites, mailing DVDs to schools or to other ‘seeds’, or spreading through BitTorrents. If you can help spread a bit of science and counter the rolling tide of creationist ignorance, please get in touch. Message me with a description of what you can do. Thanks!
The ‘Made Easy’ series is designed to explain the evidence that shows how we got here, from the Big bang to human migration out of Africa. A better quality version will soon be available for free download from a website — details to be announced. I will be happy to send DVDs free of charge to schools after the series is finished.
The ‘Made Easy’ series of videos can be freely copied and distributed for educational purposes, but cannot be used for commercial gain in whole or in part. They cannot be altered, transformed or added to. If you use repost these videos you must attribute them to ‘Potholer54 on YouTube.”
I’ve been a journalist for 20 years, 14 years as a science correspondent. My degree is in geology, but while working for a science magazine and several science programs I had to tackle a number of different fields, from quantum physics to microbiology. My particular talent was my ignorance. By not understanding half of what I was assigned to cover, I had to reduce scientific discoveries from the complex to the simple. If I wrote it in a way that I could understand it, then my readers could understand it.
“Every time you break an egg, you are doing observational cosmology.”
From Does Time Run Backward in Other Universes? by Sean M. Carroll.
Part one of an excellent interview with Richard Dawkins.
I haven’t done this for a while, because I’m not all that sure that video content goes down too well with my regular readers, but this is a good one. Take a moment. You might like it. 😉
(The parting in his hair does worry me, though.)