In the Loop

Why the world may or may not end tomorrow . . .

Posted at 11:47 AM on September 9, 2008 by Sanden Totten (5 Comments)

Geeks world wide are buzzing about a new piece of technology . . . and it's not the iPhone! It's the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). It doesn't take pictures or let you check your e-mail on the go. But it might explain how the Universe got started:

"Two beams of subatomic particles called 'hadrons' - either protons or lead ions - will travel in opposite directions inside the circular accelerator, gaining energy with every lap. Physicists will use the LHC to recreate the conditions just after the Big Bang, by colliding the two beams head-on at very high energy."

One of it's main missions is to find the ever elusive Higgs boson particle, the particle that would explain how other particles end up having mass. It's a lynch pin in modern physical theory . . . if it doesn't show up, a lot of text books will have to be re-written.

Of course, not everyone is excited. Some people worry that the experiment will create a tiny black-hole that would grow in size, eventually consuming all of Earth! There's even been a law suit over it. And pleas from bloggers to cease and desist in the testing:

"Please don't kill us all . . . Things I've yet to do yet include find out about the new Apple products, work out exactly how the semantic web works and get picked to appear on My Super Sweet Sixteenth."

Will the world really end tomorrow? Wired doesn't think so. Neither does almost every physicist on the planet. Including this guy. Besides, would something that dangerous really have such a cute rap song:

Comments (5)

"The LHC accelerates
the protons and the lead.
And the things that it discovers
will rock you in the head."


I hope the world doesn't end. We still have so many more YouTube videos to embed on our blog.

Posted by Jeff Horwich | September 9, 2008 12:02 PM

If the LHC creates a black hole that consumes the earth, will we know its happening? And, once it does, who will care?

Posted by bsimon | September 9, 2008 4:02 PM

LHC Web cams online!

Posted by G. Puddin | September 11, 2008 2:36 PM

Those webcams are awesome! Ha!

Posted by Sanden Totten | September 12, 2008 12:01 PM

If the world's going to end, I'd at least like a heads up.

You know, prepare, have a barbeque, sit on a hill and drink whiskey, etc.

Posted by Guthrie Horgan | September 15, 2008 3:22 AM

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