Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Mary hadron little lamb, and collided its particles to re-create the Big Bang

Scientists will flip the switch on the world's largest particle accelerator tomorrow morning (Euro-time), potentially creating a black hole on earth and ending existence as we know it.

So, haha, you know, party tonight.

Actually, noted physicist Nerdly X. Geekleman Martin Rees (Baron Rees of Ludlow, if you're nasty) has calculated that there's only a 1 in 50 million chance that some sort of black hole or other global catastrophe will take place when the Large Hadron Collider is activated.

Which is, in fact, three times more likely than my winning Powerball on Wednesday night. Just saying.

Using a 15-mile-long tunnel under France and Switzerland (but mostly France), scientists are hoping to re-create the moments after the Big Bang, when the universe was (allegedly but not scripturally) created. Here's a diagram, which I do not understand (something about magnets, explosions and double-decker buses):


What do you think? Are we going to be black-hole-or-other-global-catastrophed tomorrow? Or is it just another day on that third one from the sun?

And what, I say, what is up with all these subatomic particles? And why haven't you bought me a plush theoretical tachyon yet?

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