smashy particle fun with the lhc

large hadron collider

If you believe what pessimistic, panicky uninformed nutters are saying, the world will end tomorrow. It’s been fun.

In case the news has escaped you, tomorrow is finally the day when CERN are unleashing the Large Hadron Collider (not at all to be confused with the Hardon Collider as seen on cracked…).

The details are far far far far too complex for a lowly blog like mine, but National Geographic did a nice piece about it earlier in the year that’s now available to read online and worth a peep if you’re baffled by the idea of subparticles, neutrinos, antimatter, supersymmetry and multiple dimensions that affect gravity. Actually, I’ve read it a few times, and still don’t fully get it, so maybe it wont help, but it should. Basically, it’s exciting if you’re into quantum things or even if you’re just curious about what a $6 billion 17 mile long machine that can fire things at 99.99 percent the speed of light will end up doing.


The whole ‘end of the world’ thing stems from the potential of some sort of black hole being created, but even it if did happen, it’d be so massively small that it’d do nothing other than destroy itself. Which is reassuring, but at the same time, slightly disappointing :) The worse thing that could happen is nothing; the best thing is.. who knows. All sorts of crazy particle/matter/dimensional stuff is going on and seeing as the LHC records 15 million gigabytes of information yearly (that’s about 41 thousand gb a day), it might take a while to sift through the results. Still, that’s what we pay those scientists for. Watch this space!

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