Not something to stick your head into when its on

This is so cool. Higgs Bosons. No idea what a lot of this fascinating article is going on about, but the beauty of the new Large Hadron Collider (a part of it below) at CERN is that no-one actually knows what will happen when it gets switched on and properly starts colliding hadrons. It’s an $8bn leap into the unknown. I only live a few kilometers away, so I’d be quite pleased if it didn’t take out a large part of the surrounding area, in a Spenglerian total protonic reversal –“try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light,” as the great physicist said. It’ll either take us a bit closer to the Spinozan singularity, causa ultima, or show us we’ve got the wrong idea completely; but as this is sometimes an extremely valuable insight, I don’t think the money will prove a waste.

 Bento, you pretend to know about this sort of stuff. What do you think will happen?


2 thoughts on “Not something to stick your head into when its on”

  1. This struck me as interesting, and potentially devastating to the local countryside:

    “When they try to calculate the mass of the Higgs particle using the Standard Model and quantum mechanics, they get what Dr. Ellis called “a very infinite answer.”

    Rather than a trillion electron volts or so, quantum effects push the mass all the way up to 10 quadrillion trillion electron volts, known as the Planck energy, where gravity and the other particle forces are equal.

    The culprit is quantum weirdness, one principle of which is that anything that is not forbidden will happen. That means the Higgs calculation must include the effects of its interactions with all other known particles, including so-called virtual particles that can wink in and out of existence, which shift its mass off the scale.”

    This sounds to me a bit like the Infinite Improbability Drive. Were an infinite improbability field to extend around the collider by about 10km or so me and my family could be turned into whales, or alternatively bowls of geraniums (gerania?).

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