Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Wide World of Timbo bids thee farewell, Earth.

So, everyone else is talking about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and how tomorrow might very well herald the end of Earth, and I figured that I would jump on that LHC train too. Also, it finally gave me a excuse to post the above picture in such a way that I am not revealed to be a perv.

So, for those of you not in the know, the LHC is basically a gigantic ring in which particles are accelerated and then rammed into each other, at which point nerds with PhD's gather around and observe stuff. It sounds innocent enough, but there is evidently a chance that when they fire that baby up, a black hole will be created. A black hole would be bad. Very bad. Super bad. Holy-crap-we-are-all-doomed bad. Apocalyptic bad. How bad? Pretty bad, that's how bad.

On the other hand, most scientists say that we are in no danger whatsoever, and are actually looking forward to the LHC revealing (or disproving) the existence of the elusive Higgs Bosun. Don't know what the Higgs Bosun is" Here, straight from Wikipedia, is an explanation:

"The Higgs boson or BEH Mechanism, popularised as the "God Particle", is a hypothetical massive scalar elementary particle predicted to exist by the Standard Model of particle physics; it is the only Standard Model particle not yet observed. Experimental observation would elucidate how otherwise massless elementary particles nevertheless manage to construct mass in matter. More specifically, the Higgs boson would explain the difference between the massless photon and the relatively massive W and Z bosons. Elementary particle masses, and the differences between electromagnetism (caused by the photon) and the weak force (caused by the W and Z bosons), are critical to many aspects of the structure of microscopic (and hence macroscopic) matter; thus, if it exists, the Higgs boson is an integral and pervasive component of the material world."

So there you have it. Anyway, back to scientists. Notice how I didn't say "all" scientists think it is safe, and that we should collide particles until the break of dawn? It wasn't the lady at the Waffle House that came up with that black hole theory, dudes. Nope, it was other scientists.

Here is hoping that the majority is correct. Life can be hard, but in general I enjoy it. I certainly enjoy it enough to not want to die because some Euro's decided, mistakenly, to tamper with the elemental forces of nature. Sure, it sounds kind of cool to die in a black hole, and movies have been made that indicate that getting sucked into a black hole might result in getting plunked into an alternate, and far radder, reality, but the fact is that I think it would suck way more than it would rule.

Allrighty then. Those are my thoughts on the LHC. I know it's a little played out, but if this ends up being my last blog, no one will care anyway.

EDIT TO ADD: Humanity has survived to plunder another day! Huzzah!


Toby said...

I told my students today that if the minority proved to be correct, they would all get As in my class... A couple got excited until their friends reminded them what would happen if the minority was correct...

Also, you have a couple more days than you thought. They're starting it up tomorrow. It won't be at full speed until Saturday, which means you should live it up Friday night!

katdish said...

Oh, Timbo. I would care if this was your last blog post. There's not enough irreverent humor blogs out there! Yours is my favorite.

And BTW, using this topic as an excuse to post that picture neither confirms nor denies whether you are, in fact, a perv.

J.R.Shirley said...

I might muster up some nerdliness for that young lass.

If I was not taken, that is...