Friday, September 05, 2008

The End of the World is Nigh

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On September 10th, CERN will being an experiment to recreate some of the conditions created at the point of the Big Bang using The Large Hadron Collider.

Scientists assure us it is perfectly safe
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7468966.stm

I wonder if there are many of us who will be a touch disappointed if the world doesn't actually get sucked into non-existence...



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26 comments:

Z said...

'To die will be an awfully big adventure'- yes, it would be a bit of an anti-climax. I wonder if there will be any warning or if we'll just go in an instant?
Or not, of course.

PI said...

I must confess I had a nanosecond when I though 'Oh good!' I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the weather - we're drowning down here.

Archivalist said...

If it means I don't have to hear Sarah Palin's voice ever again, I'm all for it.

Eryl Shields said...

I will be. Just imagine it, no more worrying about whether to put on a hat or take an umbrella.

Doug Dog said...

Hi Kim,

Now you’ve done it. You have literally scared the crap out of me with that video! I know that the scientists involved say that it CAN’T happen, or at least they’re “pretty sure” it won’t. I’ll probably have nightmares for weeks. Jeesh…

Fat Lazy Guy said...

I think what they're actually working on is a way to create zombies, so I'm stocking up on weapons.

savannah said...

fantastic! now i know why my dreams have been of death, sugar! i'm so relived. xoxoxo (sept. 10th, eh?)

Conan Drumm said...

I didn't really need to know this. Now I'm going to be looking it up and may end up blogging about it myself. Nostradamus foretold it, right?



...and where's Maroon when you really need a boffin?

Mary Witzl said...

I've got to say, my first thought was that if this happened, at least I'd get out of having to cart all our rubbish down to the civic amenity. It's in wet, nasty old bags and just bristling with garden crud and slugs. But I'll go along with archivalist: not having to hear Sarah Palin's voice again would be a big plus too.

Eryl Shields said...

Who on earth is Sarah Palin, and what's wrong with her voice?

Dr Maroon said...

Right, I shall explain this once and once only.
you have an infinetly powerful microscope and infinitely powerful telescope side by side. In this thought experiment light speed is instantaneous.
You look down both, each instrument in turn, and each tiome[sic] you see the back of your own head looking into whichever instrument. Not only that, but neither instrument shows you a big hairy eyeball staring back.

I hope that clears things up for you.
The search for ever smaller particles using every higher energies is not really to find an end point (although by absolute definition there will be one, ie beyond that, will remain undefined,) no it is to show that the arrowhead? point? whatever you want to call it, reaches as far as we can imagine.
Were you paying attention at school physics? Can you remember the Maltese Cross demonstration? This collider at Cern is a direct decscendant of that.
Can't remember? No? Well I'm wasting my time here.

Pat remembers. She's using terms like nanosecond.

Kim Ayres said...

Z - I think I find myself in agreement with my wife (never a bad thing) when she said to me, "I'm not afaid of death, just dying. So if it's all over in an instant, that's all right then."

Pat - I knew I wasn't alone in this

Archivalist - I've never quite figured out how someone who is supposedly a staunch Christian can also be a staunch supporter of the gun lobby. Would Jesus have supported the idea of everyone having a killing weapon? But, hey, what do I know? I'm neither Christian nor American. But I am open to a reply from anyone who is.

Eryl - ever thought about a hood?

Doug Dog - no, you'll only have nightmares for another 3 nights...

FLG - "The Curse of the Black Hole Zombies" You make the movie and I'll buy it when it goes straight to DVD :)

Savannah - dreams of death can often mean rebirth. apparently.

Conan - I put in a request to Maroon and he's explained it all with great clarity. IN fact I'm surprised he hasn't written a play about it.

Mary - well depending on what time it happens, I may or may not be round for Coffee in the afternoon on the way back from Edinburgh

Eryl - John McCain (Republican contender for US elections) has chosen Sarah Palin for his Vice President if he wins. She's 44, has 4 or 5 kids (youngest has DS), is Governor of Alaska, is Christian Fundamentalist, Pro war and pro life and bakes apple pie, I think.

Dr Maroon - many thanks for clearing that up. I am now truly enlightened.

How is the Guru moonlighting going?

MikeP said...

I'd ask you if thought God might prevent it from happening, but of course I already know your answer.

Kim Ayres said...

Given His lack of intervention on numerous humanitarian attrocities and distasters, assuming He exists, it would appear highly unlikely

Sarah said...

i figure i will have enough time to say "aw! you fuckwits."

although, i feel a touch better after reading maroon's explanation of the big hairy eyeball.

Freakazojd said...

I'm kind of hoping they'll find a way to fuse chocolate and raspberries. (Yes...I'm kidding.) In all seriousness, while I don't know nearly as much about this as my husband, what I DO know scares the sheite out of me.

Kim Ayres said...

Sarah - I'm sure there's a blunt cogs strip in there somewhere about big hairy eyeballs.

Freakazojd - are you not going to update your profile pic now you've had the haircut? Your one on facebook looks good

Fat Lazy Guy said...

Apparently the scientists have been getting death threats. I don't quite see the logic...

"I'LL KILL YOU IF YOU DESTROY THE WORLD!"

Dr Maroon said...

Are we all still here?
Or is it still just me?

Kim Ayres said...

FLG - superb!

Dr Maroon - you're a day or 2 early

PI said...

I love it when Doccie thinks I'm brighter than I am.

Kate said...

Great summary of Sarah Palin and her somewhat contradictory opinions.

As for the collider thingy - I'm dying to hear about the discoveries - it's quite mind boggling when you read about it.

Conan Drumm said...

So, Doc... (sorry, I wasn't allowed do physics) does this mean we get larger / smaller / denser / invisible / anti / vaporised / condensed / nano / giga / toblerone bars, relativitistically speaking?

Or have I wandered unknowingly from physics into epistemology?

Kim Ayres said...

Pat - it's one of the reasons we love him

Kate - if we survive, I might just buy the next issue of New Scientist

Conan - don't you realise his answer will just be "yes"?

The Birdwatcher said...

Hopefully it will only be a small blackhole but just big enough to take my overdraft etc. (and maybe Sarah Palin)

Andraste said...

I'm currently reading Hawking, and I still don't quite understand physics. But I don't feel bad, Feynman said, "if you think you understand quantum theory, you don't understand quantum theory." So I'm running on the assumption that nothing bad will happen, but we'll learn a TON of new, interesting, useful stuff. Maybe it's a "leap of faith," if an atheist can use that expression...

But if the world does end, I've had a good run. I just feel bad for my cats.