Seeking perfection since… I forget when

Large Hadron Collider

So, what could happen on September 10th? Here are some of the ideas, though not all are actually likely, just a lil joke.

5 Best Things (actually possible ones)

  1. Time travellers from the future appear and say hello. Admittedly this isn’t very likely, but theorists have shown that it is possible in principle. And it would be rather spectacular.
  2. The smart money is on the LHC creating the famous Higgs boson, so we would finally know why things weigh what they do.
  3. Special long-lived version of a particle called a gluino could be spat out. These could stick inside one the LHC???s giant detectors and decay when the accelerator is switched off. If this happened it would tell us that our universe is just one of many, many universes.
  4. The LHC might show that extra dimensions of space exist. Some physicists believe this would be the LHC???s most profound discovery because it tells us string theory is on the right lines.
  5. Nothing happens. If absolutely nothing new turns up at the LHC, it would shake fundamental physics to the core. It would tell us that all our understanding of forces and particles is wrong and we???d have to go back to the drawing board.

5 worst things (actually possible ones)

  1. The lights go out in Geneva. The LHC consumes 120 megawatts of power, about the same as Geneva and its environs. CERN gets its electricity from both France and Switzerland, so a blackout in unlikely.
  2. The proton beams become unstable and crash uncontrollably into a detector. At full pelt, each beam contains enough energy to melt 500 kilograms of copper. If a beam smashed directly into one the LHC???s giant experiments, it would fry the detectors. Engineers have built several safety systems to stop this happening.
  3. Fewer party balloons. The LHC???s superconducting magnets are cooled with 120 tonnes of superfluid helium. Top ups will be needed if there are power cuts or problems with the magnets.
  4. Part of the ring breaks. The ring uses superconducting magnets that need temperatures colder than outer space to work. If there is a problem, it will takes five weeks to warm the ring back up to room temperature and another five to cool it back down to 1.9 kelvin.
  5. Nothing happens. It may be intellectual dynamite but if nothing new shows up at the LHC, there will be no more money for big physics.

5 Funniest Things

  1. The ring disappears without trace and no-one can guess where it went.
  2. Time suddenly goes into reverse and I cough up this mornings breakfast.
  3. The ring suddenly becomes the centre of gravity for the solar system and we all get fried as the sun goes whizzing past us.
  4. The ring spouts a gigantic finger from another universe and Sauron steps through.
  5. Nothing happens.

Other Things

  1. They get the blue and red wire mixed up and things spin in the wrong direction.
  2. The fuse goes and someone has to go and get a new one.
  3. The blue screen of doom splashes up on the monitor sending particles into France and everyone surrenders.
  4. They lose the key and have to start the LHC with a coat hangar and a screwdriver.
  5. They will turn it on and SG1 step through.
  6. It turns on and Daleks appear and kill everyone.
  7. The Planet is sucked into a black hole but due to time distortions and what not we never realise.


New Scientist: Short Sharp Science Blog

Wikipedia: Large Hadron Collider


Comments on: "Large Hadron Collider" (2)

  1. Eliza (from JN) said:

    6. It makes a black hole and we all get sucked into it and die.

  2. Actually you made an understandable mistake.

    The risk from micro black holes is speculative but so is safety.

    The worst case is fast destruction from stable strangelets followed by slow destruction from micro black hole growth.

    Senior German Physics PHD Dr. Rainer Plaga has another possible scenario where dangerous radiation is a bit problematic.

    So we can argue that Shuttles are safe in Freezing weather (who would risk killing a school teacher!), or we can be adults and acknowledge that perhaps CERN is being less than fully open and honest and perhaps this is an exercise in recklessness to ignore credible physicists such as award winning visiting professor of Physics Dr. Otto Rossler who also founded the field of Endophysics (I’m reading his book now), invented Chaos theory’s Rossler attractor amoung many other achievements.

    Dr. Rossler is concerned, Dr. Plaga is concerned, former cosmic ray researcher, California Math champion and Nuclear Safety Officer Walter L. Wagner is concerned, I am concerned and many other credible scientists are concerned.

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