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Chris M. '12

Sep 10, 2008

LAST!

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Stop doing your homework, don’t worry about papers, don’t pay your bills, don’t make weekend plans, don’t even finish applying to MIT, there’s no point. This is goodbye, this is my last post. I know what you’re thinking “But Chris, why on Earth wouldn’t shirk my responsibilities? What do you mean this is the end?”
Three words friends:
Large.
Hadron.
Collider.
Yes boys and girls, the doomsday device built under the guise of solving physics goes online today (err…technically it’s already been online since this morning, but we’ll ignore that for the sake of sensationalism). In case you aren't convinced of the collider's sinister intent, take a look at the thing.

From for blog

Whoa, yea it's big. In fact it's the largest single object ever built. Only thing you can't see is the engine room where they feed it babies, or so I assume. Ok but seriously, what makes this so special? why is it the end of the world? Well in a very simplified nutshell, the LHC seeks to reproduce scenarios similar to the beginning of the universe (read:Big Bang). In doing so they hope to find this one particular particle (hehe that's fun to say) that can help rationalize gravity on the quantum level, and thus finish the standard model a.k.a The Unified Theory, a.k.a Physics. That's right, it seeks to finish physics (in which case, I'll have to switch my major).

The interesting thing is that this thing is so powerful and so totally unprecedented in terms of the reactions that there are possibilities that it could destroy the world in a variety of fashions. Theres even been injunctions filed against starting it up, and death threats against scientists operating the device.

Of course, scientists assure us that there really isn't anything to worry about, that the probabilities are enormously underwhelming. (Then again, of course they'd say that, after all, if they're wrong, who's going to be around to call them liars?) One thing that is agreeable is that the LHC stands poised to change the world. If they're right, then the Higgs Boson particle will help complete the unified theory, but maybe what's most exciting is the counter-possibility. If it turns out that there is no particle, that means somewhere we've been wrong and it will still foster a huge advance in our understanding of physics. Either way it's nothing short of breath-takingly exciting (though as a piece of social advice, it's not really a good topic for party-talk).

Oh and I nearly forgot, the little company who's in charge of this thing, CERN? Yea,at MIT you can do an IROP (close cousin to the UROP) study there If I'm ever fortunate enough to make it over there while I'm here at MIT, I'll be sure to let you know what the apocalypse looks like firsthand.

P.S. in light of the dwindling time we have left here on Earth, I propose that instead of being so proud to be the first person to comment, you should all try and be the last person to comment "LAST"

Comments (Closed after 30 days to reduce spam)

First!! Woo!

Posted by: First! on September 10, 2008

Sorry, the excitement of a first is irresistible!

Posted by: First! on September 10, 2008

My physics teacher showed us an animation of what this thing is supposed to do today. But then we couldn't have a discussion on it because he wanted us to "learn physics"

Posted by: Kelly (13 Hopeful) on September 10, 2008

LAST!

Posted by: Alex on September 10, 2008

LAST!

Posted by: Ruth '13? on September 10, 2008

That's cool.

Posted by: Alex on September 10, 2008

Welcome, Chris M., to the list of blogs that I stalk. smile

Posted by: 0 on September 10, 2008

Yay new bloggers! :D

(btw I don't comment as Chris, so don't worry - you won't cause confusion. though I still think rhombus is a good idea) =p

Posted by: Oasis '11 on September 10, 2008

I think I'm last grin

Posted by: Eric Stoller on September 10, 2008

False

Posted by: Snively on September 10, 2008

And for the layman's look at what exactly the LHC might be capable of: http://www.cracked.com/article_16583_5-scientific-experiments-most-likely-end-world.html

Posted by: 0 on September 10, 2008

@Anon

Excellent pick! I love Cracked.com! it keeps me sane.

Posted by: Chris '12 on September 10, 2008

Middle.

Posted by: Shannon on September 10, 2008

Do you see why there's such a rush to being first now? It has a finality to it that "last" and "middle" can't compete with.

Posted by: 0 on September 10, 2008

Welcome and thank you for blogging about this. I didn't get to read the whole newspaper article this morning and I actually said that someone at MIT will do a post and fill me in. I look forward to your future entries.

Posted by: inteleyes on September 10, 2008

Nice, informative post.
Also, an IROP at CERN!?!? Now there's something to drool over.

Posted by: Kasey on September 10, 2008

The LHC is pretty cool. I am actually eager to see what will turn up there. It's not only the physics that we should be interested in, but also the engineering tools and gadgets that are an immediate ramifications of such gigantic machine.

Wait a minute I think I see something very very black, oh it's only night--silly me, I thought the black hole effect was taking place.

Posted by: Africa on September 10, 2008

Hooray! Another blog to begin reading! Nice job on this one, I look forward to reading more from you.

Posted by: stillalive on September 10, 2008

Haha, last for now smile
It's kind of amusing to see the paranoia surrounding this thing, actually. I was watching the news today and they were talking about the three major earthquakes today and how they just happened to be on the same day the LHC was turned on, and how maybe the LHC was the reason for the earthquakes.
Well, no stopping now!

Posted by: Anon on September 10, 2008

guys, You are all supposed to be dead, so how come you are still putting in comments.Drop down dead this instant, you are standing in the way of science.


By the way, I think that the worrld did end this morning.And that we all(excluding My sanity,Man I can't find it!)got shifted to another parallel universe.


Come on prove me wrong.(You can't)

Posted by: I am Dead(Wesh m) on September 10, 2008

Hey Shannon, don't steal my joke smile

Middle.

Posted by: Ahmed on September 11, 2008

Awesome last post Chris. You proved once again the uniqueness and comedy of an MIT student.

Onto more important matters, I read somewhere that if a black hole is created, it would take 50 months to devour the whole planet. That's November 2012, close to the apocalypse date the Mayans predicted...

Posted by: Kevin on September 11, 2008

I wish the black hole waits until I have a chance to IROP at CERN. Which is if I get admitted. Which is when I can complete my application in peace. Which is if I dont find myself in a blackhole. So till now, I'm alive. Still alive. Still alive. Still alive.
Actually I hope they really find the Higgs. Who doesnt like Relativity and QM explained simultaneously and things nice and orderly!

PS: it'd be cool to get martyred, even though the poor scientists have gone crazy shouting we wont.

Posted by: Ahana on September 11, 2008

You're going to have a long wait. This test involved unidirectional beams -- i.e. no collisions. The orbit isn't even closed. The first collisions won't happen for a bit yet, and full-power operation isn't expected until next year.

Posted by: Sukrit on September 11, 2008

You guys are up now! I've also been waiting a long time for the LHC to go online.

Posted by: Jeremy on September 11, 2008

Completely irrelevant question-

I once asked my teacher whether light would bend in a magnetic field just as it does in a glass slab.and got a really bad scowl. I'll give $20billion to anyone who answers that.

Sorry got carried away by the powerful magnets of the LHC.

Posted by: wesh m on September 11, 2008

Yay! New bloggers! I'm waiting for all the other bloggers to turn up as well...

Posted by: Ashwath on September 11, 2008

To answer wesh m.'s question, yes, I remembering reading about something like that. I'm pretty sure that light does bend in a magnetic field (on a minute scale when we try to test it, becuase of its amazing speed) but on a much larger scale, we would see more drastic effects. But in regards to the post, I'm assuming that the thing hasn't caused the apocolypse yet (since I'm posting this the day after haha). But definitely PLEASE keep me posted if this thing actually "finalizes" the unified theory. Becuase then I, too, would have to change my desired major. =[

Posted by: Richard on September 11, 2008

@Wesh M. & Richard

Unfortunately, light is composed of an oscillating electric and magnetic field, and thus obeys a principal called linearity. Essentially, two fields don't change each other, so a light ray will continue through the field without being bent.

In short, light can't be bent by magnets, it can however be skewed by gravity.

Posted by: Chris '12 on September 11, 2008

During CPW this past spring, we had the privilege of listening to an MIT student speak about his IROP at Cern. It was simply amazing. I believe that he went there for two summers to work. If I recall correctly, his talk took place during the UROP session (where we also were able to hear the famous Melis talk about her UROP experience). Perspective '13 students, keep that in mind for CPW next spring if you are admitted. It is certainly worth hearing about!

Posted by: anonymous on September 11, 2008

erm... last?

haha, I think that that wormhole thing could be quite interesting. Cheers - maybe the Mayans were right and this thing malfunctions in 2012 xD

Posted by: 0 on September 11, 2008

I swear to god I was up at 3 am, fearing for my life.

Funny thing is the government dosent allow us to do stem cell research but allows us to make black holes.

Posted by: Ehsan on September 11, 2008

LAST

Posted by: 0 on September 11, 2008

Last?

Comments have mellowed...

Posted by: Ahana on September 12, 2008

Okay so light does not get bent in a magnetic field, then i suppose it won't get bent in electric field either.

but how then does it get bent in the ionosphere.
Is it due to density change or something?

Noooo! Don't answer it, I want to be the last.

Posted by: wesh m on September 12, 2008

Ehsan, don't be an imbecile. The CERN, being a European organization, is under no U.S. (or Canadian) jurisdiction whatsoever. Several European nations don't bar stem cell research, either.

In any case, the main argument against stem cell research is that harvesting ES cells in order JUST to do the research is destroying a (potential) human life, something the Large Hadron Collider doesn't do.

Posted by: 0 on September 12, 2008

awesome blogpost!! even if they do find higgs, and especially if they find higgs, physics is still the best course... and who says LHC doesn't make good party-talk? =)

Posted by: moose '12 on September 12, 2008

I doubt this thing will cause the end of the world. Still I will attempt to persuade God to not let Earth be swallowed by a black hole. ^_^

Posted by: Danielle on September 12, 2008

I don't really think this will be the apocalypsis, jajaja, but who knows? things happen, right? jajaja
Maybe you've read my e-mail, I'm a nerd too, jajaja, but also I'm interested in other kind of things, but who cares? raspberry
Nice article my friend, maybe we wont have any answers for this experiment, I mean, it wont be the same as it was million years ago, right?

Posted by: MeLiSsA J.G.T. on September 13, 2008

jaja, stephen hawkin is the best, as me, jajaja

Posted by: MeLiSsA J.G.T. on September 13, 2008

haha.. yeah, most scientists are pretty sure that the end of the world will not come due to the creation of a black hole in the HC accelerator.. they believe that if a black hole is created, then it would be so small that not even an entire atom could fall into it

Posted by: Richard on September 14, 2008

If black holes would be created, they would instantly vaporize due to hawking radiation. magnetic monopoles could be dangerous though........but they're theoretical so still no chance of the earth getting swallowed.....people here in India freaked out and started worshiping god for mercy and when i saw that in news, i had a stomachache for days from laughing out so hard.....anyways.....nice blog wink

Posted by: Pranav on September 15, 2008

LAST

Posted by: 0 on September 15, 2008

Last!

I was so excited about the LHC, which weirded my friends out a little.
Only other person who even knew about it at my school was my science teacher.

Posted by: Helen on September 15, 2008

Oh, and welcome to the MIT blogs.
I read your other blog, and they're pretty awesome. =D

Posted by: Helen on September 15, 2008

That picture brings back nostalgia of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Half-built Death Star, anyone?

Anyway, the whole "extra-dimension" and "wormhole/time travel" talk reminds me of the experiment in The Mist. If extra-dimensional crabs do come out of the LHC, I'll be sure to have boiling butter and giant nut crackers for defensive tactics.

I really hope they find the Higgs, although theoretical physics and universal relativity equations usually turn out to be a disappointment with major setbacks. Good luck, mad scientists!

Posted by: 0 on September 15, 2008

That thing Pranav posted about India IS funny. XD

Posted by: Danielle on September 16, 2008

Last!

Posted by: Ehsan on September 16, 2008

not yet!

Posted by: wesh m on September 17, 2008

well... i wish(and also expect a bit) something really diferent... which just take us all to a shock of state(like "we never dreamt it would be like this")...

and also..."Get ready for a bigger Bang", means they are planing to make a bigger collider this time. They plan to finish it till 2012...

@Danielle:
well... things are so weird here usually... but this one has a right to win an oscar...

Posted by: sidd'13? on September 17, 2008

nd also LAST...

Posted by: sidd'13? on September 17, 2008

Last.

Posted by: 0 on September 17, 2008

Last!

Posted by: Ehsan on September 17, 2008

LAST

Posted by: sidd'13? on September 18, 2008

LAST

Posted by: Ehsan on September 18, 2008

last

Posted by: Anonymous on September 18, 2008

laster!

Posted by: philip on September 19, 2008

Last

Posted by: Ehsan on September 19, 2008

Last!

Posted by: Helen on September 20, 2008

Last, maybe nobody will read this post after me.

Posted by: Gabriel on September 21, 2008

Nope. Last. A nice post by the way. Oh yeah, few people in India are quite over dramatic and they grab the attention leaving us poor normal souls out.

Posted by: Shravani on September 22, 2008

Last!

Posted by: Ehsan on September 23, 2008

last?

Posted by: Kim on September 25, 2008

Last!

Posted by: Ehsan on September 27, 2008

LAST.
:]

Posted by: Anon on September 27, 2008

Last!

Posted by: Ehsan on September 27, 2008

omg 9 more days till comments end

Posted by: Chris on October 1, 2008

L457

Posted by: Ehsan on October 1, 2008

Last.

Posted by: Cassaundra on October 8, 2008

LAST!

Posted by: Daniel on October 9, 2008

Comments have been closed.

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