Sep 10, 2008
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:
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"