Posted tagged ‘Crackpots’

Set Your Alarm Clocks: LHC Ends the World as We Know it at 3:30 AM EDT Tomorrow

September 9, 2008

Or not — as this post at Cosmic Variance ably discusses.

Protons fly in what is being called the first beam at the Large Hadron Collider tomorrow in the early morning, my local time.

You can watch it live here. (h/t Endgadget).

If you want to get a head start on the deal, and/or if you prefer to study the inside of your eyelids at 3:30 a.m., you can dive into the science of the LHC in a film called, appropriately “The Next Big Bang,” broadcasting tonight at 8 p.m on The History Channel.

If you do happen to see a micro black hole whizzing by, shut your eyes and it will go away.

And, by the way — I can’t tell you how happy I am to be thinking for a moment about physics rather than the person whom John Scalzi assures us must not be named. (h/t Cosmic Variance again — and I must plead as guilty as any of the other gripless folks Scalzi excoriates.)

Update:  This is why friends don’t let friends read Gregg Easterbrook.  In his weekly football column he writes:

In end-of-the-universe news, reader Jared Adkins of Silver Spring, Md., reports the European organization about to turn on a super-advanced atom smasher — see last week’s TMQ — says that if the device inadvertently creates a black hole on Earth, the black hole will “rapidly evaporate.” Why do I not find this reassuring? How much of Switzerland will the black hole take along as it evaporates?

Uhhh — you may not find this reassuring because you chose to listen to reader Adkins instead of actually reading this and its supporting report.

Money quote:

“The LHC safety review has shown that the LHC is perfectly safe,” said Jos Engelen, CERN’s Chief Scientific Officer, “it points out that Nature has already conducted the equivalent of about a hundred thousand LHC experimental programmes on Earth – and the planet still exists.”

That is, cosmic rays smashing into the earth’s atmosphere have already produced a truly unbelievable number of LHC scale collisions on just about every body in the universe, and yet strangely enough, we’re all around to check things out.

The moral of this story…ahh, you can figure it out.