Saturday, March 29, 2008

QOTD, Scientist RE: Doomsday, There (may) be Dragons

Perhaps you have heard of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operated by European Center for Nuclear Research or NAMBLA, err I mean CERN.

For those of you who haven't. Its a monstrous 8 Billion dollar machine outside Geneva, constructed for the purpose of smashing tiny particles into each other at unbelievable levels of energy and speed to recreate conditions a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang.

Why, well to do science requires observation. We cannot exactly observe that instant back in time, so why not recreate it.

The problem is, a couple of people think its a really, really bad idea. The kind of idea that could end life as we know it on earth, either through the production of stranglets or a micro black hole that could swallow us all. Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho feel so strongly that they are suing CERN in Hawaii asking for "a temporary restraining order prohibiting CERN from proceeding with the accelerator until it has produced a safety report and an environmental assessment."

Why Hawaii has any jurisdiction over an international science organization in Switzerland, is anybody's guess.

All of this is reported in today's NYTimes and covered by Slashdot and various Tech rags. And leads us directly to The QUOTE OF THE DAY:

Dr. Arkani-Hamed said concerning worries about the death of the Earth or universe, “Neither has any merit.” He pointed out that because of the dice-throwing nature of quantum physics, there was some probability of almost anything happening. There is some minuscule probability, he said, “the Large Hadron Collider might make dragons that might eat us up.”

When are they planning on firing this thing up? I want to be ready, my suit of armor is still out being repaired.

Strip courtesy of

CERN has a page dedicated to these concerns. They get second place for Quote of the Day with this.

Microscopic black holes will not eat you...


No comments:

Tech Articles